The mantra repeated in the horticultural trade businesses at this time is, if we don’t start a national campaign to promote gardening people will spend time doing something else. But, why go through all the expense and time of that when we have a younger generation that is very interested in horticulture already? The concern for us in the gardening business is they’re just not shopping at the garden center like mom and dad use too.
Don’t think the younger generations are interested in gardening? Your not looking in the right places. The newest expression of urban gardening is “Guerrilla Grafters”. Talk about taking matters into your own hands, literally. According to SFBay.com “Guerrilla Grafters bring fruit to the masses”. According to the article, Tara Hui is one of the founders of “Guerrilla Grafters, a renegade agricultural group that fruit-bearing branches onto public trees in the Bay Area for locals to enjoy for free.”
According to SFBay, “Volunteers in the Bay Area collect branches from the California Rare Fruit Growers association or pick up donated branches from backyard gardeners and regional orchards.” This bud stock is then grafted onto existing non-bearing trees like flowering pears. In the short video above you can learn what they are trying to accomplish.
There are a host of unanswered questions we could think up about this. That’s not the point, however. This crazy interest in grafting and gardening is what catches my attention. Grafting is not always an easy process, yet this 100 member volunteer group has learned how to do it, and are doing it. It is even spreading to other cities and countries. Call it “Guerrilla Grafting” if you like, but it’s still a form of gardening. If we in the trade are going to capture these peoples interest and enthusiasm it’s not through large campaigns, or media blitzes. It will be by providing the tools they need, and helping them spread the word of how cool gardening is via social media.
About Trey Pitsenberger
Trey is a nurseryman, author, and speaker.