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.