Seed Ball Program
Every year we see lakhs of trees getting planted in India by spending crores of rupees for Environment day. But has anyone taken a count of how many of these trees have actually survived? How frustrating it would be when you come to know that the sapling that you have planted has breathed its last due to lack of care and nurturing or due to cattle grazing.
In an attempt to combat the rapid loss of green cover, a Bangalore-based group ‘Uttishta Bharatha’ has come up with a novel weapon – ‘the seed ball’. A golf ball-sized mixture of red soil, seeds and cow dung, seed balls are an easy, efficient and cost-effective means of afforestation. The group, with help from volunteers who included schoolchildren, aims at planting the seed balls during the monsoon season to increase the green cover in areas that have scanty vegetation.
Educate our children to plant a tree today and reap its rewards tomorrow. Planting more trees will eventually reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and have a positive impact on groundwater levels. Mainly the seeds of fruit trees and trees that provide shades are used. Most of these seeds are of the hybrid variety and the trees bear fruit in a year or two. The germination success rate of 70 per cent. This method of planting tree is cost-effective too. The conventional process of getting saplings from the nursery, having them planted and taking care of them later would cost around Rs 400-500 per sapling. However, with this method, the seed balls cost roughly Re 1 per unit. This is because the volunteers who make the seed balls do it for free and ‘Uttishta Bharatha’ source inexpensive raw materials of red soil, cow dung and seeds from farmers in villages.
The idea of seed balls, often called earth balls, comes from the Japanese farmer and philosopher, Masanobu Fukuoka who was known for his revolutionary ideas in re-vegetation of land. Seed balls are often used as a handy weapon in ‘Guerrilla gardening’ (the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilise, such as an abandoned site, private property, etc).
How to Prepare a Seedball
It basically consists of a mixture of red soil (mud) and cow dung (Goumaya and Gobar) mixed with other bio-compost. The semi-solid mix is prepared by adding little water proportionate to the quantity of mixture after which a particular plant seed is inserted in it. These semi-soft seed balls are allowed to dry in the sun for 4 to 5 hours and stored to be used later. Students can prepare seed ball with adults supervision. Each student can make 150 to 200 seed balls. These seed balls are thrown near hills, lakes, ponds so that they sprout and become plants and eventually trees that help in capturing and retention of rain water. A seed ball provides the required moisture imbibed from rain water and manure for the seed to germinate, nurture and eventually grow as a tree. Seeds that are used mainly: Neem, Tamarind, Honge and seasonal fruits
Contact Details and Venue
Mr. Suhas at +91 9164410105
Mr. Nagesh TK at +91 9742449664
Venue: Nanjaigarahalli, Gouribidanur Taluk, Chikkaballapura District
Date: Second Week of October 2016. Exact date will be announced soon
Will be announced soon
Want to reclaim the green spaces in your city with plants of your choice, beautify your area and be an architect of your own surroundings? Then you’re welcome to be a seed bomber – Please register to volunteer in our next seed ball program