mercoledì 11 dicembre 2013

Guerrilla Gardening Techniques: Reinforcements.

Eagle 1 to Eagle 2: Where are those damned reinforcements ?

Let's be clear.

Alas, the guerrilla gardening is not entirely free of cost.
Whether it's tools (hoe, spade, gloves....), topsoil or plants, sooner or later you will be forced to open your wallets.

Let us try to devise a system that can be used to keep in your pocket a few pennies.

You could try to ask for money to friends and family (after that you have explained them that when you go out at night, overloaded with garden tools, you're not going to bury your worst enemy). However, I doubt that this system will earn you more than few pennies.
If you are part of a huge group, assessing yourselves is certainly the starting point, but do not count on getting back all the money you have spent.

When I was part of a group, I have attempted many times to solicit a symbolic donation but the results were quite disappointing. Usually, we didn't collect even the half of the money spent on flowers.

You could test the generosity of the Citizens: while you're on a strike, put a box for collecting donations, maybe with a sign explaining to passers-by what you are doing.
Again, do not expect the queue as if it were an ATM, especially if you're a lonely gardener.

If you are part of a large group, which has achieved many missions and which is well known by the Citizens, you could attempt to trade t-shirts, badges, stickers with the group's logo, and everything which comes in your mind.
Consider costs and benefits in advance: trade is always a risk. Apart the members of the group, it's impossible to know if someone else will ever buy your pins.

You could even organize a party: the extraordinary guys of Terra di Nettuno are very expert. During their parties, they accept donations for plants they have in excess. Their slogan is very clever "Adopt a flower!"

Attention to sell items during your attacks: you may receive heavy fines (and the seizure of the material) if you were not in possession of the required authorizations.
Remember that, in principle, you are doing something that would be responsibility of municipal entities: if your action was framed as a polemical gesture, probably you could have a miserable time.

Selling online can be intriguing but you should be very famous to achieve some results.
Richard Reynolds finances part of its activities in London selling online lavender pillows made with the crops harvested from his marvellous guerrilla lavender field.
Check for more informations and inspirations.

The supply of tools and other precious things
Instead of asking for money, try to launch a generic appeal about your needs of material.
Ask to your friends if anyone has any plant that they are thinking of replacing or if they're going to get rid of some garden tools.
Basements are bursting at the seams of hoes and shovels that grandparents do not use from time immemorial.
Getting those tools it's never easy: the old man who has preserved a shovel for thirty years, probably will not be so happy to get rid of it, even knowing that he won't use it anymore, but there's no harm in trying.

At first, your appeal may fall on deaf ears, but if you're known for your numerous actions (possibly in a fairly restricted area), you could get a rosemary plant for your next strike from a nice lady, or that an altruistic grandparent could surrender his old favourite spade.
In this case, be favourably disposed.
Make sure that the delivery takes place in the more simple and convenient way for the donor: go to pick the gift up.
Do not be squeamish: take up everything he has to offer, even rusty or broken hoes, or suffering plants. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Of course, this happens more easily in small towns as Quarto Inferiore, rather than in the center of Rome, but if you try, you surely won't harm anybody.

Don't overlook to create a dedicated page on your site or blog, something like my "Help the Jack of Clubs!".

Support and help
Money is not the most important thing, what the heck!
Seek the cooperation of the Citizens. Signs inviting passers-by to take care of a pot or flowerbed, rarely involve someone: usually, they manage to get a few smiles.
It's much more incisive a direct approach.
Explain what you are doing and why: they will be amazed to know that you are not a municipal worker and that you're working for free, just for the pleasure of beautifying your own town. Dare to pin down the unaware passer-by who has approached with direct phrases like "Can you give me some help?"
Many refuse, citing the varied and imaginative apologies (rheumatism, allergies to sunflowers....) but if you could find way into somebody's heart, even just one time, you surely have achieved the biggest goal.

Seventh Shovellers! About time too!

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