GUERILLA GARDENING


Hopefully, something in the future will be published, but in the meantime my claims of indigenous land rights extends to the role of the gardener and the immediate areas he or she is in contact with. Though we live in a civilised society there will always be a tendency for humanity to assert control over unregulated people, as was the experience of the Aborigine in Australia and the Indian in America. My main perspective is to couch this in terms of urban indigenous living, in the heart of a city. As a result of my experiences with the Peckham-based Spike project I came up with the philosophy of IMP - the Indigenous Movement of People. I am happy to hear your comments on this. Unfortunately that project folded at a time when cash-strapped councils were selling vacant property to both rid the borough of an activist movement of squatters, and also raise desperately needed funds for over-bureacratised management systems. I discovered that there was a permaculture sentiment to this level of impermanence, that social groups could just move on and work on something else. As I retreated to my backgarden and the railway line behind it my next level of opposition came from spiteful, jealous neighbours who, despite declining all my invitations to join me and celebrate, persistently complained. It led to a gang of men chainsawing and chopping half the fruit trees down one day when I wasn't around. After 8 years and more of cultivating food out there I knew I had to go further afield. I left nature to recover my losses and some of those trees bounced back, but not many. Besides, the no-hopers who complained all got moved on when the housing assocaition decided their house needed renovating, but I am dis-inclined to interfere any more. All charges were dropped as I argued my case for a group effort of vounteers and students who created the space. And of I course I did Network Rail a service by cleaning the place up, but the subversive manner in which they destroyed the area without first approaching me with letter, word or rule wonders at their motives.

So that said only the greater wilderness remained to my evolution and I began work living in the Catalonian countryside. There I have found inspiration to write most of my recent books, not least to begin the process of setting up an eco-community based upon spiritual development. See Book 5: The Carob Pod: An Anthropological Guide to Permaculture for a review of volume 1.

The first two rows of pictures show the railway line. Below this some derelict buildings, especially old greenhouses that can have substantial equipment left behind. The next two lines show a strawbale thatched roundhouse in the Which? garden at Capel Manor, a protest group in Pembrokeshire National Park who temporarily squatted a reconstructed Iron-age village, temporary festival work, an interesting pice of land privately owned next to a railway line and anticipating a school project, and further down scenes from the allotment project during work days and fairs. Then on the very last line pictures from Brockwell Park. You can probably just catch us planting an apple tree in commemoration of Jim Scott who formerly was a member of the UGF crew. Festivals should be considered as acts of guerilla gardening because they are temporary cultures that transform and inspire for future generations. Much of the recent guerilla gardening movement has also been politicised so that many groups dilute the true value of the event by seekng permission. Remember, guerilla gardening is about activism and reclaiming the law of the land. Thus, the last photos indicate the Spike project (now bulldozed and evicted) showing how a landfill site through volunteer community efforts was radically changed into a training centre for the homeless, activists and asylum seekers.

Courses

Guerilla gardening
Backgarden permaculture
Spanish permaculture
Cob building
Green wood
Children
Gathering centres
Habitat surveying

Volunteering