evolving ecological media culture(s)

Project page


Here is where we can share our thoughts (between classes) about the project we’ve decided to take on as a class. The following are some initial ideas arising from our discussion in today’s class.

Project: Seedbomb Burlington

Practice/tools: seedbombs, people, boots and bikes, vacant landscapes, ecopolitical landscape analysis of Burlington (and surrounds), maps indicating candidate sites, locative media, smart phones and video cameras, Facebook page, Twitter hashtags, subreddit, Earth Day, legal research, educational packets and teach-ins, apps (for planning and carrying out seedbombings in other cities), more…

Theory: mind bombs (Greenpeace), guerrilla gardening, ecoanarchy, rhizomanalysis, seeding the earth with ideas, seeding the web with organisms…

Add ideas to your heart’s content. We can sort through them as we go, and consolidate in class next Tuesday.


  1. A little background on seedbombing can be read here, here, and here, with a little more detail in this article.

    Add to practice: GoogleEarth

    Add to theory (& inspiration): TAZ, avant gardening, Situationist psychogeography, Spacing, the occupation of public space, Jenny Price’s work on the politics of public space in Malibu’s public beaches, and much more…

  2. I am really excited about organizing and creating this event! I would be happy to get the word out and get people excited, as well as organize meeting times and talk to any sponsors or people willing to donate seeds and supplies for the event.

    As it may have been clear in class, I am perhaps not the most keen on the social media/computer portion of this activity, though I realize it is invaluable for this task. I feel as those my talents are best suited to direct contact with folks and engaging the community and participants in the activity.

    If anyone has particular ideas about how this is going to work, post it!

  3. I propose that each of us consider a distinct group that we are connected to (music scene, club, work, small class, etc.) and try to target each of them to gain participants.

  4. Also I’m sure we’ll be thinking about places in which we would love to seed, but that do not have the most affluent agroecological backgrounds to take our seed… SO… maybe we could post up little mock plants when the other seeds actually start to grow to expand upon the excitement that the organic seed bombs will produce?

  5. This is our place for seed bombs (which some less provocatively call “seed balls”). Wish I would have known in advance that artist and St. Mike’s prof Bryan Collier was the founder of the Society, and a great re-seeder/re-naturalizer. His talk last night at the New City Galerie was all about that. I will see if we can get him to speak to our class. In the meantime, if you are walking on Church Street, go see his show.

  6. I’m assembling an archive of readings and links on various topics related to our class project. The topics include re-naturalization (see, e.g., the Society for a Re-Natural Environment, referred to in the previous comment); radical and/or guerilla gardening (see George McKay’s book on the topic); land use interpretation, particularly the kinds carried out by groups like CLUI; “monitorial citizenship”; eco-art and ecomedia, particularly the kinds that deal in actions surrounding public and derelict landscapes; and public and activist forms of pedagogy.

    I’ll post all that as a separate post here on the blog and on Blackboard (with some additional readings on Blackboard).

  7. Where is the page to media? Rising Tide is willing to lend us their social media account as well as Occupy New England on the social media side. I am also going to contact the organizers for OWS in NYC. We probably need to get working on a press release.

  8. I would like to make a subreddit, should it be /r/Seedbomb or /r/Seedbomb Burlington? I feel like if we make it /r/Seedbomb then it can continue on beyond the life of our project in Burlington (if there are people subscribed and interested). Anyone could post any links with a description and comment on these links. You can also post self posts, which are just text, used for asking a question to the community or just getting an idea out there. I would try and make this subreddit’s presence known by “advertising” it on a couple other subreddits. What do you all think?

  9. Diego – I think it’s a good idea. If there isn’t a subreddit on the topic yet (e.g., maybe on seedballs, or re-naturalization, or guerrilla gardening, or something like that), then starting a general one – not a Burlington exclusive one – could be valuable. On the other hand, doing a Burlington focused one would serve our purposes for the next few weeks. We could decide tomorrow.

  10. Emily – When you say Rising Tide is willing to lend us “their social media account,” what platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, et al) do you mean?

  11. Here is a basic video on how to make a well crafted seedbomb…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aemxQ8bIEM

    For those who do not have the time, it is about 1/3 clay and 2/3 soil + seeds and a little bit of water. The water is applied sparingly so that the soil does lose its ability to keep a ball shape. After the balls are packed together they should sit overnight.

    This guy made it seem that you can literally throw it anywhere there is soil and it will grow as the bomb is “hit by the elements.” Digging a hole may be more effective but it is interesting to consider how resiliant nature can be in this demonstration.

    Wildflowers seem to be an easy option for us to put in the mix. i.e. wallflowers, daiseys, blackeyed susan. Veggies could be more difficult but also seem like an awesome way to promote local food production. Pumpkin patches along the bike path? and then come fall mad pumpkins (to be smashed?)…in the woods to spread seeds of course!

    • Here are some alternatives to the clay based bombs (which may be the best option but it’s still interesting to consider the others) http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ggseedbombs.html

      It seems most common vegetables would be difficult to propagate from a seed bomb but perhaps some of the more resilient and easily establishing vegetables like zucchinis, pumpkins and other squash could be tried out. As mentioned above wildflowers are certainly an option as well as herbs.

  12. (posted this in the other page as well)

    Should we get a note about this in the ENV-TALK listserv?

  13. Hey everyone, I got this email yesterday after posting about Seedbomb Burlington to Front Porch Forum:

    “Hello. I work at Edmunds Middle School. We are hosting a Day of Service on May 15th from 8:30-10:45 AM. We are desperately in need of projects for some of our homerooms and I think this would be a great project. Would you be interested in working with a group of 10 students and their teacher to do this?

    Let me know asap and we can talk details.


    This sounds like a great opportunity but their day of service is also on May 15th, when school is over. What do you think?

  14. I’d say that if anyone is available and would like to do something there, they should contact the school. Diego, could you reply to them and let them know that school is out then at UVM, but that you’d be willing to share their contact details with classmates?

  15. I’m sharing Bill Keeton’s reply to my question about native tree seeds that might be seeded (through a seedbomb/seedball method) in Burlington:

    “Interesting question. First, I would be skeptical that seedbombs would work effectively in an urban environment. Usually the soils are do degraded or compacted, and competition with weeds and invasives is so pronounced, that simple seeding won’t work…but it is worth a try. Choice of species will be critical: tolerant, fast growing, competitive, etc. Would be interesting to test which species mixes are more effective. Also, most vegetation established this way dies, in restoration project, within the first 3 years without tending, watering, weeding, etc. So a longer term monitoring and adaptive management plan is essential.

    “Species recommendations: depends on site characteristics and long term objective. There is a big difference between the species most likely to establish and survive (often weedy, less than desirable even if native) and those we would ideally want in parks, open spaces, etc. The former group would include box elder, black locust, and willow (on wetter sites); the latter group would include sugar maple, green ash (usually likes wetter sites, but is pollution tolerant also), red oak, and white pine. More than 90% of the seeds are likely to be eaten by birds almost immediately without some kind of cover (hay, straw, etc.).

    “My first choice of locations would be the long, degraded greenbelt between waterfront park and Northbeach.”

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