Seed Planters Spreading Happiness and Color in a Busy City

Making urban spaces bloom!

Seed Planters Spreading Happiness and Color in a Busy City | Making urban spaces bloom!

John Chapman had a dream, the Washington Apples, reports. The 18th century pioneer wanted to end hunger by planting hundreds and hundreds of apple trees. From 18 years old, Chapman left home with a bag of apple seeds. He would spend the next 50 years wandering the East Coast and Ohio valley, planting thousands of trees.

Legend has it that the seed-spreader walked barefoot and slept outside, becoming part of the nature around him. This apple enthusiast, who we know today as Johnny Appleseed, planted thousands of apple seeds, making the countryside bloom.

In San Francisco, modern day seed spreaders are taking up Johnny Appleseed’s cause, reports EuroNews.Green.

Spreading joy and seeds
Shalaco grew up in central California near Yosemite National Park. Phoenix grew up in rural Wisconsin. Both spent copious amounts of time enjoying the beauty and serenity of the outdoors. When they met in San Francisco, they bonded instantly over their love of nature and their desire to reclaim nature in the city. Actually, on their first date, they learned that someone had stolen a tree from Shalaco’s neighbor’s garden.

Who does that?!" Exclaimed Shalaco. The pair spent the date replacing the tree. Since then they’ve worked together to replace and regrow nature in all of San Francisco's bare patches.

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But they aren’t your average gardeners. Just as Johnny Appleseed became known for his eccentric dress and planting style, Shalaco and Phoenix put a little bit of their own style in their “rewilding” adventures. For example, if you’ve seen a couple riding hoverboards down San Francisco's busy avenues, wearing flamboyant bee suits and throwing seeds into empty plots, you can guess it’s Shalaco and Phoenix.

If you’ve spotted someone shooting seeds out of a Nerf gun, or using a parmesan shaker to fill the streets of a city with flower seeds, it’s probably Shalaco and Phoenix.

Actually, the parmesan shaker is a bit of a story of its own. When Shalaco found the shaker in a thrift shop a few years back, he christened it the "the mega-epic seed shaker,” and gifted it to Phoenix, who’s turned it into an iconic symbol of SF in Bloom (the duo’s brand and social media name)

What to plant and how to do it
SF in Bloom’s eccentric antics have won them a following on social media and in real life as well. The pair have inspired Johnny Appleseeds across the country to take up their own parmesan shakers.

But they also use their platform to educate about the importance of planting native species. "Native can mean that it's either endemic or indigenous. Indigenous is where it's from the region, while endemic is where it naturally came to the region without human intervention and it benefits the ecosystem,” explains Shalaco. SF in Bloom sells seed mixes for the San Francisco area as well.

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In addition to spreading native species, Shalaco and Phoenix plant pollinator-friendly seeds, SFGate reports. In fact, bees inspired Shalaco to start the rewilding project to begin with. “I thought to myself, the world’s on fire, how can I make a difference? Well, I can increase biodiversity locally to support pollinators — namely bees,” Shalaco explained.

The two have other advice for seed-shakers around the world, like look for freshly turned soil and public property. And make sure the land is available, and not the site of a planting program already in progress.

With these tips, and their social media presence, Shalaco and Phoenix hope to make urban rewilding and seed spreading a global movement.

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