Johnny Appleseed paved the way for Seed Bombs

I’m proud to say that my adopted state of InDiana is the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed.


Oops! Wrong. He was born in Massachusetts, but (died and?) buried in InDiana.

AppleseedstampJohnny Appleseed was a legendary American who planted and supplied apple trees to much of the United States of America. Many people think that Johnny Appleseed was a fictional character, but he was a real person.

Johnny was a skilled nurseryman who grew trees and supplied apple seeds to the pioneers in the mid-western USA. Appleseed gave away and sold many trees. He owned many tree nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, where he grew his beloved apple trees and then sold or traded them. Although he was successful with his trees, Appleseed lived a simple life. He was a vegetarian, wore raggedy clothes, and was a very religious man. It is said that as Johnny traveled, he wore his cooking pot on his head as a hat (this may or may not be true)!

Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.

Johnny died at the age of 70; he is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling to spread his precious trees around his country so that people could enjoy apples. In 1966, the US Postal Service designed a 5 cent stamp honoring Johnny Appleseed.

Those of us today who prefer “a simple life” might want to follow in his legendary footsteps, by adding, not just apple trees, but diversity to the landscape. How about a seed bomb party? They’re all the rage. Or they could be.

Here’s a guerilla gardening site that shows various ways of making seed bombs.

Here’s a simple video for a basic recipe. The video features flowers, but seed bombs can grow all sorts of stuff. Trees, bushes, even vegetables. You might “companion plant,” by picking seeds that love to grow together in a stacked arrangement, shielding, supporting, and nourishing each other. For example, how about a Native American “three sisters” bomb: corn, squash and beans?)

Okay, now before you go and just scatter seed balls of any kind any place any which way, consider the following:

In other words, seed bombs are not just for empty public or industrial spaces that could use surreptitious middle-of-the-night regeneration by “guerilla gardeners.” They can be used as an alternative technique to garden planting as well.

In any case, Johnny Appleseed would feel right at home at a seed bomb party in the midwest. And we would be sitting at his feet, listening to his stories.

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