On my Easter weekend, I created homemade bombs. Yes, right there in my kitchen, with some ingredients I had on hand, I concocted small packets meant to be thrown at a target. Upon impact, they will explode, sending their contents far and wide.
This work did not come easily to me. Just ask my oldest son and he will tell you how much I hate military things–toy guns, camouflage clothing, and computer games that involve imaginary wars. I know that Canada has a role to play in peacekeeping and that we have a proud military heritage. It’s just that with so much real trouble in the world, I don’t believe we need to add any more unnecessarily. And I certainly don’t want my children learning to think of war as a game.
My bombs, however, are not destructive at all. They are seed bombs.
As I did some research for my Easter morning sermon, I learned about the guerilla gardening movement. It has had a number of different manifestations at various points in history, but at its heart is the practice of turning barren spaces into beautiful places, even when they are on someone else’s property. That requires sneaky gardeners who are willing to work under the cover of night–or throw seed bombs.
I found several ‘recipes’ for making your own seed bombs including Seed Pills, Seed Balloons, the Classic Clay Seed Ball, and the NYC Green Guerilla Grenade. There is even a UK-based company who makes seed bombs in the shape of real grenades (they sell them at the “Kabloom shop” of course!) The Explosive Eggs, however, looked like the perfect Easter weekend project for me.
First, I made tiny holes in each end of each egg and blew the contents out into a bowl (I used these to make pecan pie, but that’s another story). The I rinsed the eggs out and set them in bowls of water with food colouring and vinegar. Once they were beautiful shades of pink and green, I let them sit on the counter until they were dry. Meanwhile, I mixed a few packets of easy-grow annual seeds (allysum, cosmos, marigold and the like) with a small amount of a mix of finely-textured peat and compost mixture. Then, after experimenting with a variety of techniques, I used a tiny spoon and an icing tip to carefully fill the egg shells. I sealed the holes with a little spot of wax, so that the contents didn’t spill out when I put them in the basket.
I showed my seed bombs to the kids at church during the children’s story (I called them seed eggs mind you, not bombs!) and they took great delight in watching me smash one to see what was inside. Later, I found a friend who is keen on growing things and who I knew would have a good time finding places the throw the rest of them. I asked B. to take pictures of where they end up, and what happens to them. I would love to know if seed bombs really work!
More than the seed bomb technique, however, I love the concept of finding barren places and working to fill them with life. I live in a beautiful and well cared-for city, so empty planters and forgotten boulevards are not a big local problem. Still, last summer there was one small neglected patch of dirt that I noticed. Every time I walked past it, I yearned to till the soil just a little. Or maybe pull up a few of those weeds. And then I wondered if there was a few daylilies from my garden that might look nice there…
Last summer I was too timid to do more than dream of making that little spot look pretty. I have been emboldened by my research, however, which taught me that others are courageously guerrilla gardening with beautiful results. So perhaps this summer I will try something new…