Pint-sized Guerilla Gardeners

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Delighted by a kindergarden class at the Susquehanna Waldorf School in Marietta. Spent the morning watching them stir compost and soil and seeds, roll the mixture into little balls, then joyously plant them in the school’s garden as Mother Earth eggs.
pict0001Their teacher, Ruth Kasl, shares her recipe: “Combine two parts mixed seeds with three parts compost in a container. Stir in five parts powdered red or brown clay. Moisten with water and mix with your hands until pliable.

Pinch off a small amount and roll into a tight ball. Set the balls on newspaper and allow them to dry for 24 to 48 hours – they can be stored in a cool, dry place until ready to sow.

Lay out seed balls in late winter or early spring at a density of about 10 or more per sq yard. They will germinate when the time is right.

The seeds should be from a variety of plant species native to your area to start an instant thriving ecosystem. Try to include at least one nitrogen-fixing plant (like soybeans, clover, or alfalfa) if you are planning to sow the balls in barren pieces of ground where growing conditions are poor.”

pict0023Ruth says that “Since we were sowing these in a wildflower garden area at school and at the children’s homes I chose fragrant flowers that should grow easily to make a carefree mix while providing plenty of nectar for pollinating insects. In this mixture of seeds today there was white yarrow, cornflower, sweet sultan, wallflower, forget-me-nots, sweet william, sweet alyssum, four o’clock, evening primrose, nicotiana, and nasturtium.”

What a sunshine-filled morning in this happy classroom. They didn’t want me to leave, showing off their newly emerged butterflies, favorite shoes, and the Mother’s Day presents they were making.

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