Guerilla Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Downtown Kansas City

| 7/14/2009 9:35:21 AM

Last Wednesday after leaving the courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, I found the next site for a guerrilla garden. Camouflaged in the concrete jungle stood four large planters in a crooked row—two small, two large. In the largest sat two petunias, one blooming purple trumpets heralding the arrival of a liberating army. 

guerilla gardening
A garden can grow in the most unusual places. Photo By loosends/Courtesy Flickr 

I reached into the largest planter and crumbled a heaping handful. It crumbled effortlessly into a nice loam, a mix of vermiculite, small grains of sand, compost and . . . potting soil! The gears in my brainpan spin...tomatoes, basil, marigolds, nasturtium, parsley, PERFECT! 

I am locked in a meditative trance, pinching dirt, lifting chest high, then crumbling as I drift off to some distant paradise. One day our rain waterways will be managed by wildflowers and mycology. We will have aqueducts over our highways of electric cars and maglev commuter and bullet trains made from salvaged and recycled aluminum, and the green stretches beside our roads will be lush with public gardens organized through philanthropy and small grants to each 5-acre swath divided by community. There would even be allotments for the destitute worked through volunteer effort and outreach to the homeless. I long to see Eden.

“Hey, man,” breaking me from the future, a guy in a dirty dishwater T-shirt and jeans accosts me with his palm outstretched.

“Sorry, man, I’m strapped for cash myself,” I say, returning to my thoughts and crumbling dirt, the man watching until he begins to mimic me and crumble the soil.