DIY Home + Garden

Published on June 24th, 2010 | by Kelly Rand


Greenaid Brings Color to Urban Landscapes

Greenaid Seedbombs

Check out this great little green idea. Greenaid takes old gumball machines, rehabs them and turns them into “seedbomb” dispensers. The seedbombs are made from clay, compost and seeds and are perfect for the cracks, crevices and empty spaces found in daily life.

They can be temporarily placed in sidewalk cracks, empty planters and in missing concrete pieces from parking lots. Let your guerrilla gardener’s imagination run wild.

The seedbomb dispenser is filled with regionally appropriate seed mix, perfect for your climate and won’t be spreading invasive plants. There are not many dispensers currently in the wild, but you can change that. If you want a revamped dispenser for your community all’s you have to do is contact the company to either buy or rent a machine. said “Greenaid Fosters Johnny Appleseeds for the 21st-Century.” What do you think? Do you want a dispenser in your community?

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

22 Responses to Greenaid Brings Color to Urban Landscapes

  1. Nicole says:

    Yes! Definitely!

  2. Pingback: Greenaid Brings Color to Urban Landscapes

  3. This has nothing to do with the post, but I was wondering if we could subscribe by email to this blog through FeedBurner or something??? I always forget to check feeds, and this way, it goes FeedBurner sends new posts straight to the inbox!!???

  4. Zephyr says:

    This really is such a gorgeous idea- I wonder if they’re available in Australia yet?

  5. Pingback: Seed Dispenser | Providence Green Blog

  6. Justin S. says:

    Sounds good in theory, I suppose… but how well do randomly distributed seeds really do without water/tlc?

  7. pelly says:

    Great idea !
    Hope this will catch on.

  8. AxelDC says:

    The seeds are going to destroy roads and sidewalks already in need of repair. Their roots will cause those little cracks to spread, and then they will spread more seeds to fill the in cracks. Before too long, you will turn your sidewalk into rubble filled with pretty flowers.

    It’s basically a pretty way to spread urban decay.

    • frankie says:

      This is everything wrong with America. Were worried about pretty concrete rather than the beautiful nature we were meant to respect, not degrade and destroy. This just makes me want to seed bomb all of the sidewalk and tarred roads I can get my hamds on.

  9. Judy Phillips says:

    For more on this concept, check out the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, author of the One Straw Revolution and other great works on natural farming.
    As far as the effectiveness of randomly distributing seeds, that is just how nature achieves its goals, yes? Millions of seeds are dispersed. Perhaps only a small percentage lives to regenerate but they find their niche and begin the process of renewal with great tenacity.
    I have made thousands of seed balls–try it yourself! It is a wonderful meditation.
    The gumball machines are a great way to draw attention to this concept, but you don’t have to wait for a third party to bestow this gift. Lend a hand!

  10. Brian says:

    The rain does the watering for you! Great idea.

  11. Laura says:

    Wonderful! This reminds me so much of a book I read as a child, Tistou of the Green Thumbs. One of the best books I ever read.

  12. Candice says:

    I love love love this.
    Thank you.

  13. ReginaG says:

    I agree with AxelDC. This is a very very bad idea.

    As someone who lives next to a house with trees growing out the windows – and it’s a rowhouse so it directly affects the structural integrity of my house – and who already struggles to keep her yard within the requirements proscribed by city law due to “wild flowers” (e.g. no weeds higher than 8 inches), the idea makes me shudder.

  14. What? says:

    Sure, it’s a neat idea, but what about this makes it “green?” That implies it’s good for the environment. How does simply planting flowers improve anything from an environmental standpoint?

    It might improve the look of the urban landscape, but you’re seriously diluted if you think this helps mother nature in any way. In fact, these things undoubtedly create carbon emissions in their creation and distribution. By all accounts, they are probably carbon *positive*.

    • JR says:

      Habitat for insects (e.g. bees). A different mindset for humans—wild nature as part of the urban landscape, as opposed to just well manicured gardens.

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  17. Eva says:

    I don’t think this is a great idea, because most “blighted” urban spaces are in poor communities. If people had money to spend on seeds and setting up seed dispensers, they would probably not have big stretches of messed up, empty land.

    If someone started a project to plant seeds in those areas, I’d be all for it, but this means that seeds might end up in unwanted spaces where someone will just kill the plants anyway, and most people probably won’t buy the seed balls who live near urban blight.

  18. Pingback: Six Fun Gardening Projects | Wake Up World

  19. j morris says:

    I LOVE this idea….I am so sorry to see so many negative comments on such a great idea! Will we stop the wind from spreading seeds? I think not….this is a lovely idea!

  20. Ivo says:

    You can use poppy seeds for bread 😀 and make whole field red 🙂
    linum seeds too 🙂

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