To support the Johannesburg guerrilla gardening movement we also grabbed our shovels and helped remix nature within that bustling city. Together with our Joburg friends we built an enormous, symbolic, artful apple tree in an abandoned building and planted a real urban apple orchard at its roots. The best part: the friendships we forged there are forever!
Our Johannesburg Nature Remix Act is the perfect example of how kindred spirits can achieve amazing things. Let’s get to know our guerrilla gardeners a little better:
“My grandmother introduced me to urban farming. She taught me the value of growing your own food and the fundamentals of farming. When I’m gardening, I’m in my comfort-zone. Then I find my happiness. Living in the city isn’t easy. But when I’m in the garden, all those thoughts, they’re not there. It is just me and the plants and the insects.”
“When I look around this concrete jungle, all I can see is that the love in buildings is lost. There’s a disconnect with nature in each of us. We ‘modern people’, have lost touch with Mother Nature. Try to visualize how it was 10,000 years ago! This all looked totally different then. I believe it’s good to be involved with nature. I think it’s nice to get dirty!”
“The more I study plants, the more I realize they have so many amazing benefits: edible plants, medicinal plants, all improving our air quality... There’s really not one bad thing about them. When I see broken down urban structures and look at all the different plants growing there, I believe, with their positive effect on urban spaces, they’ll save the world.”
“I’m a human rights activist and I’m involved with an organization called ‘Miss Earth.’ We focus on women and future generations. It’s nice to be able to teach them how to grow crops and plant trees. Teaching them how to take care of nature could be the next best solution for the world. I work for our planet, Mother Earth. That’s how I see it.”
“I’m a craftsman. I make leather accessories. But I felt most proud when I started an indigenous tree nursery in Botswana. I grew and replanted as many as 2000 trees! And they’re still there! To be surrounded by greenery and trees feels natural to me. I want to leave something positive behind. So, yes, it feels great being part of this.”
“Before I was invited to help build this awesome orchard here, I planted a couple trees in my life. That was when I realized I wanted to learn how to grow my own trees and plants. Now I grow my own vegetable garden for my family. I think that’s important. Younger people don’t even know where food comes from… Ask them and they’ll point to the supermarket!”
Our friends each do a fantastic job bringing back nature into their local communities, but together they perform miracles. It took us all two weeks of heavy, dedicated labour, but it was tons of fun.