Rebel Gardeners Wage Veggie War

By Mark T. Mitchell for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

In Buenos Aires a group of guerrilla gardeners are attempting to change the way space is used in the city.

Armed with vegetable seedlings and seed bombs — seeds packed with mud for throwing into neglected urban spaces, their goal is to provide organic food for city residents.

Admittedly their method is somewhat haphazard–they consider themselves performance artists with all the whimsicality such a performance entails, yet their goal is laudable: to provide free vegetables to residents as supermarket prices continue to rise. Using open spaces in cities and suburbs to grow edibles is surely an idea whose time is ripe (sorry). I wonder, though, if public spaces will be cared for by anyone in a manner sufficient to produce a consistent harvest. If not, then the performance, while perhaps inspiring, will fall flat until an individual or a community makes a concerted effort to care for the plots and put in the hard work required to realize the benefits. Scattering seeds is one thing. Cultivating a garden is something altogether different. How would a city change if communities together began to grow food in the vacant spots interspersed throughout the city? It’s an intriguing thought.

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