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applestar
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Made some seed balls

After gathering seeds from the flowers in the Sunny Meadow-to-be, I decided to try making seed balls. :D
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image3307.jpg[/img]
I estimate 200+ seed balls from 1/3 C seeds. It was more work than I anticipated since it took longer than I thought for the soil/clay particles to become elastic and form into balls. It required more moisture than I thought too. I hope the seeds don't try to germinate before the clay dries. We're having a really windy day today, so hopefully the airflow will help dry them faster. (I've moved the wire riddle insert to a couple of bricks supporting the edges for better air circulation).

I added radish, daikon, corn, bean, adzuki, soybean, squash, pumpkin, dill, basil, aka (red) Shiso, and sunflower seeds for edible additions, and some apple seeds for extra surprise although the wildflowers are mostly for sunny dry areas. Do you think there are 100 seeds in each ball? The bigger seeds needed bigger balls, but I made some much smaller balls for the smaller seeds. We'll see. :wink:

I have at least another 1/3 C, maybe even 2/3 C of seeds, so I gues I'll be rolling more seed balls. :roll:

Oh! I also added sprouting wheat seeds and brown rice for kicks, though I don't know if the brown rice will sprout (I've heard of people sprouting brown rice though, so maybe?)

cynthia_h
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OK, I admit it: I was left behind at the starting gate.

Thanks to your description, I have an idea of *what* seed balls are now, but :oops: don't know what they are *for* or how they relate to permaculture.

Wanna help an ignoramus (namely, me) learn something? Thx...

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

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applestar
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Tsk, tsk, Cynthia. YOU not know seed balls? :roll: JK :lol:

From With Masanobu Fukuoka, Sensei of Natural Farming by Jim Bones (1995)
https://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=4546389004&topic=3101
"Cultivating land is not good. It removes the green cover and exposes
the bacteria to sunshine. Just as we need clothes to protect our skin
from sunshine, our planet needs green. I have used my farm for fifty
consecutive years. There is no need to let it take a rest because I
have never cultivated it. If you just sow clay seed balls with one
hundred kinds of seeds, do not worry about water. Where there is
green, water comes. Do not think I do this, for only God has created
perfect things."

He completed a drawing, then as the silence grew long, we asked how
he got the idea of seed balls. He replied, "You know that daikon
radish seeds are in hard shells, well, I noticed that when they drop
on the ground, they decay as they start to sprout. So I realized if
they need a shell like that, then clay can be the shell for a ball
with many seeds inside."

Amazed, I said, "So they do not have to sprout on the surface, they
have the protection of the clay shell to begin with, and soil and
moisture. Its a small earth, a miniature earth, how beautiful, and so
simple." He regarded us carefully then said, "Many people are
interested in seed balls, but they do not act. I love best to give
children boxes of seeds as gifts because they scatter them so
innocently."

"Seed balls need at least one hundred kinds of seeds", he then
asserted. "One seed eventually makes ten thousand seeds. If you sow
seed balls, and wait three years, you will understand what Nature is.
It works much better than reading books about Natural Farming. Seed
balls are a small universe in themselves. I have written six books,
but I was unable to express what Nature is in words. So I decided to
manifest Nature in form. A seed ball is a one centimeter model of a
Natural Farm, with trees, fruits, vegetables and grains. I do not say
my one hundred kinds of seeds are the best. It is just an entrance to
Natural Farming."
Seedballs, the fun way to plant
https://www.gw.govt.nz/story18328.cfm

Permaculture in Practice: Seed Balls Project!
https://heron-in-community.blogspot.com/2008/02/permaculture-in-practice-seed-balls.html

Using Seed Balls to Sow Pasture Grass Seeds on a Small Permaculture Farm
https://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/seed_balls.html

(actually this is where I got the NZ article link):
We need a better name than "seed ball."
https://ask.metafilter.com/57174/We-need-a-better-name-than-seed-ball

I used the instructions from this link:
How to Make Seed Balls
https://www.wildflower.org/howto/show.php?id=17&frontpage=true

:wink:

cynthia_h
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Told you I felt like I was left at the starting gate...

I was only able to read part of Fukuoka-san's book online. I can't read large blocks of text online for very long w/out my eyes saying "enough"! (I can't watch TV much, either, for the same reason: electronic flicker/migraines.)

So, until I find his book "in the flesh," so to speak, I'll have to read a few pages here and there.

But the idea of guerrilla seed "cookies" does appeal to me. There's a house down the street with completely uncontrolled Yellow Star Thistle. They have a double lot, but the undeveloped side is just YST, no garden, no nothing.

Maybe I can "help" their yard via seed cookies of California poppies. This would be a good time of year to do it, and the poppies are native to the Bay Area; they're all over the place in the parks and other uncultivated land.

So...California poppies, plus whatever else I see on neighborhood walks that would self-sow during the (hopefully) wet winter coming up...hmmm... :twisted:

Cynthia

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applestar
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You know what? In reviewing the articles and links to post here, I learned something/realized some misconceptions. :roll:

One is Fukuoka-san said 100 KINDS of seeds. That probably means not necessarily 100 seeds per ball. Hmm I don't think my seed mix have quite that many variety, although I raided my stockpile looking for compatible seeds.

The other is the ratio I used didn't have quite as much clay in it. I don't know why, because I know I was thinking 1 seeds:3 compost:5 clay, but I got confused (too many sources/references, and I think I used 1 seeds:3 compost:3 clay, and there's another recipe that's 1 seeds:2 compost:5 clay. Anyway, that explains why it took longer for my mixture to form balls. Duh. :oops: I think part of my subconscious reasoning was that the clay I used is my subsoil clay (Blue Green Marl) so it would need more nutrients....

I think I'll try 1:3:4 ratio next time and see if that works better. :wink:

petalfuzz
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How neat! Applestar, are you going to make a meadow or throw them in a vacant lot?

I first heard of these from Rene Russo in an interview years ago. She called them "grenades" and threw them out of her car window onto the grassy area of the highway. I don't know if she made them or not, but she said they were mostly Poppy seeds--makes sense being in California.

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cherlynn
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:08 pm
Location: SW Florida

How perfect! I'm glad that you have started this project. I just might join in! I could tell you a few places that I would love to "throw" some seed balls! Are you planning on saving them for spring?

By the way, yours look like a delicious bowl of blueberries. I think I'm a bit hungry!

I'll echo petalfuzz...will it be a meadow or a vacant lot? Hmmm...Or perhaps a neighbors yard :-() !!!
cherlynn

petalfuzz
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I'm so excited by this idea for my parents house as they live in a new development and are surrounded by vacant lots. I just got back from Big Lots where they had seed packets for 10 cents each. So I got 50 kinds of seed for $5. I'll see how many seed balls I can get out of it. It'll be neat seeing what might pop up come spring...

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applestar
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Well, some are going back in the area designated my "Meadow-to-be" -- hopefully, with these, the seeds will grow up willingly and fill in the rest of the sparse meadow. :D

I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep some in the car for the kids to toss out 8) :wink:

Especially after being on the receiving end of neighborhood criticism, I've no opinion whatsoever about conditions of other peoples' yards. :roll: (well I do, but that's besides the point :lol: :wink: ) Live and let live, I say -- although the idea of poppies popping up in cynthia's neighbor's yard certainly gets a secret chuckle from me. :wink:

Petalfuzz, it's so great that you're making some too! Your parent's development will be the "best dressed" new development ever! :D Cherlynn, do join in the fun! I'd love to know what kind of seed balls you ladies are making. :mrgreen:

I'm going to have so many seed balls by the time I'm done -- I'm thinking of using them as gifts for like minded friends. :wink:

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applestar
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Found this passage in One Straw Revolution
There are some vegetables,
such as spinach and carrots, which do not germinate easily. Soaking the seeds in water for a day or two, then wrapping them in a little clay pellet, should solve the problem.
I think I'm going to try this. I was planning to sow spinach this weekend! :D

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

From out of nowhere, in the Western sky, comes...a mail-order catalogue in my mailbox today.

Thumbing through its contents idly while eating "dinner" (a meatloaf sandwich from last night's leftovers, and a small bowl of applesauce, plus tea), turning pages with my left hand, sandwich in my right, my eyes scan the pages idly, brain glazed over, until...

What?! is?! this?!

Paraphrase of text: "8 of these items are sufficient to plant 8 square feet. Three varieties are available: Mesclun (mixed salad greens), Wildflowers, and Seeds of Hope (all pink varieties of flowers)." Price...etc.

Whose catalogue? :arrow: www.vermontcountrystore.com

Just enter SeedBallz :shock: :D into their Search bar.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9



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