I should probably be working on my review paper, but I just got excited about an idea for next spring: Seed bombing the potential green spaces in my neighborhood. Let me explain.
Seed bombing is the practice of making balls of soil and seeds and tossing them into weedy, vacant areas for beautification (or food production). I heard about this on NPR last year, but was reacquainted with the idea at Worldchanging.com. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd love to find a local community garden to join next summer. However, even if I don't, I have a plan. I'm going to add some variety to the local weedlots.
In particular, I want to plant squash. Winter squash. I love winter squash. It's relatively easy to grow (in my experience) and keeps for months. I bought a calabaza squash (it looks like an odd-colored pie pumpkin) at a farmer's market in September. It had a growing brown spot, so I knew I need to deal with it this weekend. I sliced it up into wedges like cantalope and baked it with the skin on for about 50 minutes while I had a casserole in the oven. I couldn't believe what a beautiful, bright orange the flesh was when I took it out! It separated easily from the skin and wasn't stringy at all. It was also delicious all by itself! I pureed it and will freeze it for later use in a pumpkin pie recipe because I think it will have an excellent pie flavor.
Anyways, I initially saved just a few seeds in hopes of a community garden plot next year but after reading about seed bombing I salvaged the rest of them. There is quite a bit of weedy railroad right-of-way near our house that I think could grow some calabaza squash. I can do preliminary site scouting from Google Earth. If it doesn't take, oh well, no loss. If it does, I might have more calabaza next fall than I know what to do with. Or the neighbors might enjoy it. Or the rats.
I would also love to seed bomb some hardy, colorful annuals into the local fenced-in vacant lot. It is rocky, weedy, and trash-filled so I don't think it's really worth trying to grow squash there. Like I said in my earlier post, I usually tend towards being a native plant snob but I just can't be picky in Big City. Anything green and growing is an improvement for air quality and people's quality of life. That said, I don't want to spread any new invasive plants so they are out of the question. I'm thinking zinnias, marigolds, and native sunflowers-sunny things that won't grow in front of our north-facing apartment. I can't wait to plant some window boxes in front of our place. Ooh, I'm so excited for spring!