Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chuckit! 14S

"Hello.  My name is Joe.  I am a guerrilla gardener."

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening is the premeditated act of committing agriculture on property one does not have explicit permission upon which to garden.  It can be as simple as tucking a single bean seed into the window box at a business.  It can be as brash as tilling up an entire vacant lot, the ownership of which is hopelessly entangled by remarketed mortgage bundles and defaulted middlemen.

My guerrilla gardening project for this year is to help Mother Nature seed water detention swales with native trees.

This swale is next to a local Big Box store.  The open water is approximately 250 feet long by 70 feet wide.  The grassy, fenced in area is approximately twice as big as the open water, or almost an acre.
This project is complicated by the fact that the majority of these swales are fenced for safety reasons.  The sides are steep and the bottoms often have standing water in them.  A toddler would not stand a chance.

So how does one plant seed from a distance?

The Chuckit! 14S

You use one of these.

How well does it work?

I decided to find out.  I went to Northwestern Elementary School's parking lot.

I was throwing from the north end in the hope that the slope would minimize rolling of the test subjects.
I threw five walnuts by hand and measured the median distance.  Then I chucked ten walnuts and did the same.  The reason for the larger sample with the chucker is that I wanted to have enough samples to dilute any learning curve.
Unfortunately, the walnuts rolled after contact.  Fortunately, they left behind physical evidence of where they impacted the pavement.  The median distance for the hand-thrown walnuts was 29 paces.
The median distance for the chucked walnuts was 68 paces...more than twice as far as the hand-thrown nuts.
As you can see, the walnuts smacked the pavement pretty hard.  That suggests that they will punch down through standing grass and might get close to mineral soil.
I had two misfires where the nut slipped out of the cup.  You can see that these walnuts do not completely fill the cup.  One landed fifteen feet in front of me.  The other landed behind me.
One can use this tool to plant smaller seeds if one mixes the smaller seeds with clumping kitty litter and form round dirt clods of the proper sizes.  Also, one can launch small fruit....persimmons, plums, large crab apples, etc.... with the seeds still in the fruit.

This tool can also be used to chum for fish.  One can either freeze lumps of sweet corn or one can mix corn with flour to form corny-dough balls.  Some people swear by complicated concoctions of flour, oatmeal, sugared soda-pop and yeast.


  1. Using that tool with Fukuoka's clay balls would increase diversity of plants.

  2. Using that tool with Fukuoka's clay balls would increase diversity of plants.

    1. Yes. Most of the swales are planted to a monoculture of brome grass or tall fescue. Even a few legumes and perennial sunflowers would make a huge difference.

  3. Are you another commie eco-warrior? :)



    Wow! You even have a flag!

    1. Commie: No. I have no illusions of harvesting anything I plant. I am paying it forward. Nor do I intend to deprive the legal owners of any of the prerogatives of private property.

      Warrior: Yeah, I aspire to be a warrior.

  4. up in Hesperia where I used to live, in about 1980, we had people doing this same thing. I was friends with the county sheriff. he asked me who owned the acreage north of me, and when I told him it was an elderly farmer, he said, that someone had been planting random marijuana plants along the edge of his fields. their airplane flyovers had been spotting them. I never heard anymore about it, but I avoid the area from then on, and I had permission to hunt there. I just didn't want to run into anyone trying for an inconspicuous harvest.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.