Guerrilla Gardening and the Relocalization of Food Production

Relocalizing food production is one of the most important steps on the path to a sustainable society, and in times of  great economic uncertainty, relocalizing food production is just plain sensible. It should bother us, therefore, when we see good land in our neighbourhoods sitting dormant and uncultivated, especially when it is right outside our own doorsteps.

Such thoughts crossed my mind every time I passed the empty ‘nature strip’ next to the road outside my home, so last weekend  I engaged in my first act of “Guerrilla  Gardening.” I planted in that nature strip a fine young mandarin tree (see  photo).  A  small act, yes, but from small things, big things grow – the fruits of which we will all share.

For those unfamiliar with the term “Guerilla Gardening,” it refers to the cultivation of land that you don’t own but which you think you can enrich by cultivating productively – without  permission, as such. Moderate beginners like me cultivate their nature strips without seeking council approval, but more serious Guerilla Gardeners (which I am making plans to become)  survey  their neighbourhoods for productive land that is just lying around unproductively, and then set about cultivating it. Perhaps there is a block of land that has been vacant for years; perhaps there is patch of earth here or there that looks suitable for a row of peas, some corn, or a fruit tree. Seek and ye shall find.

It’s important to be sensible, of course. One shouldn’t plant anything that might block vision of traffic, for example. But, after taking such precautions – and after cultivating one’s own garden first – one can then proceed confidently, knowing that Guerilla Gardening is a peaceful and honourable act of opposition. It should be clear enough that such acts will be justified in the eyes of posterity.

My lawyers tell me that I shouldn’t explicitly encourage Guerilla Gardening, since it is not technically allowed, according to the rules of Empire. So let me just note that sometimes it is much less wrong to break or bend the rules than it is to abide by them.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.



3 Responses to “Guerrilla Gardening and the Relocalization of Food Production”

  1. Tom says:

    Awesome article.

    We have planted fruit and nut trees on our nature strip, as well as growing veggies there for several years. Its a beautiful thing.

    I also have my eye on some paper road next to our place and some disused railway land nearby.

    Gardening is the answer to everything. If every politician / “powerful” / “important” person spent an hour a day in the garden, the world would be a different place.


  2. Samuel Alexander says:

    Thanks Tom! Great to hear, and I agree entirely with your sentiments. Gardening is Zen.

    All the best,

  3. […] reported on my previous operations here and here. Since then, things have gotten […]

  4. locke cole says:

    I want to get guerrilla gardeners to get together with, or follow urban explorers. After all sun tzu said “attack where they will not defend, attack where they cannot defend, attack where they must defend. Also be there young and strong among you add parkour to gain access to rooftops.

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