THIS PROJECT WILL BE FUNDED BY THE DAZED 100 IDEAS FUND, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CONVERSE
New York-based plant lover DJ Freedem, AKA the Trap Gardener, recently launched The Underground Plant Trade, a playful representation of reparations that sees white people donate plants to black people as a way of showing solidarity via the mood-boosting potentials of plants. “I want to get more black people into the plant game, and I also want to help people take care of the plants they already have,” DJ Freedem says. With a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund, DJ Freedem will expand The Underground Plant Trade and create a series of online plant workshops. “I want to help bring the power and peace and knowledge that plants have to offer us into people’s homes, and ultimately people’s lives. We're going to make this world green! Green-er!”
Got root rot, mealybugs, or a sad-looking snake plant? DJ Freedem has got you. Proving gardening isn’t just for caucasian owners of sunny, spacious gardens, but hot girl horticulturalists too, the Trap Gardener – as he’s also known – went viral last summer for his videos delivering “real-ass advice” for all your relationships – be they “romantic, platonic, or plant-based”. “The plants want me to relay this information to y’all ‘cause they tired,” the Atlanta-born, New York-based DJ says. “They tired of neglect, they tired of incompetence – and I’m here to help, bitch.”
For Freedem, personal and plant care are interconnected: “I want people to also feel the light at the end of the tunnel instead of just seeing it.” Like Beyoncé made Lemonade from lemons, he turned grief into growth, pouring his energy into transforming the once “desolate-ass corner” of his New York flat into a certifiable concrete jungle after he lost people close to him. Back again for a second season this summer, the Trap Gardener will be serving life lessons (and looks!) to get you and your botanic baes through these trying times.
How did you start doing the work you do, and what inspires it?
The Trap Gardener: A lot of my work has started by following the impulses that my spirit guides and ancestors pass onto me from the other side. My work is inspired by healing, the transcendence of self, as well as the situations, circumstances, and experiences that minorities such as myself may be subjected to.
When it comes to your work, what are you most proud of?
The Trap Gardener: I’m very proud of the impact that my work has had on others because I used to believe that I was on my own, and had to go at everything alone. I’m honoured to be in a position where my work can uplift and empower others in a natural, organic, and creative way.
“I’m honoured to be in a position where my work can uplift and empower others in a natural, organic, and creative way” - DJ Freedem
What or who gives you hope and why?
The Trap Gardener: My loved ones who are no longer a part of the physical world give me hope because they are constantly providing me with cheat codes and insight on how to deal with whatever is placed before me.
What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?
The Trap Gardener: I want to do a plant workshop tour or a series of plant workshops with local plant businesses to help spread the knowledge, healing, and transformation that plants bring into this world.
With the support of the Ideas Fund, Freedem is currently expanding The Underground Plant Trade, which sees white people give plants to Black people as both a playful representation of reparations and a way of showing solidarity at a time when institutionalised violence against Black people is daily headline news.
“I’ve seen so many people across the country happy with the new plants that they’ve gotten,” Freedem says in a new video introducing The UPT and his Dazed 100 project. Read more here.