"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seedballing - Returning Natives to Suburbia

The project:
Make muddy, filthy, wonderful seedballs.

60 minutes

Why bother?
Seedballing involves mixing seeds in a mud/clay mixture that is allowed to dry. The balls are then tossed into areas that could use a little pick me up. When the rains come, the mud and clay break apart, exposing the seeds to elements that lead to their growth.

It is NOT intended for sensitive habitats. Introducing non-native species can be detrimental to the local flora and thereby fauna. Work with knowledgeable local experts to determine which seed varieties should be included. Some cities have park rangers

Our effort will focus on beautifying those abandoned open spaces, unimproved lots and boulevard medians currently overrun with weeds, or plain dirt. (We also opted to use native seeds in case they do spread out of their intended areas via wildlife, wind or runoff.) I've wanted to do something like this for YEARS, so when this opportunity arose to learn from a master, I jumped on it.

This video provides the basic info, but seems to focus on reseeding arid, open spaces outside urban areas. I do NOT suggest this without first seeking approval from biologists who specialize in and supervise the area.

Worth it?
It was fun for the kids, who did most of the ball rolling, and the adults, who both rolled and socialized. We've only tossed a few so far (into an untended median), but tomorrow morning we plan to hit up the dead spots along our regular walking route.


  1. I've never heard of this! The kids and I totally have to research this and do it...what fun!

  2. Glad to know I can help spread the word about NEW fun ways to volunteer. SO far, so good! :)


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