I'm back. It's been months, I'm afraid my European friends are still waiting
for their seeds from George, they will come, and will likely germinate just
fine next season, please forgive. My wife and I have been working to find
the right spot here in the US for us and it may not be possible. She's
talking Czech Republic again every day, checking the house prices on the
Anyway, I have had some merry adventures with seedballs, effectively rolling
and distributing them through seedswamps and festivals across a swath of
territory from Chico, California to Portland, Oregon to Santa Fe, New
Mexico. I have yet to see them seed themselves in any one location, and long
for that three years in one place; one day to come, soon I hope. And yet, my
friend Steve reminded me that it never ends and there is never the last
place to go.
Regardless, I long to see my seedballs higher than my ankle. Right now, only
the wheatgrass is really coming on strong, though the sunflowers, amaranth
and assorted brassicas and other mysteries all look very promising.
It's great to see them doing well in this very desert climate. I've been
doing site remediation here for a fellow member and employee of the
Permaculture Credit Union. Basically, I gather compost, straw and other
organic materials, dig the rock hard clay until I can't dig anymore or hit
worms (in which case I stop right away and start to feed them with leaves,
straw, old food) and then lasagna top dress with compost and then straw for
the reflective power, essential in this scorching midday sun.
There are many other things to relate, including my brief meeting with
Vandana Shiva and her account of Fukuoka's stay at her Center in India ("He
did very well when he was with us"), but I want to chat about one thing in
particular that has come out of making seedballs over and over.
You wouldn't believe the frequency of the same questions: "But won't all the
plants grow up in one place?" "Why do seedballs instead of just planting the
seed." but the most interesting thing I have found recently is that managing
the germination of the seedballs is a multi-layered issue.
Basically, until this most recent time, I always rolled the seedballs, no
matter whether the mix had started to germinate or not. This last time
however, in the warmth and with having to water a second time because the
original mix dried out, I ended up with a bowl of sprouting seeds in the
mostly (20 or 30+ to 1) clay : compost mix. By the time I was ready to roll
seedballs, it would have required massive destruction of oh so lovely
sprouts, so now, the seedballs are no longer seedballs but are little
sections of diversity sod in a bowl getting ready to be transplanted.
It strikes me that though it is a different technique in many ways, it is an
interesting extension of the seedballs as designed by Fukuoka and has a
place in the gardener's method kit where rapid establishment is important.
I cannot confirm that planted seedball sod will actually take very well, but
will update when that info is available. I am waiting for the sprouts to
develop some true leaves but am worried because of how dry it is here.
I am thrilled to see Tim Peters here and all the rest of the new folks. Tim:
George Stevens of Synergy Seeds tipped me off to your work and situation as
a byproduct of our three way collaboration with Larry Haftl. I wanted to
meet with you in Oregon when I was there, but it was difficult to remember
everything I wanted to do and we couldn't find our way to settle there.
I should go, my wife would like help hanging the laundry.
Roll seedballs folks, it's the most pacifist, inspiring and ecosystem
creative method of gardening and landscaping I have ever encountered.
Shahara: I remember your first post and wanted to respond to it as well as
some of the interesting things on your other websites. I hope you and your
community are well and that you will share with me your journey as it is
But go I must, for now,