Monday, April 23, 2007

Joseph provides a link to a really cool article permaculture in the city (update link fixed)

Heres an extract

There was an empty lot where they knocked down the house in front of mine, and we just kept chucking seeds in there. Loads of pumpkins and herbs sprung up amongst the weeds. It was all left to go wild, and I was surprised that the insects and diseases left the goodies alone, unlike trying to grow and tend the same vegetables in my garden. This lasted one season, then got turned into a carpark. But it did become a real community for a while, everyone borrowing herbs and chatting and playing and admiring the garden. It was really a nice thing in the area for a while. Should’ve got permission!

Another [guerilla farm] was the continuation of gardens started by old people in a site destined for redevelopment in the Kamiyacho district in Tokyo. In the unused empty lots behind an office, we planted veggies and flowers, pruned the trees, and visiting Swedish artist and rebel Lagombra built a small treehouse. They will be redeveloping the site within 10 years, and it’s all been locked up now, so we can’t get in there anymore.

We also planted a bunch of broccoli in the holes in the concrete outside the Yokohama Bank Art Gallery. It was really funny, they were just popping out [everywhere].

We’ve planted daikon radishes next to individual roadside trees. You know, those little plots of dirt on the side of the road...why should they house just one tree? We just carried seeds with us all the time last year and were popping them all over the place. What led you to projects like this?

Logic, good food, and good friends. Smoking pot helps, too. Only in Amsterdam of course.

The model for my farms is Masanobu Fukuoka’s seed ball project and Bill Mollison’s Permaculture system of sustainable agriculture. (Fukuoka is the pioneer of natural farming and sustainable agriculture in Japan who now gives lectures abroad. Mollison is an Australian researcher.) Basically, the idea is to spread the seed and let nature go. It’s about living in an edible jungle. You don’t need to pay 100 yen to buy a few pieces of lettuce or herbs. You just plant some seeds, the rain falls and they grow, and you get hundreds of leaves and thousands of seeds the next year

3 comments:

weka said...

Brilliant!

I got blocked on that link (needed a login), but try this for the full article:

http://www.thememagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=121&task=view&id=61

(hope that posts ok)

Joseph said...

When one of my friends from uni found the article we thought it would be really wicked to do.

Does anyone know how to get cheap seeds?

I started saving them at home but they just dont build up fast enough

John said...

I wouldnt advise this but certain people have been known to shoplift seeds. Of course this doesnt get huge amounts. You can order like one or two kg lots from people like kings seeds but this can be expensive. Saving seeds from vegies like pumpkins is doable and any rotten tomatoes you can get the seeds out of. I have saved tons of broadbean and sunflower seed just by letting plants go to seed and then collecting it.

I will write about how to make seed balls and may arrange a time time to do it.