SeedleMe is an online store focusing on the production of seed bombs and their related products. All items are lovingly made in small batches from locally sourced, organic ingredients.
Our aim is fourfold:
- To explain and encourage the concept and benefits of no till agriculture – if soil remains mostly undisturbed and high levels of crop residues are left behind, soil erosion is almost eliminated;
- Provide a fun and easy means of sowing, growing and reaping region-specific flowers, vegetables and herbs;
- Promote awareness of Colony Collapse Disorder of the world bee population and encourage prevention/rectification measures;
- Provide employment opportunities for less advantaged members of our society through their involvement in the manufacturing process.
Development of technique
The technique for creating seed balls was rediscovered by Japanese natural farming pioneer Masanobu Fukuoka. In ancient times, it was used in Egypt to repair farms after the annual spring flooding of the Nile. Fukuoka lived on the mountainous island of Shikoku and, during the period of the Second World War, this Japanese government plant scientist who worked in a government lab, wanted to find a technique that would increase food production without taking away from the land already allocated for traditional rice production which thrived in the volcanic rich soils of Japan.
The concept: Why seed balls instead of seeds?
Seed balls do not need planting or complex propagation. They are scattered where needed (preferably on top of soil or compost), and nature completes the germination process. The balls are little nuggets of clay, compost and native seeds. This unique composition makes them their own mini ecosystem, protecting the enclosed seeds from birds, ants and slugs, and giving them the nutrition they need to have a head start. Seed balls do not require any gardening expertise. There is no need to propagate the seed, or even plant it – all that is necessary is to irrigate it after throwing or placing it on top of soil, and it will grow. Seed balls will also do equally well in pots or other planters.
Why numerous seeds per seed ball?
As not all seed is likely to germinate in the same year (or sometimes not at all), many seeds are included to try and ensure that at least some of the sprouts will grow from each of seed ball in the first year, even for those who are not green fingered.
Is it necessary to thin out the seedlings once germination occurs?
No - the seed ball will begin to grow as a cluster of plants, but will later disperse as the clay itself disintegrates and disperses.
Colony Collapse Disorder – declining world bee populations
Ten years ago, beekeepers in the United States raised the alarm that thousands of their hives were mysteriously empty of bees. What followed was global concern over a new phenomenon: Colony Collapse Disorder.
Since then, we have realised that it is not just the US than is losing it’s bees; similar problems have manifested all over the world.
- Diesel fumes and neonicotinoid pesticides both reduce bees’ foraging efficiency by disturbing chemical communications in their brains;
- Modern, intensive agriculture disturbs bee nutrition, which impairs their brain;
- Climate change interferes with the relationship between bees and the plants on which they feed;
- In addition, managed honey bees are afflicted by a range of pests, viruses and predators that have been spread around the world as a side-effect of international trade. The worst is the ominously named Varroa destructor mite, which causes brain development disorders.
Why it matters
- The honey bee is the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination, mainly by bees.
- According to available statistics, in the United Kingdom alone:
- Bees pollinate 70 different types of crops
- Make 6,000 tonnes of honey
- Contribute £400 million to the economy
The importance of bees isn’t limited to humans; by promoting the reproduction of angiosperms, or flowering plants, bees are also central to the survival of countless other animal species that rely on those plants and their fruits to survive. In fact, the earth’s entire planetary ecology has been shaped by bees.
How we can all help
In order to preserve our bees, we have to improve the environments in which they collect food.
According to the South African Bee Industry, the country’s single largest threat to the native bee colonies is that there will soon be insufficient forage for them in the Western Cape.
Every small action by each individual can make a difference, and the use of seed balls are a simple means of helping to counter this possibility by encouraging cross pollination and creating an environment suitable for sustainable bee forage.
Throw and grow a seedball today: Love your planet
Protect our future
UK Gift of the year winner 2017
UK Garden Retail Awards winner
Stocked by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and the Natural History Museum
All of the above varieties are also available in ‘Mix, roll, throw & grow’ D.I.Y. boxes
- Protea seed ball packs - Our national flower and arguably the most famous flora species within the Cape Floral Region. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004 and is the smallest and richest of the earth´s six floral kingdoms and the only one found entirely within a single country.
- Seed ball gift packs
- ‘Flutter, flutter butterfly’ - A mix of specifically selected native wildflower species suitable for attracting butterflies
- An increased selection of region and season specific varieties