"Green bombs" that generate life

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If one of our evolutionary leaps as a civilization occurred when the human being began to cultivate the land instead of collecting its fruits in an itinerant way, now a revolution in urban agriculture is brewing, on a much smaller scale, but more spectacular, that of the so-called “green bombs”.

It is a small peaceful revolution driven by so-called “articultores”, or artist-farmers, who throw balls of earth, clay and seeds into abandoned green spaces to restore greenness. They are inspired by the "green guerrillas" of the United States and Great Britain and show that ecology and agriculture can be very creative and versatile.

The “articultores” movement (, whose motto is “art + orchards + community” is promoted by Judith Villamayor, an Argentine artist who worked on planted sculptures and figures made with seeds, cereals and food.

Two of his sources of inspiration are the American activists 'Green guerrillas' who transformed abandoned soils into gardens in New York City in the 1970s, and the more recent British movement 'Guerrilla gardening' (Guerrillas gardening). ), who sought to beautify abandoned spaces in London.

To fill the neglected lands with beauty and edible vegetables, Villamayor and other participants of the so-called “guerilla huerta”, apply an idea of ​​the late Japanese biologist and farmer Masanobu Fukuoka: some balls of clay and earth that contain vegetable seeds that sprout with the rain.

This group calls meetings where volunteers learn how to make and also make "seed bombs", which are left to dry for two days before being thrown.

These “bombs” (“seed bombs”, in English) are thrown in vacant lots where they cannot be accessed in any other way, and in public or private spaces, always in daylight, so that the neighbors know their activity and continue tending and reaping what was sown, if they so desire.


To learn about the activities and objectives of these ecological guerrillas who carry out their "attacks" in Buenos Aires and various Argentine cities and carry out periodic educational workshops in other cities, such as Madrid (Spain), Efe has interviewed Judith Villamayor, Articultores coordinator, who reveals the careful crafting of these "seed bombs."

"They are little balls of earth, clay and seeds, about two centimeters in diameter, kneaded with water and allowed to air in a place where there is no direct sun, so that they do not break," he explains.

“The earth will be the first food of the shoots. The function of the clay is to harden it a little so that no rodent or bird takes it away and that, when it falls apart with the rains, it will build a kind of "little bed" where the rich soil does not run very far from those shoots and can contain humidity for longer, ”he says.

According to Villamayor, clay "is necessary but we must not overdo it, or use refractory clay, because it will not dissolve in the rain."

To make the culture balls, the “articultores” suggest using garden seeds, because they have a short life cycle. The most suitable are chard, spinach, beets, lima beans, beans, corn, sunflower and amaranth, according to Villamayor.

The expert adds: "Using this type of seeds we help to make people aware of the need to consume food that is produced close to home and this is also achieved by means of such beautiful vegetables as ornamental garden plants."

"" The seed bomb "or" nendo dango ", in Japanese, is an oriental cultivation technique, which is proven to be the most efficient to recover lands desertified by man," according to Villamayor.

Articultores are made up of a group of non-profit people who are interested in art, free culture, caring for the environment and urban gardens, and who promote the free transit of culture, food and people, according to indicates Villamayor.


“We do not get involved in the monitoring and use of what is sown and our objective is that the neighbors themselves‘ attack ’their own neighborhood, and use it in the way they agree. We are only a nexus of integration, and a stimulus to new projects, ”says the movement coordinator.

According to Villamayor, its main theme is free culture: “sharing knowledge, creating crops together and increasing resources such as memory, water, orchards, seeds and forests, as common goods. That will make us more responsible, free and tolerant people ”.

He also points out that the operation of Articultores has changed over the years and "now it is the same neighbor who writes us sending us the address of vacant land so that we can go and 'attack' it."

"The latest messages that are reaching us are from parents or neighbors who have access to a neglected public space, for example in Madrid (Spain), La Plata (Argentina) or Bogotá (Colombia), and who want to throw" bombs of seeds "of vegetables to make a wild garden that, unlike the organic garden, does not require attention," he highlights.

Although according to the spokesperson for Articultores "groups appear or disappear, and may even be fashions", so before joining this movement "it may be better to ask yourself what is one willing to do to improve the place where you live and how you can contribute to leave a much richer legacy than the one he enjoys now, instead of impoverishing it ”.

What is our footprint? What do we leave in our transit through this time and space? What can we do better for our children and grandchildren? What values ​​can we 'tattoo' on the skin of the world? pertinent questions, according to Villamayor.

Who concludes: “The important groups are those that include our family, friends and the neighbors of the neighborhood who saw us grow up, they are the ones that come together to work in that abandoned field on the corner and manage to pull out squash (pumpkins), aubergines and spinach. , as well as enabling a time share and smiles won with our peers ”.

EFE Green

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