Episode 299 – Solutions: Guerrilla Gardening

by | Jan 14, 2015 | Podcasts | 24 comments

The problems are obvious: food safety scandals, the death of family farming, food supply insecurity, the revolving door between corporate lobbyists and government regulators, and many more. The solution should be equally obvious: rolling up our sleeves and getting in the garden. Join us today as we explore this simple, natural solution to one of our most fundamental problems.

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China’s “Garbage Fed Beef” Food Scandal
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Chiquita Banana Terrorist Connections?
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Genetic Fallacy: How Monsanto Silences Scientific Dissent
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Wave Of Suicides Among Indian Farmers
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FY2013 Annual Report on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas in Japan
Time Reference: 13:12


Episode 241 – The Truth About the Gene Revolution
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William Engdahl: Seeds of Destruction
Time Reference: 17:38


5 GMO Myths Busted
Time Reference: 19:45


Joel Salatin – Folks, This Ain’t Normal
Time Reference: 27:23


The EyeOpener Report- How to Boycott Big Food
Time Reference: 32:48


Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Time Reference: 35:52


Introduction: My Community Garden Journal – Week 1, 2015
Time Reference: 44:18


Food Is Free project
Time Reference: 46:27


Food is Free Project: How to Build a Raised Wicking Bed!
Time Reference: 47:14


“That’s the Catch (Question Everything)” by Henk Mutsaers
Time Reference: 53:23


Become a Corbett Report member
Time Reference: 53:47


  1. most inspirational podcast as of yet.

    thanks james!

  2. Wonderful stuff James!
    See what is happening in Havana, Cuba!
    You tube this: Urban Food Growing in Havana, Cuba

  3. The best, and I mean the BEST book on gardening is John Jeavons’ How to Grow More Vegetables than You Ever Thought Possible… In print for forever. If you look at the comment section on amazon, you’ll find people who have many years experience gardening singing all manner of praise for the book, and novices saying things like, “no big deal” and “nothing useful.” I can assure you that the books is profound in its wisdom. However, you must understand that John’s book describes a total system and to get the benefit, you must throw out everything you’ve heard and do EXACTLY what he says. I had the honor and pleasure of attending his weekly seminar for a couple of months at his spread in northern CA, drove for 6 hours to get there. It was incredibly worth it.

    You must have some in-ground space to practice his methods and full sun at least 6 hours a day.

    I have had mixed success with container gardening. Right now I’m having lots of difficulties because I live very near the ocean and the salt air is problematic for gardening. Also, I tried to convince my neighbors to allow me to put in a small patch of veggies where there’s sun in the common area, but they are incredible jerks and said no (they are jerks about other stuff, too.) So I don’t have enough sun for most veggies. But I try anyway and grow sprouts and microgreens. Look this up, very healthful and easy in your kitchen, or balcony if you protect them from birds.

    Quite often in the many houses we’ve rented over the years, the condominium neighbors give me total grief about planting anything or even having potted plants. Geez, wonder what they’d say if we ran a prostitution ring or a meth lab. Unbelievable a**holes, but then what do you expect from Californians, who continue to wash their precious cars, lovingly, in the worst drought in decades. Can’t wait to move…

  4. couldnt disagree more with your odd and weirdly cold evaluation of the world. it sounds like you are trying to hit out at someone for something in your past, please dont put that onto other people. you might want to look up the definition of corruption while youre at it.

  5. As part of my blog on Penang I write a monthly series entitled:

    “Growing stuff on hot concrete – Gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in (December).


    I document my partly successful attempts to grow things, mostly on concrete, near the sea, in the tropics. It is much harder than growing food in more temperate zones, and neither local nurseries or online resources have been much help. This may be of help if you have similar circumstances.

    • Thanks for your tips. I actually do those things, except for the predatory birds – which I see flying around but I don’t notice them swooping on squirrels.

      Mike Adams on http://foodrising.org/ seems to have a new idea on easily growing food, and I am looking forward to what he comes up with.

  6. can you block people on here ? lulz

  7. i think its best to get off your 10,000 ft high high horse if you want to talk about the ‘high horse phenomenon’ – ill leave it at that because this guff is spoiling my enjoyment of this website.

  8. wish i could say the same for you.

  9. I’m entering my 3rd year of gardening, did it pretty classical the first 2 years, learnt a lot, but too much time for low harvest. Now I’m preparing the ground for permaculture (invented by a the japanese Masanobu Fukuoka, heard about him James?), it doesn’t require water nor much human intervention. Have to recreate a forest-like soil, it’s a lot of work at first, but after few years it’s supposed to find it own equilibrium, not even need to plant seeds. Here is the latest picture I have, I hope to be ready for spring 🙂 https://twitter.com/mammique/status/556063536707665921/photo/1

    I’ll keep you posted on the result.


    • Sadly there are dozens of news like that everyday in France since the 7th of January :-/ Mosques being attacked. People jailed for tweets, Dieudonné arrested (and guess what, the law permitting this has been passed in November, how convenient). Tough days to endure in front of us… :-/

    • I would be interested in hearing how your efforts to create a “forest like soil” and cultivate food in a way that emulates nature turned out. 🙂

      This is a process my wife and I are continually engaged in our young urban food forest.

  10. Thanks for sharing that, Al Saleh. I’ve retweeted your post as well. Glad to see you getting involved and seeing what you can source locally. As I say, no one can make a 100% change overnight, but even changing our habits a little bit at a time is still making a difference.

  11. Awesome! Isn’t Brittany’s soil poluted by pigs BTW? That’s what I’ve heard.

  12. Thanks for this James. I would love to see how your gardening efforts are going now a days! 🙂

    It was a pleasant surprise to find you gave a shout out to my buddy John’s Food Is Free Project.

    If you liked the concept behind the Food Is Free Project I would suggest that you check out a similar project run by another friend of mine (Andrew Barker) called “Grow Free” based out of Australia.

    Here is a link to where you can learn more: http://www.growfree.org.au/

    and here is a TED talk he did about his project “Free food for all: give what you can, take what you need | Andrew Barker | TEDxAdelaide”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Yc–wIsPU

    Both John’s and Andrew’s movements involve investing in the Earth and aligning with the abundance that is innate in nature via embracing what some call “gift economics” (see: http://sacred-economics.com/sacred-economics-chapter-1-the-gift-world/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GoFzU3cRE4
    for more info).

    The patenting of seed, agricultural monopolies/monocultures and commodification of nature (along with a number of other dynamics you have comprehensively outlined in your work) have led us to where we are now, the opposite (saving seed and sharing, growing food in a way that emulates the diversity present in a forest and sharing the resulting abundance freely in our local community) can begin to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on our human family by psychopaths and parasites.

    It is for times such as these that Gandhi used Satyagraha – the force of truth to resist unjust laws and empires peacefully and non violently. In nature one of her most innate truths and constants is her irrepressible capacity for regeneration. We can align with this innate facet of the living planet that sustains us and become irrepressible as well.

    It can begin with something as simple as a handful of seeds, a heart full of hope, a willingness to closely observe and emulate nature and a lot of tlc. Each of us can contribute towards this important form of resisting the new world order. Whether it is a balcony garden, a community garden or a full back yard urban food forest, every bit counts and helps move us in the right direction.

    Thanks again for this excellent material James. May you future harvests be abundant and provide not only nutritional nourishment for you and your family, but also food for the soul.

  13. That is a great comment and attitude Craig. I share your vision of leaving the plutocrats behind and allowing their systems of oppression and control to wither and die by rendering them obsolete. I find it especially interesting contemplating your use of the term “new normal” in the context of today.

  14. Loved this episode – thanks for the Flashback. Actually, Joel Salatin’s book Folks, This Ain’t Normal is required reading for my homeschooled children. We’ve discovered that revolution starts by feeding yourself. Year two of our garden has been much more successful than I ever dreamed. Therapeutic and revolutionary. Just do it.

    Another great book for perspective is The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

  15. This is precisely the video that motivated me in early 2017 to start gardening. I haven’t stopped since. Thank you James for this video

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