Food Bombs to Feed Homeless & Community
I don’t know about you, but the first time I heard of “Seed Bombs”, the first thing I thought of was how can we use that to feed the homeless & hungry.
For starters, it’s never made any sense to me at all why anyone would have a garden full of things that they can’t actually eat.. they spend all their time and money cultivating this beautiful landscape and can’t pick & eat a single thing, it just didn’t sit well with me.
I look my family’s own garden, and the only thing we can eat is the lemons on the lemon tree, and maybe a scattering of herbs that I’ve never seen but they insist are here somewhere, and everything else is poisonous to consume. There are even tree’s in the yard that bare berries that are poisonous – that we have to watch to make sure the kids don’t eat? Why bother, when you can plant a similar tree that actually bares edible berries?
It doesn’t make sense, why plant anything that you can’t use for food or medicine? If there is someone watching us from “up there”, they must think we’ve gone completely batty; “poisoning” our natural food & medicine and “growing & cultivating” toxic, inedible, unusable plants & flowers.
But it doesn’t stop with our backyards, all our communities are the same. Driving around towns & suburbs, the round-abouts, road-sides and parks are filled with inedible trees & flowers – surely there is a better idea here?
With the cost of living, food, medicine, healthcare, and housing skyrocketing, it’s even more imperative that communities & individuals start to think ‘outside of the box’ and not just in their own backyards either, but in the vastness of opportunity in our public-accessible landscapes.
It’s a much more logical concept to grow herbs & edible plants & flowers, that serve a useful purpose to the local community and it’s the other natural wildlife inhabitants.
When I lived in Ballarat, I noticed several round-abouts that had plants growing in the middle at a dangerous height – plants that were growing so high, that you couldn’t see cars approaching the roundabout or their blinkers until they had exited the roundabout, and therefore each time you approached these particular roundabouts, you would have to come to a complete stop and observe intensely until it was absolutely safe to move into the roundabout. You had to be 100% absolutely certain there were no other cars coming your way. Some of the accidents would never of happened if the landscape were maintained at a certain height or were thoughtfully planned prior to planting in the first place.
Seed Bombs are used by guerrilla gardeners to be able to grow wildflowers & plants in areas that they do not ‘own’ themselves (vacant lots, etc.), but I think they are still on the wrong track if they are growing flowers & plants that are inedible or are not planned out correctly.. i.e. considering local wildlife, insects, rodents, companion planting, potential dangers of heights, root systems & the surrounding environment. As well as the types of “food” you could possibly seed bomb a certain location with. i.e. could you really get away with planting whatever you wanted, wherever you wanted (apple trees, carrots, etc.)? Fruit falling to the ground, rotting fruit & vegetables, pest attraction, bushes growing out of control that self-fence-off areas, the local businesses and the potential toxins they are spreading in the air, & the intended maintenance or ‘lack of maintenance’. All of which needs to be well thought out beforehand. In city areas especially, and some suburban areas and towns, there are many things to consider.
I completely forgot about the seed-bomb idea but a recent chain of events has re-sparked these ideas in me:
- the post on “Food Forests & Foodscaping“
- seeing the cover of Markus’s book about “Free Food & Medicine” about edible herbs that are growing in our backyard (yet to buy it, it’s on my wishlist)
- 2 podcasts I listened to from ExtremeHealthRadio:
1.) Marjory Wildcraft On Edible Organic Gardens, Food Forests & More
2.) Anthony Anderson – How To Grow Your Own Food Forests For Better Health & Nutrition
- another podcast I listened to about The Importance of Eating Locally Harvested Foods
- and then there was my birthday yesterday, when I was given a herb garden by my sister & mum, both unaware that the other was giving me the same thing – how awesome – both giving me the thing I think about most – and neither was on my “wishlist” because my mini fish-tank herb garden didn’t make it through Winter and I wasn’t sure that I was welcome to try again until I moved away from here, so they have really understood something that is important to me and by giving them to me as gifts, they are both saying loud & clear that I’m ‘allowed’ to do this while still being in this house :)
All these ideas have resurfaced in me and I am now starting to consider how to use this rekindled interest to be able to help local communities, poverty countries, sick people & homeless worldwide.
I still need to study-up about potential plants to create seed-bombs out of, but I’m starting to think that after I buy Markus’s book, I’ll have a lot more ideas in my repertoire, but for now my mind is focused on edible herbs.
Off the top of my head, without any consideration yet about companion planting, wildlife, root systems, height, soil mineralization, complimentary plants, insects, beauty, life-span, natural pest-control, medicinal, and so on, I’m thinking along the lines of edible herb seed-bombs such as:
- Aloe Vera
- Edible Chinese herbs
- Rocket (Arugula)
And edible flower seed-bombs such as:
- St John’s Wort
The other problem with this, especially here in Australia but likely in other parts of the world too, is that many council’s “poison” their parks, sidewalks, etc. to kill off “weeds”. i.e. there is not many places that I would “trust” to pick & eat any herbs, berries, or plants growing in community areas. They could be chemical sprayed regularly.
Unfortunately lots of plants are considered “weeds” by us westerner’s and these so-called “weeds” are actually good for us, put here by the universe and growing out of control naturally to feed and heal us. Nature’s own remedy, readily available to both the rich and the poor.
So how do we get past that? I’m thinking if a group of researchers, were able to get together and work out what plants are best grown in local communities, that we bring that “seed bomb” idea to the local councils. Meeting with them locally, one-on-one, showing them examples of other “innovative” thinking from around the world (like Utah reducing homelessness by 78% over the past 8 years). By bringing to the forefront of their minds, the “good” things that other candidates are doing in the world, and the response from the public to help their ego’s know they are doing the right thing. We can teach them and local communities how to be “good” people again, honest people, ethical people, people who care about each other.
I don’t know if I’m just rambling again, trying to ‘save the world’, or just starting to become more conscious myself, but I just know that this idea does seem like one that can be pulled off, either with the support of the local government or without, but I think it’s something that can be brought to the table.
It’s something they already do to “beautify” the neighbourhoods – each council plant inedible pretty flowers and plants everywhere, all over the cities & towns and who knows how much they spend on making our suburbs “pretty” & to maintain their upkeep. Our tax dollars are being used on planting & maintaining these flowers, plants & trees anyway, maybe they just need someone to suggest to them the possibility of growing ‘edible’ flowers & plants. They might never of even thought about it before; the world is changing, the world is becoming more conscious and aware of the past bad decisions that now need to be overturned for our survival. What was unheard of and considered stupid even a decade ago is now being dramatically switched around. i.e. it was illegal for us to have water tanks in our backyards in Ballarat as I was growing up, yet since the water shortages, tanks are now legal and encouraged.
If local council officers could just be reached to adjust their conscious-awareness just ‘slightly’, just enough to want to be able to grow ‘edible’ plants, and not poison them with toxic sprays, there is a little seed of hope in me that this can be accomplished.
I will start researching the best herbs & plants to do “seed bombing” here in Australia, and look to meet other like-minds who are interested in researching it with me either for their local country, communities, or backyard, or even for what would be the best seed-bombs techniques for the poorest and driest regions of Africa and the like.
And maybe the idea has already been done in some places, I hope it has! Maybe this type of research has been done already. I hope so and I hope I find it. It would be cool also if maybe there are some local councils around the world that are already doing this too… anything that is useful in bringing it to our local government offices, etc.
Regardless of how far I personally take it, getting the ‘idea’ out there in general might start turning the wheels of the universe, because you never know who is reading and what kind of person this inspires to do something even greater than what I’m thinking.