According to an article in The Guardian, seed bombing (the technique of introducing vegetation – often wild plant species – into derelict/abandoned urban sites using compressed balls of earth containing a variety of seeds)  can be traced back to Japan and the ancient practice of tsuchi dango (literal translation – ‘earth dumpling’).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seed_Bombs_for_Monsanto.jpg
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seed_Bombs_for_Monsanto.jpg

There are various recipes for creating seed bombs, including this one – which The Guardian article draws from Josie Jeffery’s book, Seedbombs: Going Wild with Flowers:

Makes about 6 earth dumplings:

* 5 tablespoons of seed compost
* 4 tablespoons of terracotta clay powder
* 1 teaspoon of seeds (Note: Base this on poppy seeds as a size guide and add half a teaspoon more as the seeds go up in size.)
* 1 teaspoon of chilli powder as a pest deterrent (optional)
* Sprinkles of water at intervals (about 20ml)

You can also find advice on how to make an earth dumpling here.

We’d like to invite you to donate a earth dumpling (containing where possible seeds of indigenous species of wildflowers – remember, this is quite impoverished soil) to Furnace Park. Even better – donate an egg box containing 6 dumplings!

Your contributions will frame Furnace Park, bringing the whole length of the internal perimeter to life with flowers that will help maintain and increase the site’s biodiversity. (We’d really like to encourage planting that will attract butterflies and bees.)

It would be great if you could make a postcard about what’s in your seed bomb, perhaps with illustrations/poetry/words/haiku, etc, so that we can exhibit them on site in the summer, when the flowers begin to appear.

If you’d like to contribute an earth dumpling and postcard, please contact a.j.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk for more info

If you’re interested in gardening/landscaping and would like to get involved in designing and growing this site, along with our existing volunteers, then please contact a.j.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk