Phillipsburg NJ, Mar. 26, 2011 — Make Seed Bombs! Declare war on barren landscapes, vacant lots, and abandoned or neglected property. On Earth Day, Sat., Apr. 23, 2011, at Perfect Christmas Tree Farm, learn to make green grenades, organic missiles to throw or drop or scatter anywhere you want wildflowers and grasses to grow.
Seed Bombs are made of clay, fertilizers and seeds, formed into balls the size of a marble and dried. Citizen-farmers who want to revegitate the environment toss them onto the landscape. They contain all the seeds for a complete habitat. The seeds are already planted but remain dormant until released by timely rains. This cheap, low maintenance method of revegetation and agriculture requires no water, other than natural rainfall. Without plowing, seeds germinate and explode hundreds of sprout to rehabilitate vacant lots, schoolyards, local parks, roadsides, wildlife habitat and communities.
Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese microbiologist and soil scientist who is considered the founder of ‘Natural Farming’, inspired this simplified approach. He worked for over fifty years, throughout the world, implementing this beautifully simple method of rehabilitating damaged lands. It is commonly referred to as Nature Gardening or Do-nothing Farming.
Seed bombs are easy and fun to make. Children especially love to mix the ingredients and roll them in their hands. Since they are made mostly of clay they can be formed into many shapes.
For adults there is ample place to express childlike creativity and gain satisfaction in healing and beautifying the earth. Mr. Fukuoka, said “…. scatter them so innocently. Sow seed balls with a child-like mind whenever, wherever…. Give yourself to whatever you do one hundred percent or not at all, and do not doubt. Everything will be all right. Just spread seed balls and Nature will do the rest.”
Seed bombs have four basic components – mixed seeds, soil humus, red clay and water. Native seeds are mixed together, then in the correct proportions, the seed blend, humus, clay and water are mixed and rolled into small clay balls. They are dried in the open air for 24 to 48 hours after which they are ready for broadcast. It takes at least 10 seed balls, or about 1 per square foot to establish trigger points from which the vegetation can spread. Volunteer from Washington Community Garden prepare to make Seed Bombs during the Earth Day Celebration at Perfect Christmas Tree Farm with anyone willing to get their hands dirty.
Other activities planned for Earth Day are the showings of the movies ‘Mad City Chickens’ about backyard poultry and ‘FLOW’, an award winner about safe drinking water. “There is a Swap Meet planned where people come out to do some old fashioned Bartering,” says Cynthia Curtis, the event organizer and the farmer’s wife. “Barter services and goods for other things, with other people,” she says. “Its a great way to meet people in the community, to learn about their interests and abilities. Goods for goods; services for services; services for goods and goods for services, its about self-sufficiency”. An 8X10 space includes a table and costs $10.00, which benefits the Highlands Tourism Partnership. And there is an Earth Day Art Contest open to Artists in grades 6 to 12. The prize is an American Eagle Silver Dollar. The submission date has been extended until Apr 18, 2011.
The Twin River Rounders, 4 players, banjo, guitar stand up bass, mandolin, and slide guitar, perform around straw bales that give people a place to sit and listen. There are also hayrides into Perfect Christmas tree fields to learn about the 45 varieties of Christmas Trees growing here. There is an Easter Egg Hunt, scheduled for 2:00 PM and Canine Good Citizen Trails after 12:00 noon.
“ Come celebrate Earth Day on the farm. We are giving away Conifer Seedling to the first 100 visitors,” says farmer John Curtis.