Guerilla gardening hits Houston: Rambos on a green mission seed bomb the city
It's possible that gardening conjures up images to you of a refined leisurely activity accompanied by jars of designer iced tea, gloves and the matching straw hat. But One Green Street's Sherry Eichberger — the retailer's owner and green rebel, aka sergeant Sherry, the original guerilla gardener — had a different idea Saturday night at t'afia.
Horticulture war was the mission and the enemy consisted of unkempt parcels of land scattered around Midtown.
This was no dainty affair. "Guerrilla Gardening: Mission Possible I" morphed about 50 Houstonians into an eco-conscious virile militia to be reckoned with. People even donned camouflage-chic attire for the covert yet happy operation.
La resistance gathered at t'afia for camaraderie, cocktails and bites courtesy of Monica Pope (her chickpea fries are quite the heavenly creation) and to pick up ammo prior to running amok. Such supplies included a powerful sling shot made from recycled materials, GreenAids cartridges — biodegradable seed bombs containing wildflower seeds indigenous to the area —and a coordinating bandana to identify friendly troops that also served as a memento of the assignment.
Included in the fun? A mother and daughters team — Cheri Gossett, Jeannine Peace and Devon Kocian — in matching outfits. Peace — who sells handmade brass, gold, silver and gemstone jewelry at One Green Street where her sister will be installing eco-art next week — got in the spirit by testing the strength of their artillery.
One hundred feet? Not bad.
"I think of guerrilla gardening as environmental graffiti, "Eichberger said. "It's a fun way to get people together and beautify our city. In time, as the seeds germinate and grow, I hope for people to say, I (seed) bombed that."
She hopes to continue this tradition on a yearly basis, cataloging the efforts of the participants and recording the results, a service also offered by GreenAid.
For "Mission Possible I," Eichberger partnered with REV Eco-Shuttle — Houston's all-electric jitney — to transport people to and from seven designated lots (four full fledged operations and three drive-bys) including the superblock at Travis and McGowen recommended by the shuttle's founder Erik Ibarra.
"I grew up in the area and have always lived here," Ibarra said. "When Sherry presented the idea to REV, I knew exactly where to go, so we made it happen."
For those with tired muscles, massage therapist Ashley Turner was on hand to add her own rejuvenating touch, with ambiance enhanced by the lovely soulful vocals of Grammy-recognized vocalist Kristine Mills.
In the infantry were Laura Spanjian, Heather Pray, Jessica Apgar, Jason Fuller, Shawn Manderscheid with Paula Hines, Michael Savino, John DeMers with his daughters Sara and Amanda DeMers, Washington Sereatan, Hanh Tran, Susan Christian, Miri Wilkins, and Monica and Fritz Colinet.