Gardening in North Brooklyn is about to become a form of rebellion.
A group of “rogue botanists” are hoping to transform the barren streets of Williamsburg and Greenpoint into lush landscapes by hurling projectiles — laced with cornflower seeds! — onto vacant properties this Saturday.
The green guerrillas hope to beautify their neighborhoods by distributing hundreds of eco-friendly orbs made from red clay, seeds and organic compost, chucking the mulch missiles over walls, pushing them through chain-link fences, and putting them just about anywhere that could use some greenery.
“Guerilla gardeners seek to stand up and take charge of areas that seem to possess a void for the neighborhood,” said event organizer Emily Gallagher. “Whether you’re a longtime resident or a new transplant, I think we can all agree that a few flowers and leaves help to take the edge off of the concrete jungle.”
And in North Brooklyn, there are plenty of places that could be perked up with plants, said Gallagher, who chairs the open space committee of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (formerly Neighbors Against Garbage).
“There is a lot of land that could use some help,” she added. “The long-empty lots, the idle, trash-covered patches that no one cares for — these orphaned sites are a part of our community, too, and we’ve got to start taking direct action to clean up our home.”
Clean means green for the gardeners, whose golf-ball-sized globes — commonly called “seed bombs” — can bloom on almost any terrain.
“How else are you going to plant something over a fence?” asked eco-artist David Cohen, who once orchestrated a similar “seed bombing” project and is now in the process of launching an environmental art non-profit. “I think the idea is interesting because it mixes the metaphors between war and growth.”
But talk of war is exactly what the radical botanists are hoping to avoid. In fact, the group have deemed their project as “seed casting” — not “seed bombing.”
“We’re trying to steer away from violent imagery since what we’re doing is positive,” said Gallagher. “We’re also not doing anything illegal or requiring permission. Many years ago, when there was an abundance of plant life and greenspace in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, the wind would carry and plant seeds. Now, buildings block the airways and cement covers everything — so we’ve got to give Mother Nature a helping hand.”