The movement includes academics, students, business people, architects, planners as well as community workers, chefs, and a host of other professionals comprising the ranks. Would-be guerrillas can enlist in a troop online through sites such as guerrillagardening.org, a forum established by Richard Reynolds (“Britain’s 24th most influential gardener”), deemed the father of the modern guerrilla gardening movement. This movement is growing significantly in recent times, helped in part by the popularity of Twitter and other types of social media, which makes it much simpler to plan diggings.
In general, gardeners who are guerrilla either want to improve the appearance of a neglected piece of land or, in more recent times, tend to cultivate urban space by cultivating vegetables and fruit in urban settings. One of the most well-known examples for this would be the Incredible Edible Todmorden the project of guerrilla gardening which was started in 2008 that saw residents “adopt” areas of the town and plant their own gardens without permission. In awe of the displays and the ideas, the local authority began to collaborate with a group of guerrillas in the form of an Incredible Edible Network. It is now an international movement that promotes the concept of urban agricultural.
In the beginning (left) as well after being guerilla cultivated. Michael Hardman, CC BY-ND
Between between 2010 between 2010 and 2013 I conducted an extensive ethnographic investigation of guerrilla gardeners practicing their urban gardening throughout the Midlands, UK. After a bit of searching (and lots of luck), I was able to locate three groups who were keen to participate in the research.
The first group was made up of employees from local authorities who christened their group, F Troop – a reference to the 1970s American Western TV show with cowboys hopping around the countryside with no plan. In this instance, the troop realized that this name reflected their methods, which involved members rushing to the site of excavation and planting in a random manner. The group took over land next to the inner city dual carriageway, planting peas, nasturtiums and nasturt various other crops and even spinach alongside the road’s boundary. The main reason they chose to engage in this kind of activity was the excitement of escaping of the council’s land (their employer, not less).
The other was an elderly woman, who was enraged at the local authority’s inability to make an efforts to clean up the alleyways in the vicinity and alleyways, decided to clear the area of trash. Then she set up raised beds to grow vegetables. Thirdly, there was an entire group of females who took over an area of greenery in an area of deprivation and converted it into a community garden. The reason for their efforts was to get fresh produce closer to those who required it, as the majority of people who lived around the site were eating poor. They chose to go down the guerrilla method in order to avoid the notion that getting official approval was too laborious and could only hinder their work.
Three examples of these show the diversity of those who participate in guerrilla gardening. From the more radical but middle-class experts in F Troop to the group of women from the working class who have adopted a vast area to benefit those who live there, guerrillas are from diverse backgrounds, and each has their own motives for taking action.
As an academic researcher, the morals and the practicalities of working with the activities that are in the legal gray area were a bit tangled, for example the cities where the guerrillas pictured above were operating are not able to be identified in order to ensure the identity of the individuals who were involved. Another issue was created due to the reality the fact that I had been a part in the police Special Constabulary at the time.
There is a growing curiosity about guerrilla gardeners; however, most of the literature is presented in positive ways. There isn’t much critique in spite of the fact that the gardeners of guerrillas often take over spaces not only without permission from the local authority, but also without the consent of the people who live close by. Guerrilla gardening may be taking place at your corner of the street or on the grass verge, even without your knowledge.