Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dumb Stupid Stupid Dumb

Recently I made the understatement of the year, that On Guerrilla Gardening was "somewhat interesting."

Don't listen to me! I have no idea what I'm talking about! Who's that crazy lady? Why she saying stupid things like that! She doesn't even know her right from her left! Did you see how her one eye is kind of lazy? You can't trust a person with a lazy eye!

This book is awesome. I am inspired. And I have already made plans to attack some areas in my neighborhood, renegade-style.

So don't listen to the me from then, listen to the me from now. And GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK! It'll shake up your way of looking at things.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I Kind of Hate Being "Green"

Earth Week is nigh, and that means everyone's gonna start paying lip service to the idea of "being green" for 7 days.


Pardon my cynicism, but I hate "trendiness" and unfortunately being "green" has become one of those hip new trends.

And before you give me the smackdown, let me say this: I appreciate those folks who truly make the green effort. Who were doing it BEFORE the term "green" was being bandied about by folks like NBC. To those folks: I love you and appreciate the work you do. I really really do.

But my cynicism rides on the back of the trend-sucking "greensters," the folks who get elbow-deep in earthiness for a week and then go back to eating their McD's sandwiches, the folks who have turned environmentalism into a money-making scheme, the folks who serve sausage at an Earth Week event.

Yeah, you heard me correctly. I was recently invited to an event celebrating Earth Week, an event being held by a "green team," in which they are serving waffles, fruit smoothies, and sausage. SAUSAGE.

I'm sure you, my darling vegan friends, can understand my utter stupification without me even having to say a word.

But yes: sausage.

Because, as a friend of mine stated in response, "Nothing says sustainable like sausage."

Let's dabble in just a couple of stats here...

"Large hog farms emit hydrogen sulfide, a gas that most often causes flu-like symptoms in humans, but at high concentrations can lead to brain damage. In 1998, the National Institute of Health reported that 19 people died as a result of hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure pits."[1]

"Huge open-air waste lagoons, often as big as several football fields, are prone to leaks and spills. In 1995 an eight-acre hog-waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, spilling 25 million gallons of manure into the New River. The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfishing. "[1]

Hog farms are horrible polluters of both air and water. Horrible.

And yet: no one seems to note the ridiculousness of serving sausage at an Earth Week event.

When I brought this to their attention and suggested they perhaps consider serving veggie sausage instead (since, um, serving sausage contradicts the whole point of Earth Week) I was met with an uncomfortable and brief response in which they agreed to offer veggie sausage AS AN OPTION.

Now, let me put you straight on this: I'm not even arguing from a vegan standpoint in getting annoyed with this. I'm arguing from an "I hate hypocrisy, you dumb fucking idiots" standpoint.

Serving sausage at an Earth Week event is idiotic and oblivious and sends out a contradictory message to everyone in attendance.

It is the same thing as using styrofoam plates at an Earth Week event.


And having someone point this out to you, and then placating them with the reassurance that you'll have veggie sausage AS AN OPTION? Even MORE idiotic.

If the "green team" had obliviously stated they were using styrofoam plates at their Earth Week event, you KNOW they would immediately receive dozens of WTF responses to their activities. The difference is, there's no way in HELL they would respond by saying, "Well, hey, how 'bout we offer PAPER plates AS AN OPTION? We'll serve on styrofoam, but if you really want a paper plate, we'll have a few dozen there for you to take advantage of." Even the dumbest, least environmentally aware people IN THE WORLD would laugh their asses off if a "green team" were to offer this up as their remedy.

Offering veggie sausage as an option IS THE EXACT SAME THING.

Hey, as a vegan, I'm glad that I got them to offer the veggie sausage option.

But am I going to attend this event?

Hell the fuck no.

I am not reinforcing people's hypocrisy. And I'm not going to go support a group of people that aren't ashamed to be reinforcing the illusion that meat is NOT an environmental issue.

THAT'S why I half hate Earth Week. Because it makes all the hypocrites and dumbasses float to the surface for 7 days.

God bless those of you who really work your asses off in your environmentalism and *gulp* "greenness." Bless your generous, lush, dirty little hearts.

But to the rest of you: have fun doling out exorbitant money on "green" products and patting yourself on the back for how eco-responsible you are while you grill up your hamburgers on the grill next to your $400 composter.

Props. Douchebags.

On a more positive note:

May 1 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day!

So go grab some seeds and water, and Johnny-Appleseed some of the shitty, barren lots in your neighborhood next Saturday!




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Urban Gardening--WHAT WHAT!

I'm getting all hunkered down for gardening again this year. I've got a bunch of basil-seeds planted and propped up in my sunny windows. I've got some sunflower seedlings prepped (I'm going to plant them on either side of my entryway this year). I've got all my seeds bought--wildflowers, creepers, herbs, and peppers. I have plans to pick up tomato plants next month. And I'm going to start working on MacGuyvering my papasan frame into an herb garden, hopefully this weekend.

I'm nerded the fuck up about gardening this year!! So stay tuned for pictures once things start a-brewing!

I've also been reading a bunch about urban gardening and guerrilla gardening as of late.

So have a seat (ok yes, you're probably already sitting), and let's chat a little.

What is guerrilla gardening?

"Guerrilla gardening is political gardening, a form of direct action, primarily practiced by environmentalists. It is related to land rights, land reform, and permaculture. Activists take over ("squat") an abandoned piece of land which they do not own to grow crops or plants. Guerrilla gardeners believe in re-considering land ownership in order to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse and assign a new purpose to it."

These are the books I've gotten out from the library thus far (with many more to come), and I figured I'd share.

This one is my favorite guerrilla gardening book so far:

And this one is somewhat interesting too (though not as much as the other--it seems to be more historical) This one fucking rocks as well (perhaps even more, I've realized upon further perusal). The pic on page 68 of a 15,000 sq ft guerrilla garden actually made me tear up a bit. Definitely an awesome book:

My favorite tidbit thus far has been the idea of seed-bombs:


Love love love the idea.

If guerrilla gardening intrigues you, my city dweller friends, you can get more information on guerrilla gardening at Guerrilla!

I also found this book really useful as well (it's about urban gardening, not guerrilla gardening):

If you're a city dweller who's gardening from a small plot or on rooftops/balconies/fire escapes, this is a great starter book. They list out the best plants to grow under these conditions, including various tips on how to grow them and the best containers and all that. And they have general tips as well on how to grow out of containers, best soils, utilizing space, etc.

Good stuff.

Now get thee to some urban gardening and seed-bombing, loves!