Friday, April 24, 2015

Guerrilla Gardening, Raspberries

Guerrilla gardening is the act of committing agriculture on property you do not own, nor are you renting.  In fact, it is land that you have no authorized claim to.  Typically, it is land that is under-utilized:  Little patches and odd corners that are difficult to mow or maintain. Guerrilla gardening is gardening the way our earliest ancestors gardened.  The seeds or plants go into the ground with a prayer of hope...and then they are mostly on their own.

Technically, it is trespassing and a breach of the owner's private property rights.  The only defense the guerrilla gardener has is that our activities are adding value to the property (which few owners object to) and we try to be as deft and light-footed as a flying bird.


I checked out one of the places where I had planted raspberry bushes last year.  My hopes were very low.

I moved the plants later in the season than was optimal.  They had 8-to-10 inches of new growth on them.  We had a dry spell shortly after I moved them.  Then they were buried with weeds after the rain resumed.

I was pleasantly surprised to find half of the plant survived.

I tagged the plants that were alive with a piece of natural binding twine.  It is neutral enough that it does not shout out "Here I am!"  Shovel in ground for size reference.

A close up of the base of the plant showing root suckers.  This plant is happy enough that it is spreading.  That bodes well for the future.
The planting is about 150 feet long and it is beside an old fence.  The property is a large field that was purchased by a speculator and plotted off into lots.  Then the Great Recession hit.  And there it sits.  That speculator got tired of paying property taxes.  He sold the un-sold parcels (nearly all of the original field)  to another speculator who sold it to where I no longer keep track.

I may never pick a single raspberry from this planting.  And that is OK.  It is not my property.  I have no rights to them.

Somebody may come along and spray the plants with herbicide.  That is OK.  It is not my property.

I like to think that somebody will be pleasantly surprised to find this stand of AWESOME "wild" raspberries at some point in the future.  And it is OK if that does not happen.  The birds will enjoy these berries even if no human ever does.

Filling in the holes.
I replanted where the bushes had died.  I will check on them again next year.


  1. Sneaky, and if it works, so much the better! Now if that'd been blackberries... :-)

  2. Sneaky, and if it works, so much the better! Now if that'd been blackberries... :-)


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