Seed balls are a wonderful way of planting trees in a way that doesn’t damage or disturb the environment. And that’s what three young girls studying at the Bangalore-based ‘My School’ realized when they were looking for ways to do tree plantation in their city.
The three eighth-graders-Sadiya, Meena, & Ashwini- wanted to take up a tree plantation drive but the problem they faced was a common one to city dwellers-there was no space in their school compound to plant any more trees. While researching tree plantation methods, the girls came across the seed ball method which was a perfect solution since it could be tested during an upcoming school excursion to Nandi Hills.
Devised by a Japanese farmer named Masanobu Fukuoka, the seed ball is basically a lump of clay and manure rolled into a ball with the seed buried inside. The balls are simply scattered across the plantation area with the clay and manure providing nutrition for the baby plant until it strikes its roots into the ground. The method is great for areas such as hills and forests where one cannot plough or dig up the land. And it was also perfect for school kids who wanted to make a short excursion that much more meaningful.
So the three girls learnt the method and collected suitable seeds such as teak. They also involved their classmates, so that by the time the excursion came around, a heap of seed balls were ready. And finally on the day, the seed balls were scattered over the hillside. When they go back to Nandi Hills another time, the students are looking forward to seeing their baby trees growing!
As temperatures climb and we cut down trees to make way for farms and cities, we need to plant new trees. And, as the students of My School have shown, there are some truly creative ways in which we can do this.