Sweet Idea for Seeding Urban Gardens

April 11, 2010 by

Photo from FastCompany

When she inherited a bunch of vintage candy machines from her dad, recent Otis College of Art and Design grad Kim Karlsrud and classmate Daniel Phillips thought of filling them with candy to try to turn a profit. This didn’t pan out but what did emerge for them was an idea sprung from their history of involvement with LA Guerilla Gardeners: Greenaid, a seed bomb distribution project.

Karlsrud and Phillips, joined by local urban planner David Fletcher, hope that their seed bombs, made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, will help transform forgotten gray spaces, from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians, into green areas inviting to the eye and the soul.

The guerrilla gardening team claim that “Greenaid is equally an interactive public awareness campaign, a lucrative fundraising tool, and a beacon for small scale grass roots action that engages directly yet casually with local residents to both reveal and remedy issues of spatial inequity in their community.”

The debut model, loaded with indigenous species identified by Fletcher, has taken up residence in L.A.’s Chinatown. Each machine currently costs about $500 to fill and send out, though if the project takes off, they anticipate the price will fall.

Karlsrud and Phillips are seeking business owners, educators, or just a concerned citizens, to jump on the seed bomb bandwagon to get Greenaid into their communities. The two will develop a seed mix as well as a strategic neighborhood intervention plan in response to the unique ecologies of your area and supply you with all the seedbombs you need to support the continued success of the initiative.

Photo from blog.makezine.com

If you’re a loyal reader here, which I hope you are!–you will know that guerrilla gardening is a favorite topic of mine. I’d love to see these seed bombs transform empty spaces into lush urban gardens everywhere. Penny candy for your thoughts?


  1. Katie Bee said:

    Woah – I want one now! I can just imagine how perfectly it would fit into the eco-cafe of my dreams. Do we know what kind of places are ordering these?

    — April 11, 2010 @ 17:05

  2. Garden Bon Bons said:

    Congratulations! I was sourcing how to use candy machines for my own seed balls just because its such a very cool distribution concept but I’m excited to see someone else doing it already – and so well. Good luck – and hopefully we’ll see these popping up across the country soon!

    — April 15, 2010 @ 15:07

  3. Kathryn miller said:

    The photograph used of seed bombs sprouting in this article is a copyrighted photograph, property of Kathryn A Miller. Greenaid has appropriated this photo without permission in order to sell their product. Websites that do not remove this image in a timely manner will be liable for legal actions. Please contact info@thecommonstudio.com for further information.

    Kathryn Miller
    Professor of Art
    Pitzer College

    — May 3, 2010 @ 02:06

  4. jussi said:

    masanabu fukuoka style!

    — September 30, 2012 @ 09:15

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