Seed Bombs: Change for Change

As I have written about before, Guerrilla Gardeners drop seed bombs. Guerrilla gardening is a growing movement of green enthusiasts who transform abandoned patches of land in cities by planting in neglected public spaces and vacant lots. The targets for their seed bombs are usually abandoned lots, sidewalk cracks, and parkways/parking medians. And, they usually “bomb” an area anonymously, sometimes under the cover of darkness.

A seed bomb is made from clay, compost and seeds and they can transform barren and neglected urban areas into lush green and colorful spaces; all they need is sunlight and water since everything else is already packed into the bomb.

While many people make their own bombs, for those living in Los Angeles and a few other cities, there’s a quicker way to get your own seed bombs. Design studio Common Vision has created a project called Greenaid in which they convert vintage gumball machines into seed bomb dispensers. For fifty cents, it will dispense a seed ball that is about the same size as a jawbreaker. They are custom-designed to match each neighborhood’s climate and environment.

For example, in Los Angeles, a typical seed bomb consists of a native wildflower mix of white yarrow, California poppy, lupine, and blue flax.

They created the machines to foster community engagement and green space in urban environments. As a way of emphasizing this motive, “Change for change” is written on each machine below the Greenaid logo. As they say on their web site, “Using just the loose coins in your pocket, you can make a small but meaningful contribution to the beautification of your city!”

There are now about 20 machines throughout Los Angeles, and a few in the Midwest and Northeast including Minnesota, Illinois and North Carolina. They hope the machines will spread nationwide.

You can buy or even rent your own seed bomb dispenser and Commonstudio will work with groups and invidudals to develop a custom seed bomb mix that is optimized for the native environment that the vending machine will be placed in.

There is even an interactive map on the Commonstudio site so seed bombers can mark where they’ve “thrown” their bombs. It also identifies vacant spots that need to be seed bombed.

92 comments

Lin M
Lin M3 years ago

Why in cover of darkness?

Lydia Weissmuller Price

Nice idea, except for the use of the word "bomb." I'm sure people who've lost loved ones in explosions or those who've been maimed by them appreciate the analogy.

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

rene davis
rene davis3 years ago

Go Guerrilla Gardeners!

Christine D.
Christine D.3 years ago

Nice idea, I love to see urban spaces greened. I hope that whoever makes them has done research about invasive species so they haven't made a a larger problem than a vacant lot.

Jenna B.
jen b.3 years ago

Wonderful idea I hope it spreads!

Vicky H.
Past Member 3 years ago

different...

Nicole Gorman
Nicole Gorman3 years ago

We actually have one of these dispensers where I work and the funniest thing I ever saw was when someone thought it was candy and popped it in their mouth!

Nicole Gorman
Nicole Gorman3 years ago

We actually have one of these dispensers where I work and the funniest thing I ever saw was when someone thought it was candy and popped it in their mouth!

a             y m.
g d c.3 years ago

seed bombs in sidewalk cracks??? :-(