Earth Day will be here April 22nd and I wanted to do this post now so that if there is time this Easter weekend for family projects, this one could be added to the possibilities.
Seed bombs or Seedles are a mixture of dirt, compost and wild flowers seeds, combined and dried and then offered to any open space in need of some lovin`. They will break down, nourish the seeds, grow wild flowers and ultimately aid the bees who desperately need more support in their overworked lives.
Since the timing works this year, how about a different kind of colouring and then enjoying a reverse egg search?
For the balls you will need:
8 parts High clay content dirt
2 parts Compost
1/2 part wild flower seeds ( Choose seeds that are local for your area. Consider, light, water & zone ).
1 part Water
For the outside colourings here are some options:
Food coloring gel
Ground dried orange peel
There are several recipes on-line for making seed bombs but they all seemed to leave something out ( like how to colour them) or began with a $20.00 shopping list. So Jean and I got together today and sorted out a process that is fully shared here and depending on what you have around the house can be put together without shopping
The soil was full of bits and stones so I put it through as sieve as step one, creating a lovely earth, ready to be combined with some compost so the seeds had a good base to grow in.
Using a soup spoon, six spoonfuls were gently patted down and levelled off before being placed on the newspaper.
To the earth we added 2 spoonfuls of compost ( taking out any bigger pieces ) and then transferred it to a bowl where the water and seeds were added and everything was mixed up.
It was much too wet so an additional 2 spoonfuls of clay earth were added to the mix.
Give the mixture a minute to absorb the moisture before adding more liquid or soil if squeezing does not bring the ingredients together.
Get into the mix and squeeze the mixture together. These measurements were enough to make 2 golf ball sized spheres but they can just as easily be formed into an egg shape.
This next step is strictly speaking not needed but you know the kids are going to like it.
We tried straight coloured clay but the water content in the balls made the clay wet and sticky and not easy to get coverage with.
What was successful was mixing the coloured clay with white flour.
Option two was food colouring gel with white flour. I originally thought the moisture might liquify and darken the gel but we had a nice range of pastel shades. The gel will give you variations of bright (true) colours and the clays will be less bright and more muddled in their tones.
The orange on the top left of the picture below is ground dried orange peel and we also played with ratanjot, an Indian root, that gives a red/purple tone to food. It was mixed into flour as well.
I pulled the clays, orange peel and ratanjot from my soap making supplies but it is absolutely possible to finish off the bombs with a simple mix of flour and food colouring gel. Start with a drop in 3 tablespoons of flour, mix well and then adjust to suite your preferences.
A second roll of the balls after about five minutes may be helpful with some coatings.
If you decide to play with other things from the kitchen for colour, such as spices, give a thought to ph and do not turn to anything too acidic or alkaline as it can effect the viability of the environment when the seeds germinate.
Allow the balls/eggs to dry for a couple of days. Dry on a cooling rack so that the air can get around the entire ball. Then on Earth Day, have a reverse hunt with the kids through an appropriate area, hiding the seed bombs in the best locations for wildflowers.
The bees will thank you as will the world around you.
Fun with Wild Flower Seeds from My Kitchen Wand