Seed balls and Seed dispersal this World Environment Day 2018

With the lessons learnt from last years seed ball making and dispersal event, we had tried to modify the way we conducted the seed ball and seed dispersal event this time.

Tree plantation is an easy strategy to cater to climate change mitigation as well as aid in climate change seed balls.jpgadaptation. In order to cover the vast tracts of barren and degraded lands with relative ease, rather than tree plantation, seed balls are planted or scattered in the vast tracts of land and left to nature to do its regeneration works. This activity is most preferred before arrival of monsoons. Benefit of seed balls scattering  over scattering the bare seeds  is that the chances of seeds being consumed by rodents or birds or other insects is avoided, also seed balls wont roll away easily or be blown away by winds or flown away by water easily and thirdly they will only germinate when rain has fallen and conditions are favourable for seeds to germinate. Thus if we look at resource efficiency and outcome it makes perfect sense to work on seed balls as chances of germination and making the barren land green are much higher with lesser effort.

To commemorate the Environment day – 5th June, seed balls and seed dispersal event was organised on 5th June 2018 at Nyari Dam ( 15 Km from Rajkot city) which falls under semi-arid region. The idea to conduct this event was to green the area near the dam while taking the benefit of monsoons.

What is a seed ball?

Seed ball is an ancient Japanese technique called Tuschi Dango meaning ‘Earth Dumpling’ where by seeds are encased in mixture of clay and soil humus. It was reintroduced by Japanese microbiologist Masanbu Fukuoka in 1938.  It’s a technique of introducing vegetation to damaged lands simply by scattering seed balls directly onto ground, and not planted.

To identify the success rate of this event over last years mega event we had identified smaller place to monitor and also one which was next to some water source. More over instead of just dispersal or rolling balls , we had dug a small hole to contain filling it with a little manure before the seed ball or seed was put. More over to identify the places for later date check where the seeds or seed balls were put we covered with the excavated earth and put little mulch around it. We are awaiting for monsoon to play its magic!

Event Highlights:

  • Total Volunteers:Activity was  supported by about 20 volunteers and nature lovers of Rajkot city.
  • Total seed balls and seeds dispersed :about 200
  • Tree of which seedballs used for dispersal : Neem, Jambu, garmado, khati ambli, sitaphal( custard apple) , goras ambli, khair, desi bawal, khijdo, kangachiyo,  karanj, khakhro, amla(gooseberry) , aritha (Soap nut) , kerdi, etc
  • About 14 volunteers cycled to the site from various parts of the city to show the solidarity of the purpose of going green.

In the next five years time, if nature is kind and monsoons are good while volunteers also take care of the this planted seeds and seed balls  it will transform this barren patch of  land into a lush green site. More over there would be arrival of wildlife, birds, butterflies etc. As the soil gets richer with humus and micro organisms, its water retention would also increase and thus a start of return to better environment and micro-climate.  So this will work not only as a greening initiative but a climate change adaptation strategy as well.

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