Dig For Revolution!

We love self-published zines, but it’s frustrating when they go out of print like one of our all-time favourites, Graham Burnett’s DIG FOR REVOLUTION. So we decided to pop a copy on the blogosphere for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure…


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Allotments and Guerrilla Farming

This article was originally published in ‘GREEN ANARCHIST’, autumn 1989, the ‘Green and Black Economy’ issue, and was reprinted in Graham’s booklet ‘LAND AND LIBERTY’ in 1994 (currently out of print, sorry). Along with his booklet ‘DIG FOR REVOLUTION‘ it has become a bit of a ‘cult’ piece, inspiring a number of folks to take up allotments and get into surreptitiously ‘greening’ the landscape around them. Graham says he was recently quite tickled to find himself described as a ‘Guerrilla Gardening Guru’ in a mainstream ‘how to be green’ type book, ‘GREEN LIVING IN THE URBAN JUNGLE’ by Lucy Siegle!

Allotments and Guerrilla Farming

by Graham Burnett

Along with learning to build for ourselves, heal ourselves and create energy for ourselves, learning to produce our own food is both essential if we are ever to truly take control of our own lives, and is implicitly a threat to Capitalism as it makes a start towards breaking free of the cycle of supply and demand, liberating us from the role of passive consumers alienated from a real understanding of the nature of the world around us and the most important aspects of our day to day survival.

Of course the first prerequisite for growing food is land, the acquisition of which is financially beyond the means of most of us, something the Ruling class have had sewn up for centuries, even long before the Enclosure Acts of the 1600’s. But there are always holes- spaces in which we can move- call it the black economy, call it the green economy.

Allotments are more easily available than you might think, there are huge discrepancies between lengthy council waiting lists and the wildernesses of disused plots overgrown with couch-grass and dock. Applying to the Town Hall for an allotment is probably a waste of time, your letter will pass into the convoluted pipeline of bureaucracy, ignored by councillors too busy exchanging masonic handshakes with their property speculator friends. A more positive step would be to get in touch directly with the local Allotment Society, or, better still, take yourself on a tour round the allotment site. Get chatting to the plot-holders and find out which are vacant. On some sites this can be up to three-quarters or more of the total. If you are young and have a green mohican, the ‘old boys’ will no doubt treat you with suspicion, but politeness and enthusiasm will win them over, and after all, it’s in their interests that as many plots as possible are kept cultivated. Take over the plot and get to work straight away, and pay the annual rent when it becomes due (usually about £10 for 1/l6th of an acre (NB, this is a late 1980’s figure, it’s more like £20 a year now- ed.)). There are plenty of books about how to grow food successfully (I would particularly recommend the books of the late Lawrence D Hills, including ‘Organic Gardening’ and ‘Grow Your Own Fruit And Vegetables’ and Kathleen Jannaway’s pamphlet ‘Growing Our Own’, available from Movement for Compassionate Living http://www.mclveganway.org.uk. One golden rule to remember however is don’t try and do too much at once- you’ll exhaust yourself and your enthusiasm.

‘Guerrilla’ farming is another option, especially if you resent renting land or vacant allotments are hard to come by in your area. Apply a little vision to the land around you, railway embankments, back gardens, golf courses, car parks, overgrown bits of land at your work-place and so on. Then give a little thought to clandestine cultivations- the only limits are those of your imagination; herbs that thrive on poor soils could be grown amongst the thistles, rose-bay willow herb and buddlea on ‘desolate’ bomb-sites; a little known hole in a fence remembered from childhood explorations could give access to your local rich bastard’s grounds-sew your seeds here amongst the undergrowth or venture further and indulge in some scrumping from his orchard. Even if squatting empty property in your area is not an option (hello Neighbourhood Watch…) maybe the back gardens can still be put to use with a bit of cunning and stealth, or maybe seldom Visited corners of local parks and gardens-or even church yards? How about the flower beds that adorn your town centre if they’re not too well looked after-you could be growing your crops right in the heart of the consumerist landscape of the burger bars, chain-stores and supermarkets-imagine the irony!

Such secret gardens could be maintained with the minimum of effort- small amounts of compost could be carried in bags and weeds could be largely left alone except where they threaten to engulf your crop-they provide camouflage for your activities. Nor would you have to bother with orderly, tidy rows. A morning’s cycle tour of a few favourite spots could provide you with a week’s supplies, especially if you take advantage of all the free food that grows wild- nettles, ramsons, dandelions, chickweed, nuts berries and some mushrooms and fungi (make sure you know exactly what you can and can’t safely eat, however!)

A couple that used to live in Southend grew food on local railway sidings for years and were never discovered or interfered with. Clandestine farmers are out there now- why not join them in digging for revolution?

As Individual As A Fingerprint…

Hail Fellow Creatures,

It’s fair to say that humanzees (forget that ‘sapiens’ nonsense, you really ain’t all that) are more than a little obsessed with ‘individuality’. It’s an idea that’s used to sell everything from clothes to kitchens; how many times have you been told by advertisers that you should express your individual style by buying their mass produced car/shirt/sofa/wallpaper/sneakers/music/make-up/washing-up liquid/tampons/etc, etc?

In truth individuality cannot be bought, it can only be allowed to shine through. All too often the stuff you buy in the hope that it will make you a unique and noticeable individual only adds to the barrier that Mother Culture has placed between the human and the ‘natural’ world (the human/nature divide is itself an aspect of human mythology). True individuality is not a product which can be manufactured, it is a quality that grows naturally – unless hindered by outside forces like Mother Culture. Nor is individuality unique to humanzees; if you go out and look – really look! – at the world, you’ll see that every leaf, shell, scale, claw, beak, skin, feather, fur, tooth, eye, paw, fin, wing and exoskeleton is completely and utterly unique. Humanzees are nothing special; Neanderthals had bigger brains and as for those individual human fingerprints you like to brag about…

…so isn’t it time you humanzees took your heads outta the clouds and came back down to Earth and started acting like the primates you truly are. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll help to save your place on that Earth!

Rejoice, all is ours!

The Growillaz.

Photo by Mactographer licensed under the 
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Stencil #1

This is our first FREE Growillaz stencil. You can download a free PDF by clicking here.

Print it off, cut it out and use it mark the areas where you’ve been guerrilla gardening. Use mud instead of paint – adding seeds to the mix whenever appropriate – or use the stencil, a sponge and water – no soap! – to clean the image onto dirty walls. Be inventive. Experiment.

Mission Prep #1: SEED BOMB

Hail Fellow Creatures,

As we’re nearing the launch of our mission we thought it would be a good idea to go over a few basic tactics. Starting with our weapon of choice for waste-ground and neglected plots, the seed bomb…

As we’re still in the process of setting up our own videos we thought we’d let these humans tell you all about bombing…

<object width=”480″ height=”352″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xeagax?width=&additionalInfos=0&autoPlay=0&hideInfos=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></param></object><br /><b><a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xeagax_how-to-make-seed-bombs_lifestyle”>How to Make Seed Bombs</a></b><br /><i>Uploaded by <a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/5minHome”>5minHome</a&gt;. – <a target=”_self” href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/gb/channel/lifestyle”>Have a look at more lifestyle videos.</a></i>

From garden-fork.tv
From Richard Reynolds at guerrillagardening.org

Learn. Use. Enjoy. 😀

Rejoice, all is ours!

The Growillaz.