melt with us
by Sarah Lewison and duskin drum
published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest #9
“The refuse between mind and matter is a mine of information” Robert Smithson
One of the key concepts conveyed by permacultural practice is the reimagining of that which is in-between the barriers of a human built world: roads, fences, buildings. In permaculture, borders and edges are encounter sites where translation and adaptation between species encourages diversity and resiliency.
We humans also have edges. (1) We participate in multiple encounters and translations with the edges of other bodies within context-suffused mediums called “environments.”
The seed bomb is a permacultural meme that intensifies awareness of this participation. Popularized by microbiologist and farmer Yasunobu Fukuoka (2) and the New York’s Urban Guerillas circa 1973, seed bombs, a mix of seeds and compost rolled into damp mud balls, were also used by prehistoric farmers. Because seeds are lightweight, their mix facilitates distribution and germination by providing weight and protective cover; tossed over a border or fence, the ball, grenade, or bomb waits until rain melts it into the ground. As the seeds swell and cotyledons emerge, seedlings are supported by microbes and the chemistry of root and soil. (3) An amalgam of seeds, fungi, microbe and ground becomes a manifesto for the fullness of in-between.
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