[permaculture] why - On Seedballs
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Tue May 31 23:17:13 EDT 2011
why - On Seedballs
Search this site
Restoration projects worldwide
"...[Wherever] there are seeds missing in the soil. All you have to do
is sow seeds.
- Panos Manikis
"[It] is not just for growing [plants], it is for the cultivation and
the perfection of human being"
- Masanobu Fukuoka
1 Why restoring, re-greening, regenerate ?
2 Why using seedballs in restoration ?
Why restoring, re-greening, regenerate ?
The following that may help you to understand, This is all taken from
Integrative Design Collaborative.
Limiting the Damage (still Degenerating)
High Performance Design
Design that realizes high efficiency and reduced impact in the
building structure, operations, and site activities. By focusing on
technical efficiency, this design approach may limit embracing the
larger natural system benefits.
A general term implying a direction of improvement in design- i.e.,
continual improvement towards a whole and healthy integration of human
activities with natural systems. Some people believe this is more
applicable to buildings and technology.
See "Green Design" with an emphasis on reaching a point of being
able to sustain the health of the planet's organisms and systems over
time. Sustainability is an inflection point from degenerating to
This approach thinks about design in terms of using the activities
of design and building to restore the capability of local natural
systems to a healthy state of self organization.Regenerative Design -
This starts with place-based design. By engaging all the key
stakeholders and processes of the place – humans, earth systems, and the
consciousness that connects and energizes them– the design process
builds the capability of the people to engage in continuous and healthy
relationship. There is continuous learning and feedback so that all
aspects of the system are an integral part of the process of life in
that place – co-evolution.
Whole System Integration Process
A process that seeks to optimize (make the best use of) the
relationships among key systems and entities in the service of desired
objectives. It's not a system if it doesn't have a purpose.This process
typically requires that the smallest unit of design be the largest
manageable watershed within which the project resides. If we only work
within the property boundaries, we are missing the point.
Sustainability, as currently practiced, addresses generalized and
planetary issues by limiting the intensity of the damage we cause.
Regeneration is local in practice, and addresses how we partner and
thrive in relationship with the unique social-ecological system of each
BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE TO IT
Why using seedballs in restoration ?
SEEDBALLS ARE NOT THE MAGIC BULLET
- Seedballs are a seed propagation method that are part of the no-till
agricultural movement. As such their use minimally disturbs the soil
ecology and structure. They preserve mycelia mats, bacteria populations
characteristics, and let the earthworms earthworming in peace.
- The seeds propagated in seedballs are not eaten by insects, birds,
rodents like seeds propagated solely on the ground can be. This leads to
enhanced success rate.
- The seeds propagated in seedballs are not blown away by the wind like
seeds propagated solely on the ground can be.
- Many agronomic techniques and improvement involve some sorts of seed
pelleting to improve germination rate, water/nutrients transfers, to
optimize germination timing, to improve handling, to fit machines (yes,
yes see lettuce seeds...) etc.
SEEDBALLS ARE NOT THE MAGIC BULLET
- The main concern raised by people when introduced to the concept is
that seedballs use a lot of seeds.
Let me write why I think it this is not a problem:
In ecological restoration where a lot of native species are used, and
seeds often hard to come by, nursery workers/volunteers feel that they
have to make sure that most seeds become plants that will produce seeds.
By very often over-pampering plants in native nurseries, they likely
send weak genes into the environment...
What you want to propagate in the environment when restoring ecosystems
is high quality information - stored in DNA - as well as long term
relationships - by focusing on above and below ground mutualisms.
Using seedballs is understanding that loosing seedlings is OK. Aiming
for a 100% success rate in restoration is mad at best:
It is a result of equating restoration to horticulture.
It is a result of simplistic anthropomorphism.
Imagine reallocating some nursery resources and volunteer time to seed
collection, sorting, treatment and seedball making....
- Seedballs are associated with guerilla gardenning not enough with
farming and restoration ecology...*
*I received a message from someone that did misunderstoond my point so I
just want to clarify:
I am just reporting the fact that people mostly associate seedballs and
guerilla gardening, not enough with farming and ecological restoration.
I agree with the fact that isolated actions (as rolling seedballs on
your dinner table, with some friends and good music) can have an
interesting impact on the whole system.
Nevertheless, I deeply feel that seedballs have a tremendous potential
in urban edible/medicinal landscape design, ecological restoration and
What I complain about is not the fact that seedballs are associated with
guerilla gardening, but that they are mainly associated with it.
It makes of seedballs a very marginal propagation method, seemingly used
by people that think alike, look alike and vote alike.
Extracting seedballs out of the stereotypes generated by the words
"guerilla gardening" is what I try to do.
When you propagate seeds outside of your property (although that could
also be discussed) you become responsible of the consequences of that
This has to be carefully studied and planned. I've read about people
propagating mustard in California where it is a WEED.
Besides, one has to be very careful when changing things around without
the awareness/consent of the other beings sharing the same space.
It think that it is not polite; obtaining permission is more desirable.
Well that is a personal point of view.
Sign in Recent Site Activity Terms Report Abuse Print page |
Powered by Google Sites
More information about the permaculture