Seed bombs!… our little clay soldiers. Our intention with seed bombing is to see as much food growing around us as possible. It is often thought that the world is in a food crisis, but we think that it is more of a knowledge crisis about where and how to grow food. We live by a lot of open, abandoned agricultural land that never seems to be used, so we are excited to catapult these babies- okay, strategically place them- into our surrounding area. Here, we balled up some apple, pomegranate, and persimmon.
There are a variety of materials you can choose to make seed bombs with. During the 1970’s, the green guerilla movement in New York apparently tossed balloons filled with broken tomatoes over the fences of empty lots- not very environmentally friendly. Plenty of degradable materials can be upcycled into seed bomb packaging: old coffee filters, small cardboard boxes, paper envelopes..
We used natural materials to be the most discrete. We made a 1:1:1 ratio of powdered clay, all-purpose sand, coconut coir fiber, and a little water. Basically, balls of cob with coconut replacing the typical straw. It’s important to use coarse, gritty sand, which binds well with the clay. We chose to add coconut coir for a more fibrous texture that can break apart more easily.
From what we’ve learned, you’ll want to choose your texture depending upon the climate that you’re throwing the bombs into. The more rain that you get in your area, the more clay you’ll need for your bomb to stay together before the seed pokes through.
For dry areas, you want more of a fibrous texture that will break apart with light rain. For us, we needed our bombs more loosely structured as we haven’t gotten much rain this year. By this time of year, we were supposed to have had over 12 inches, but so far we’ve only received 2 1/2! In our experience, it was harder to mold our bombs into balls because of the added coconut coir, but once they dry, they should hold together pretty well.
Depending on the fruit, you’ll have to prep the seeds or choose your site wisely to ensure that seeds will germinate. Some fruits require either hot or cold stratification to germinate, which means you’ll want to throw them right before a hot or cold season comes. Persimmons require cold stratification, so we’ll be throwing them pretty soon.
If you want to make extra sure that your seeds are ready to go, you can do extra prep of germinating seeds before you ball them up in cob. Some seeds require scarification, which means you’re pulling the outer shell of the seed apart before it can sprout. Each fruit may require something different. Here are some stratification and other germination requirements for various fruits:
for rare fruits:
for tropical fruit and vegetables:
Some other things to consider about your seeds of glory… Fruits sent overseas are normally pasteurized, so it’s necessary to purchase local or US grown fruit for viable seeds. We save seeds from all of the fruit we eat, so we end up with a lot. We like eating melons, pomegranate, figs, and many tropical fruits like kiwi, passionfruit, and dragonfruit because of how many seeds each fruit can produce.
Another important thing to keep in mind making sure that your plants will grow undisturbed. A lot of people think it would be neat to do seed bombing in common areas where people can see it. However planting in parks or near sidewalks is not a good idea if you have an active parks and rec service who will mow down or pull out any seed that looks new.
To allow plants to grow fruit, it’s best to seed bomb in places which go unnoticed, forgotten, and not cared for. The old, abandoned agricultural areas which no one regularly maintains will be a safe spot for bombing. There are patches of trees here and there which plants can grow behind inconspicuously.
Remember, every time you plant a seed, legally or illegally, you are making the world a better place,.. with more oxygen to breathe and more food to go around for people who need it. And, when people tell you that you’re a dirty hippie, you call yourself as a bomb-throwing, government terrorist bad-ass. Plan wisely, spread seed and prosper.