Philadelphia is under attack; not from political extremists or invading armies, but rather guerilla gardeners looking to reclaim the vacant plots of land littered throughout the city.
Anyone who’s traveled about town can attest to the gross number of abandoned eyesores prevalent in just about every neighborhood. These lots collect grit and grime, and often play host to a variety of obscene acts. But thanks to a dedicated group of urban environmentalists and gum-ball sized seed bombs, these empty plots are primed for a floral rejuvenation.
On June 9th, the University City District debuted Philly’s first seed bomb machine; a retro-fitted gumball machine that dispenses little balls of clay, compost, and seeds of various flowers. Greenaid is the designer and provider of the coin-operated machines and seed bombs.
The beauty of the seed bomb lies within its simplicity; just chuck (or sling-shot) one of these balls into an area of dirt, sprinkle some water over it, and watch a patch of wildflowers grow in just a few days. The brains behind Greenaid hope that by infiltrating the vacant lots with beautiful flowers, residents surrounding the plots will feel a new sense of pride and obligation towards maintaining the area, much like the Plotland at 44th and Locust.
I truly hope the seed bomb trend catches on and more machines are dispatched throughout the city; they’re a cheap and efficient way of raising awareness and instigating change. I’d buy ‘em just to mess with my neighbors: “Why is an eggplant growing in the middle of my azaleas?”
Image Courtesy of Green Aid