Friday, August 29, 2008

Community gardening this Saturday

Join the Garden Posse's intrepid founder, Megan, at Quilombo garden this Saturday from 5-8 to plant seeds. Quilombo is a communal garden on the east side of Austin, and it's awesome.

For more information, visit and/or contact Megan.

Directions: Go East on 12th street until it dead ends at Webberville. Go Left on Webberville. Take a Right on Fort Branch. You'll come to a "Y". At this point go Left/straight onto Delano. Go through the stop sign at Delano and Hudson and down the hill. At the next stop sign make a Left on Harold Court and we are at the end.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We dug it

The Garden Posse's first dig was a success. Thanks to everyone who showed up, the trash that had plagued our site was quickly swept away, soil was dug up and amended, and plants and seeds were put in their place. We had created the beginnings of a garden in two hours.

There are so many great things about guerrilla gardening. It was great to see so many people show up, looking eager and excited to garden. And then to literally attack the area with gardening. Shovels, hands, trowels, plants, and seeds came in very rapid succession.

I think everyone felt really good about what we were doing. And it was very reaffirming when people stopped by while walking their dogs, or after finishing a meal at Salvation Pizza, to ask what we were doing and thank us for it. My favorite comment came from an older woman (a fellow gardener) at the end of the night: "We were just watching Batman tonight, while you all were doing good!"

I'm thinking maybe the mayor's office should flash a signal into the night sky whenever guerrilla gardeners are needed.

So, so many thanks to everyone who came to get involved with the Garden Posse. We are so excited about our future in guerrilla gardening. Also thanks to Renee and Joe from the Austin-American Statesman, who came out to observe our illicit gardening activities with an objective eye (and some cameras).

The consensus from many people was that we should meet and garden on a weekly basis. We'd stick to Tuesday nights at 8pm, for now.

The rough plan for next week is to meet back at this site at 34th and Guadelupe to maintain what we planted this week, and possibly extend the garden if I can get some more plants (or if you can). We'll also paint a Garden Posse sign, and discuss a calendar of future events. I'll update and email this information as the details become clear.

See you next week!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tomorrow, we dig. Or we ambush?

I'm still trying out the guerrilla gardener lexicon., a venerable authority, refers to guerrilla activities as "Troop Digs," but I like missions, or ambushes, or is an ambush more of a strategy than an activity? An adjective relative to a noun?

It probably doesn't matter. Call it what you will, it's happening tomorrow night at 8pm. The weather looks good, and we should have a good corps of gardeners, or troops. (I'm beginning to wonder why everything is so militaristic.) Many of you have volunteered seeds, plants, and compost. I received a large donation of soil from the Great Outdoors, and I'll be getting some transplants tomorrow.

We'll also have some visitors from the Statesman. Gardening blogger Renee Studebaker will be there with a photographer for a story on guerrilla gardeners in Austin. If you do not wish to be quoted or photographed for the story, I'm sure they'll respect your wishes. And hopefully Renee will bring some gardening tips.

See you tomorrow! Oh, and here are some pictures of my favorite ants.

(I'm trying to think of a metaphor between these tireless leaf-cutter ants and guerrilla gardeners. Perhaps after tomorrow night we can think of an accurate metaphor.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Operation Sidewalk Freedom

So this is the site of our first Garden Posse guerrilla garden mission. As you can see, it's a neglected patch of land that needs some love. It's between two sidewalks, next to a construction site/repository of some sort (we're finding out exactly what), and littered with trash. Right now, it's an eyesore. But it could be a beautiful, fertile, and mysterious land of flowers and veggies and herbs for all to enjoy.

That is, if you show up to lend a hand next Tuesday, August 26 at 8pm. We'll be cleaning up the area, and then getting to work with the plants and seeds.

You'll need to bring gardening gloves (especially because no one wants to touch trash with bare hands) and whatever tools you can get your hands on. We might have extras on hand, but no guarantees. Also, PLEASE let us know if you have donations of plants or seeds! That would be so great. You'd get a Garden Posse Special Star, handcrafted, by me.

Tell us that you are coming on Tuesday, via email or comments. The meeting spot will again be at Foodhead's on W 34th st. And tell your friends too! See you then.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ready to garden?

I'm back from Peru. It was wonderful - energizing, relaxing, and winter - everything a person from Texas could want in a summer vacation. But now it is over, and it is time to garden. Because as we move into fall, plants are less likely to die, and that's exciting.

So in celebration, and preparation for our inaugural Garden Posse guerrilla gardener mission, we're having a planning meeting this Tuesday at 7:30 pm. We'll be looking at the site and deciding on our plan of attack (ambush, maybe?). Meaning, we'll assess what the land needs, what sorts of plants we should plant, logistics, and all that. There will also be some discussion about other possible directives of the Garden Posse, like visiting and helping in members' gardens.

We'll meet at Foodheads, which is across the street from the potential site. Foodheads is a sandwich shop at 616 W 34th St, Austin, TX 78705, near the intersection of 34th and Guadelupe. Foodheads will be closed but they have some picnic tables there, and if we need to use the internet there's a coffeeshop close by.

The planning meeting is definitely not mandatory for participation in the guerrilla aspect of the Garden Posse. But it would be really great to meet everyone and start collaborating with ideas.

I would be grateful if you responded via email or comment if you know you'll make it on Tuesday. Hope to see you then!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation calls, guerrilla duty waits

So I've spent the last few days researching this guerrilla gardening thing - reading books, lurking on bulletin boards, hoarding tips, squirreling away sites, imagining what life would be like if I could go pick a salad outside the office for lunch - and suffice to say, I'm very excited about it. I wish we could get started with planting this very weekend. But I'm afraid that won't work, because tomorrow I am going to Peru.

Surely, even guerrilla gardeners take vacations. I work in the media, and August is generally considered "dead time" - which is, coincidentally, also how I feel about the mid-August heat of Central Texas. So, I am escaping to hike the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu, or raft the deepest canyon in the world, or float along the Amazon, or visit the reed islands of Lake Titicaca.... I'm not quite sure, because a friend in Peru is planning this trip. But I'm pretty sure it will be awesome. And when I get back in two weeks, I'll be reinvigorated to plot a guerrilla gardening mission.

So if you've given me your email address, you are on the email list, and you will receive updates as soon as they're available. In the meantime, take these two weeks as an opportunity to do some guerrilla-style scheming of your own. (And start some seeds!)