Welcome to the Blog of Feministival, a non-profit do-it-yourself feminist festival which will take place in Istanbul, in June 2013.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guerilla Gardening & Moss Graffiti

This meeting is arranged in order to have fun while making greener marks in our surroundings.
It is a green peaceful guerrilla attack.

Moss grafitti
In this meeting, we would like to use moss graffiti, so-called eco-graffiti or green graffiti instead of spray paint, paint-markers or other such toxic chemicals and paints.
We can go around with our green elixir, a moss “paint” that can grow on its own, and a paintbrush to either write on walls or paint the cutouts we can make from simple images- like stencil.
It can also be
considered another form of guerrilla gardening.

*Several clumps of moss
*2 cups of natural yoghurt or buttermilk (experiment to see which works best)
*1/2 teaspoon of sugar
*Plastic pot (with a lid)
*Paint brush

Some add beer or water. In order to achieve a thick mixture, like paint, the amount of their addition to the mixture should be little.
If growing your moss inside you will also need a seed tray containing compost.
Corn syrup could be added to thicken the mixture as well

• Gather up as much moss as you can find (moss can usually be found in moist, shady places)
• Wash the moss to get as much soil out of the roots as possible.
• Crumble them into a blender
• Add yogurt and sugar; if you want to give a bit of nourishment pour a dash of beer.
• Blend the mixture until completely smooth. You'll want it to have a paint-like texture.
(If the mixture is at a consistency where you feel it will drip, add corn syrup until the consistency you desire is reached.)5

• Find a suitable damp and shady wall on to which you can apply the design you wish to grow using a paintbrush (either free-hand or using a stencil).
• If possible, check back weekly to either spray the design with water (to encourage moss growth, especially if you live in a dry environment) or apply more moss-paint. Soon the bits of blended moss should begin to re-couperate into a whole rooted plant – maintaining your chosen design before eventually colonising the whole area.

The success of the recipe itself can be very hit and miss and is very much dependent upon choosing exactly the right location and weather conditions; moss thrives in the damp and can most often be found growing near to a leaky drainpipe or rain-soaked wall. If you have difficulty finding the right climate in which to grow your moss, grow it indoors (where it can be frequently spray-misted with water) and transplant it outdoors as soon as it has begun to grow.

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening is political gardening, a type of nonviolent statement to bring about change in your community, primarily practiced by environmentalists.

Guerrilla gardening is a term used to describe the unauthorized cultivation of plants or crops on vacant public or private land.
For some practitioners, it is related to land rights, land reform, and permaculture. Activists take over ("squat") an abandoned piece of land, which they do not own to grow crops or plants. Guerrilla gardeners believe in re-considering land ownership in order to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse and assign a new purpose to it. For others, it is primarily an opportunity to beautify and improve neglected, barren or overgrown spaces.

Guerrilla gardening can be conducted either via secretive night missions or openly in an attempt to engage others in the idea of community improvement; regardless of which approach one takes, there are some basic steps that are important to successfully raise plants under the demanding conditions experienced by these gardens.

Almost every seedbomb recipe calls for powdered red clay which, unless you befriend a potter, is difficult and costly to get hold of. An alternative is using cat litter.


• Non-invasive seeds
• peat-free compost
• bentonite-based cat litter - this is important! Only bentonite-based litter can be used as a red clay substitute.
• Water
• Bowl
• cup/measure
• spoon/stirrer
• tray

gloves (bentonite is very drying on your hands)
old newspaper/sheeting

Here’s the recipe:
5 parts dry red clay (in this case cat litter)

3 parts dry organic compost

1 part seed (of your choice; wildflower seeds, native plant seeds, herb seeds etc.)
1 – 2 parts water


• Decide on the area(s) to be re-seeded
Gather and mix the dry ingredients in a large tub. There should be no lumps
• Add small amounts of water at a time to the dry mix and continue to mix well

• Roll little marble sized balls (about one inch in diameter) with your hands; balls should be firm and not crumbly.

• Dry seed balls in shady area for 24 hours before scattering them on top of the ground in chosen spot

• Watch for the growth. If made correctly, the seedling will be visible within 2-3 weeks, or quicker in warmer conditions. The process doesn't really speed up germination time dramatically, but when the seedling starts growing it has ample nutrients directly at its roots so will grow quicker and more healthily.

Seed bombs need three elements to be successful: the seeds, compost (for fertilization), and red clay/cat litter (for protection of the seed bomb and for the minerals in the clay). Seed bombs can be tossed or thrown into areas that need seeding. They will remain there undisturbed until rain begins to break down the seed bomb and germinate the seeds inside. Approximately 3-5 inches of rain is needed to break down the seed bomb. If rains are lighter than that, it will simply take more rain events to break it down.

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