Seedballs made by students dry in the sun
In our last report we introduced the seed ball method of reforestation and learning how to make our very own seedballs.
Seedballs are widely advocated, especially in Kenya and surrounding countries, as a great alternative for rapidly reforestation. Our teacher Mahandry had good results in his part of the country and got everybody excited with this community activity as well. (Mahandry works with the Seneca Park Zoo Society in Rochester, New York on reforestation in the south of the country)
We decided we will literally field test the idea. If it works, we may get many more trees faster while we continue planting seedlings grown by our gardeners.
For the month of August and September, schools are closed in Madagascar for the one and only break in the school year. In the southern hemisphere it is a winter break.
We thought we could combine fun with educational opportunities. So our teachers invited our students back to make seed balls. Not only did this give the children something to do, but they were rewarded with a lunch at school. And the teachers got paid, since there were working for us (this is not common.)
The result: 2750 seed balls.
Our seed balls are rather large. More the size of a tennis ball then the more common ping-pong ball size. With the rainy season coming soon, our school children are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to throw seed balls all over the landscape.
We currently have about a dozen seed balls per student, but we hope they will demand to make many more, once they see how fun it is to throw reforestation all over the landscape.
Ihanta and Markus
PS: The photo are from the days of the site visits by the team monitoring the progress.
17-20 Augist 2021 508 Seedballs reported
24 to 28 of August 756 seedballs reported
1 to 4 sept 524 Seedballs reported
14 September 2021 226 Seedballs reported
Seedballs drying in the sunshine