No matter how manicured your neighborhood is, we’ve all seen lots that look like this:
In addition to organizing a litter cleanup, or starting a community garden, Camp Stevens has a fun suggestion to deal with these eyesores: Seed Bombs!
A little bit of history: In 1973, a young New York City activist popularized seed balls under the name “seed grenades,” with instructions to make them from old Christmas ornaments or water balloons. Her idea was that urban “guerilla gardeners” could fill vacant city lots and fenced-off spaces with wildflowers and other plants by “bombing” them.
Now, they’re one of our favorite outdoor education activities at Camp Stevens. Seed Bombs (also referred to as Seed Balls) are a great way to help students envision nature in their neighborhoods – and to get just the right amount of dirty!
Supplies: (For 10 seedballs)
• 1 cup wildflower seeds (Try to go native – In Southern California, think poppies, fuschias or snap dragons.),
• 5 cups “finished” compost (or nice, rich soil)
• 10 cups clay
• 20 cups water
• Trays or boards to put the finished Seed Bombs to dry.
To make your Seed Bombs, start with two large pinches of compost. Flatten in the palm of your hand and put a tiny pinch of wild flowers in the center. Cover the seeds with a little more compost, then add a large pinch of clay and a few drops of water. Start molding the clay around the compost, into a small ball. Continue to layer on clay and water until the ball gets to the size you want, somewhere between golf ball and baseball size. Lay the finished balls out in a single layer, in a place where they’ll get a good amount of sun for 24 hours.
Once your Seed Bombs are dry, toss them in the area(s) of your choosing. The dried “bombs” will “explode,” and, with the help of the rich soil, next time there’s rain, a few of your seeds might just start sprouting.
Don’t forget to send Camp Stevens photos of your Seed Bomb destinations, both before and after!