Guerrilla gardening: Lots to eat, and legal, too

TACOMA, Wash. -- When Kelda Miller finishes work, she rides around Puyallup, Wash., tending vegetable beds at offices, a church, some apartment blocks. In season, she'll pick fruit or greens, then head to her Sumner, Wash., home to a garden filled with enough produce for her to sell from her bicycle trailer on weekends.

What's unusual about Miller is that none of the spaces where she gardens are hers. Her gardens are on other people's land, the fruit she picks on other people's trees. It's called guerrilla gardening -- and it's legal, productive and surprisingly easy to do.

Other reasons for guerrilla gardening are obvious from her chamomile-scented kitchen: a food cupboard that supplies herbs and fresh or canned produce year-round for little cost. Miller also is a renter, without permanent land of her own. There are other reasons to guerrilla garden: beautifying unloved land, growing food for the hungry, building up soil. It's fairly simple to do: Just ask landowners if they mind you improving their garden, picking their fruit or taking a cutting.

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