Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wild Flower Bombs for Easter - Helping the bees

Do you ever wonder why planting wild flowers is important? Or why our bottom field by the river is always full of goldenrod and poppies? Because we plant for diversity to increase the food nd habitat for our pollinators. Our success as farmers is largely dependent on having our flowers pollinated and then harvesting the resulting fruits and veggies. As a planet, we can't afford to lose a third of our food production if bees and other wild pollinators fail to thrive. So each year we take a few hours and make wild seed bombs and spread them over the wild spaces on our property. We use native flowers, weeds to many people, and we also plant domestic flowers for their beauty too. It's a beautiful way to brighten up your yard too. 

Seed Bomb Recipe:
3 packages of wild flower seeds
10 litres topsoil (potting soil is too fluffy)
2 litres of well aged manure 

Add enough water to the soil and manure to make a sticky mix that will keep its shape if rolled into egg sized balls. Mix in the seeds. Roll into golf ball or egg sized balls and you're ready to go. Keep the balls covered so they don't dry out completely and use within two days. 

I've recently seen a video where coloured paper was ripped up into pieces, soaked in water for 15 minutes then put through a food processor until smooth. They squeezed out the excess water (it sort of looks like putty) put it into a shaped mold, sprinkled in seeds and then more paper mush on top. This made cute shaped seed bombs. Due to the seeds getting wet you'd still have to use within a couple of days but might make a good Easter craft. 

To use the seed bombs just plan to throw them out into your open spaces before a few days of wet weather. The soil and manure (or paper) will help to retain moisture as the seeds germinate and provide some nutrients. If you choose varieties that will self seed then you'll be starting a wild flower garden that will last for many years to come. 

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