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…
Brilliant idea for the children on Easter!
Thanks, Elaine. I was happy it worked so well!
Great idea – think I’ll file that one away for next year…
Thanks for the encouragement. It’s never too early to start planning!
I love this idea too!
Hi Julie! Hopefully I will be able to let you know how it works, and if any of those seeds manage to grow where they land.
Now, here’s a joke for all you gardeners out there:
An old gentleman lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love, Papa
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
Dear Papa, Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried.
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.
Dear Papa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
Hope it made you smile!
Hahaha! Thanks, Lorraine 🙂
Seeds inside an egg. What a neat way to explain the Resurrection and new life!
Although I was saddened when I read on this day of the 95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge that you dislike anything military. Toy guns are not military, they are toys that a consumer company made in order to make money. Computer games that depict war are not military, they are games that a comsumer company made in order to make money. Combats that civilians wear are not military, they are clothing that civilians wear in order to think they are military — which they are not. In fact, if you asked, on this Easter Monday, why Canada still has a military it is to remember and always remember that our military members are willing to lay their lives down in order to provide our country and other countries with peace and freedom. Canada has always been involved in more peacekeeping missions than defence missions…. we just never hear of the stories of our peacekeepers. For many military members, joining the Canadian Forces is a calling just as you are called to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. It is the soldier and not the Minister who gives us freedom of religion. As the poster says above my desk, “You don’t understand love until you walk out of war”. It was placed there by a WW2 Veteran so that I will always remember his sacrifice.
And on this Easter Monday it is amazing to remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.
Yes, Lorna, you are quite right. Toys and the military are definitely not the same. My son (who leaves tomorrow for Holland with the Halton Police Pipes and Drums to play at a national memorial day in Apeldorn) is helping me to learn a great deal. In a generation so blessed and sheltered, there is a great deal I don’t fully appreciate. Thanks for your comments.
Hi! I’m a pastor in Granville, Ohio, AND I’m preaching easter and using guerilla gardening and seedbombs as a main image! Would you mind sharing the sermon you preached this 2012 easter with me so I can see how you handled the imagery? Just curious interested to see how another set of eyes took it!
Hi! I love that! I will be happy to email you that sermon. Look in your inbox 🙂