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Restoration projects - Worldwide


This is probably the most important page of this website. It shows people around the world applying Masanobu Fukuoka's seedballs in ecological restoration projects. Gathering information is a matter of time and serendipity.
It also shows projects applying contiguous concepts such as direct seeding.


The world of Seedballs

View Seedballs worldwide projects in a larger map

AFRICA

Greening The Desert: Applying natural farming techniques in Africa. An interview with Masanobu Fukuoka, by Robert and Diane Gilman, in Sustainable Habitat (In Context #14), Autumn 1986, Page 37.
http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC14/Fukuoka.htm

Kenya

The RainMaker project





Afforestation using seed-enclosing clay balls in Kenya a Japanese NGO, the Yokohama Art Project by Enokida Riyuu' 

Species list
Casavina equisetizolia, 
Cassia siamia, 
Cassia spectanilis, 
Croton megalocaspus, 
Cupressus lushanica, 
Leucaina leucocephala, 
Makuhamia Lutea, S
esbania Sesban,
pathodea campanulete, 
Tamarindus indica.

A total of 22kg of seeds were use for the project mix.

     RainmakerProject ケニア2007
RainmakerProject ver2.0 SATOYAMA SYSTEM


Videos

 RainmakerProject ver. 1.0
The Rainmaker Project[破]

The Rainmaker Project 2 [破]

Niger

Eden Foundation, Founded 1985 in Sweden, Active in Tanout, Niger, since 1987

The Eden foundation see here

AMERICA-NORTH

Canada

United States

California - Puente Hills Landfill Native Habitat Preservation Authority

Seedballs experiment final report available here

Hawaii- Leeward Haleakala¯ Watershed Restoration Partnership

"The Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP) was formed in June, 2003, and consists of 43,175 acres owned by two State agencies, one Federal agency, and eight private landowners. Non-land owning partners include the U.S. Geological Survey and Living Indigenous Forest Ecosystems (LIFE)." 

In her now famous book “The Polynesian Family System in Ka-’u, Hawai’i”, noted Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui illustrated the original Hawaiian concept of forest types that scalloped the mountain slope from the coast where most people had their habitations through the various forest types to the high mountain summit above treeline. As we do now, early Polynesian settlers utilized mountain areas as a source for their water, both for human use and agriculture. They harvested mountain plants and animals for food, utilitarian items such as cordage and barkcloth, for ornamental, ceremonial, and spiritual items such bird feathers for featherwork, some of which are among the finest ever produced by humans. Mountains were also the source of valuable hardwoods, such as koa. Koa (...) trees are a Hawaiian endemic species without near relatives in the central and eastern Pacific. Amazingly, the nearest relatives of koa occur in Australia and the Mascarene Islands (A. heterophylla Willd.) in the Indian Ocean (...). To settling Hawaiians, the high islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago must have appeared as the ultimate gift from their ‘akua (Gods). Of all the gifts that awaited them, fresh water, large flightless birds for immediate food, brightly colored red, yellow, and green birds, and thick, verdant forests, massive koa trees up to 35 m (115 feet) tall were among the most significant.  From these koa, Hawaiians continued the ocean navigating tradition of their ancestors, hewing massive wa’a (canoe) from koa logs dragged off high mountain slopes. Though once large abandoned, the sport of outrigger canoe racing has resurged and occupies an important and characteristic part of Hawaiian culture now practiced throughout the world. Though modern canoes are predominantly made of fiberglass, fittingly, the State Championship rules of the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) dictate that all participating canoes must be constructed of koa.  

Hawaiians could have scarcely fathomed that within the next 1500 years that these forests, at least on the leeward sides of the high mountains like Haleakala¯, would become so degraded that many of our modern world would have no idea that they had ever been there at all.  That not only would the great trees be gone but in most areas every other species of understory shrubs, ferns, and mosses as well. With them the birds, from the largest of geese to the smallest of sweet-singing songbirds would also disappear.
It is estimated that on leeward Haleakala¯, less than 5% of these forests, and these in tatters, with European and African grasses flooding their now well lit understory. In some areas, not only are the great trees gone, but this loss of once thick cloud forests has triggered the loss of 5-8 feet of tall soil, leaf litter and forest duff. It was these areas of south Haleakala¯ such as Nu’u and Na¯kula where barren, red soil ridges devoid of nearly all vegetation that former State of Hawai’i head forester Michael Buck called the State’s “biggest embarrassment”. That would be the case if that were the end of the history of this region."

- Excerpt of Leeward Haleakala¯ Watershed Restoration Partnership Management Plan



Photo: One of the last remnant patches of the native hardwood koa (Acacia koa) remaining in the southeastern corner of the Leeward Haleakala¯ Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP) in the Nu’u District, now part of Haleakala¯ National Park (A.C. Medeiros photo).



As read on the 
Leeward Haleakala¯ Watershed Restoration Partnership Management Plan,under Phase One Action Plan 2006-2010, Objective 3, Develop Koa restoration technology:

"(The field crew) will build six small exclosures to exclude ungulates in order to conduct experimental trials to develop restoration methodology evaluating the use of clay (seedballs) compared to recommended stocking level planting and controls."

When I asked A.C Medeiros, (Haleakala Field Station (HFS) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/Biological Resources Division (BRD)/Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC) program field leader; specialist in Hawaiian natural history; currently in Ph.D. program with Department of Botany, University of Hawaii) if he had any feedback on the efficacy of seedballs in Koa's restoration he answered wisely: 'not yet...'

Meanwhile you can read contiguous project
 progress reportsin Biology: Status and Trends of Biological Resources Program. Dry Forest Restoration on Leeward East Maui



AMERICA - SOUTH

Argentina

ASIA

India

Nita S. is now working on a comparative analysis of low cost reforestation techniques in dry deciduous forests in South India, that includes seedballs. The French Institute of Pondicherry and Junglescapes in Karnataka is currently practising reforestation initiatives via sapling planting, rejuvenation of existing juvenile plants and is interested in trying seed balls and grafting as techniques for the betterment of a degraded patch of land adjoining a forest in Karnataka,India. Nita aims to understand the effectiveness of their various reforestation techniques and be able to direct them so as to reduce improper practices being carried out by them.
They are very keen on the seed ball technique implementation.Nita needs to figure out how to be able to monitor seed balls germination and survival effectively in the study area and account for those plants that have not germinated from seed balls. She will need to design how to be able to study them in :
1) Controlled conditons
2) Amidst nature (and be able to train local individuals in future monitoring of their efforts)
 
 

Thailand

Prachuap Khiri Khan - Kuibiri forest

Teachers and students of a local technical college have joined hands molding seeds into balls to be air-dispensed, in order to rejuvenate the forest of the Kuiburi district. Prachuap Khiri Khan province. 

Prachuap Khiri Khan Technical College students and teachers have mixed several types of seeds with dirt and molded them into balls in order for them to be dispensed through the air. A total of 99,999 balls, each of which contained 3 seeds, have been molded. 

The activity is under the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)’s campaign to plant trees in honor of HM the King. One million trees are targeted to be planted in Prachuab Khiri Khan Province. According to the provincial governor, the Air Force 5 will dispense one million seed-balls containing 19 species of plant that have been molded by the students and teachers. The activity is to conserve the plants and animal species and revive the greenery at the Kuiburi district’s forest, in line with HM the King’s initiatives and concerns for the nature and forest.

Japan

EUROPE

Greenbelt Southern Europe presents the "Greenbelt for Southern Europe" initiative.


Greece

Masanobu Fukuoka in Arnissa, Greece, 1998.

Follow Masanobu Fukuoka on his 1998 visit to Arnissa in Greece, where he inspires locals young and old in an effort to sow seedballs across 10,000 hectares of rocky Grecian countryside. 

The Natural Farming Center

Introduction 
Over the past seventeen years, beginning in 1993, the Natural Farming Center, made and broadcasted seedballs with the intent to re-plant trees and gardens on some bare mountains of Greece and the Mediterranean countries in general. Masanobu Fukuoka vision was to create a green belt from Portugal to Iraq, Iran, to stop the expansion of deserts in Central Europe. The Natural Farming Center started with a small plantation on an area of 5-10 acres with a positive result, and in 1998 - in the presence of Fukuoka – they organized the largest ever seedballs project conducted on Earth propagating them on more than 5000 hectares. Despite limited success (due to many factors such as overgrazing by cattle shoots, weather conditions, etc.), they have proved that this method can be applied broadly and has a very small cost - around 200-300 euros per hectare, including the cost of seeds, clay and food for volunteers (versus 100 000 for ‘conventional’ methods used in ecological restoration). 
They have continued to organize seedballs propagation on hundreds of acres every year since then, always working on a voluntary basis, improving over the years, the quality of the seedballs and adding new material, so that they could get better results. 

How and what 
Until 2004, they propagated round seedballs of different sizes, using their manufacture powder clay, water spray and mixer: with very good results when it comes to annuals, and the less good - if it was a forests and fruit trees. So, in 2005, they experienced another kind of ‘seedballs’, sliding sausages of clay and seeds, and then slicing them into thick disks - see the relevant photos and video - and now, after five years of cultivation in Greece, Europe and South America, they are confident to say that this type of clay disks actually gives excellent results. They have also added to the mixture of cotton fillers (with short fibers), straw, peat, and most recently - coconut fibers. 
Short-fibered cotton is good stuff, if you can get them easily, but once they got a problem with transgenic cotton and also cotton the fine cotton dust, so they gave-up using it altogether. Straw is beautiful, but one should be used with care because it can cause mold. To prevent the development of mold inside the clay caps and, therefore, damage to the seeds, they dry the clay capsules in the hot sun, and for this reason, they prepare them in August or September (mid-to end summer in Greece.
Coconut fibers (copra), in their opinion, is a great material, for they have helped forming very strong clay disks that do not break when cast on the hard soil even if they thrown from planes and helicopters. They remain intact for several months after propagation. 
The Natural Farming Center also uses Geolayt (geolite), a natural mineral that can absorb twice its weight in water, during wet weather and offer it to germinating plants. 
They reckon that adding small amounts of organic material that may inoculate, beneficial micro-organisms and fungi native from the propagation are is also very important. Their seed mixes, is generally composed of vegetable seeds, grains, legumes (green manure), plants, fruit trees and forest trees. 
When 
Seedballs propagation time is from September to late October in southern Greece and September in northern Greece, always up to the beginning of the rainy season. 
Feedback 
Until now, scientists and research institutions were generally negatively disposed toward this method, always under the pretext that they are introducing in the environment exotic species, which is not the case. They viewed seedballs as a child's game. But this year, the National Forest Research Institute in Athens has decided to test this method on an experimental basis for three consecutive years, and if results are positive, they will offer it as a valid method for reforestation. 
This is a positive step, but the Natural Farming Center feels that it will take a long time before they introduce it into practice, and at that time nature destroy rapidly. The Natural Farming Center believes that we, ordinary people, must act as soon as possible. They travel all over the world, organizing seminars on seedballs to create natural farms, gardens with simultaneous production of vegetables on the basis of self-maintenance and renewal, re-greening deserts. They always work on a voluntary basis, and share information without involving money, because they  believe: we have everything for free from life and everyone should give it to others for free. 
The Near Future 
Small groups in Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and other countries propagate seedballs, working in an attempt to restore the forest, and in March 2011, the Natural Farming Center intend to carry out simultaneous actions in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, proving in this way, that the heart moves things, not money. 

“Let us, each and all together we will take part in the work of God. Let us turn the land into a green paradise” - Masanobu Fukuoka

 
Panaiotis (Panos) Manikis speaking

Center for Natural Agriculture 
(Natural Farming Center) 
www.naturalfarming.eu 
e-mail: info@naturalfarming.eu

Natural farming in Greece
http://karoubas.net/nfenglish.html

Forest fire damage near Anthousa to be remedied with Manasobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming method, by Yvette Varvaressou - Kathimerini.
Hands On - A Growing Trend, Earth Report, by TVE (the Television Trust for the Environment).

Spain

Sierra de Parayas restoration project, Cantabria

RIA-Realización de Iniciativas Alternativas is a nonprofit association based in the town of Camargo (South Bay of Santander), Cantabria, and whose principal objective is to conserve and restore the coastal environment, understanding the environment and the people in it: society, culture, heritage and nature.

They work in the 
Monte Sierra de Parayas.

In November 2009 they planted over 1,500 oak acorns using ‘nendo dango’ or seedballs, interestingly rolled in grasses seeds (see video).


OCEANIA

Australia

Bushcare WA 37842 Seedball Kickoff! O’Connor $8,295.

The Nari-Nari tribal council restoration project, New South Wales.

(Please Note: Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island peoples are advised that this web site may contain images of deceased persons.)

 

   
 
 
 


The Nari Nari Tribal Council is a not-for-profit Aboriginal organisation, committed to the preservation and protection of Culture and Country. They manage 11,300 hectares of Riverine land 35km west of Hay (NSW).

Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared in March 2004 and covers around 4,600 hectares of the northern portion of Nari Nari lands.

IPA funded activities include improving wetland inundation, replanting vegetation, and controlling weeds and feral animals like foxes, rabbits and pigs. Areas that have been fenced to keep stock and feral animals out are showing improvements in the level of cover and in environmental health. The Tribal Council aims to continue timber harvesting using sustainable methods, for community use. The location and details of important cultural sites are also being recorded. These sites are being protected by removing stock from the area, controlling visitor access and revegetating the sites to repair the feral animal damage.

Overall revegetation works are another major IPA activity. In 2005 alone, 2.5 kilograms of local seed was collected, 8,500 seedlings were planted, 8,000 clay seedballs distributed and 4,000 plants propagated. The Tribal Council has also erected bird hides in the wetlands, and constructed a bush tucker garden to improve community access to native foods and medicinal plants.

Results

"The seed balls proved to be great success"."The outcome of the trial proved with enough moisture the clay seed balls will be successful". (personal communication).

Contacts

Ian Woods - Chairman
Tara Dixon - Secretary
PO Box 75, 
Hay, NSW, 2711 
Australia 
Ph: 02 6993 2243 
Fax: 02 6993 2290
narinari@bigpond.net.au

The Upper Torrens Land Management Project, South Australia.

Since their inception in 1998, over 150 landowners have participated to improve their properties and income. The Upper Torrens Land Management Project (UTPLMP)has assisted them to address issues such as: soil erosion, salinity and acidity, pasture establishment and/or improvement, fencing for dams and watercourses, re-vegetation with native trees and shrubs, protection of native flora and fauna, creation of habitat for birds and native animals, and the maintenance of creeks and watercourses. Properties have varied in size from 1Ha to 1000 Ha, and issues addressed include stock exclusion fencing for watercourses, weed control, pest animal control, woody weed removal and re-vegetation with native species.

In 2000, the UTPLMP use seedballs in a trial.


Results

Stephen Anderson, who covers the revegetation program of the Upper Torrens Land Management Project recalls that "Between 1997 and 1999, the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group made and tested seed balls on its demonstration sites. A variety of seed types were used and the balls were scattered over the ground (prepared with knockdown herbicide) and left to their own devices.  Given the very light, sandy soils and late spring germination of weeds, it would seem likely that seedlings were outcompeted if they germinated at all. No-one recorded germination or survival results attributable to the trial. No further attempts were made as reasonable success was achieved using the standard methodology for direct seeding in similar environment".

Media coverage

ABC website story

Contacts

Upper Torrens Land Management Project
Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre 
132 Melrose Street
Mount Pleasant SA 5235
Telephone: (08) 8568 1876
Facsimile: (08) 8568 2699

Greening Australia-Lower Cotter Catchment Project, ACT

Greening Australia (GA) mission is 'to engage the community in vegetation management to protect and restore the health, diversity and productivity of our unique Australian landscapes'.
'With a network of over 350 staff in locations across the continent, Greening Australia lives and works with people from remote, regional and metropolitan communities'.

Project
"On Sunday 5 April, 2009 community volunteers joined ABC Canberra, the ACT Government and Greening Australia in making 12,500 clay balls embedded with native seeds. The volunteers then distributed the clay balls over 14.5 hectares of former pine plantation in the Pierces Creek area to continue the rehabilitation of the Lower Cotter Catchment"

Results
"We have been monitoring the success of the seedballs, but at stage haven't produced a formal report on the outcomes. In general we have found that slightly less than 50% have successfully germinated, and that grass species have been much more successful than either tree or shrub species. We have currently scaled back our seedballing efforts and will begin a new smaller scale scientific trial of the seedballs in an attempt to increase tree and shrub success. If our monitoring team does produce a report on the seedballing, I will pass this on to you" 

Graham Fifield confirmed on August 18th 2010 that GA is 'very much in the experimental phase at the moment.  After initial difficulty settling on the ingredients for the balls, [GA is]about to embark on a monitored trial (hence different colours).  They will be planted in the next 1-2 months.

See GA document : 
Introducing … Seed Balling : Another revegetation option


Graham Fifield
Project Manager
Greening Australia Capital Region

Ian Rayner
Lower Cotter Catchment Project Officer
Greening Australia Capital Region
Kubura Place Aranda ACT
PO Box 538 Jamison Centre ACT 2614
www.greeningaustralia.org.au


New-Zealand

Restoration using Akeake seedballs in Marlborough Sounds

Andrew Mac Mahon is a self employed weed and pest control expert living in New-Zealand. This is what Andrew told me when I asked him questions "on seedballs" :

"Seed balls were something I experimented making with my own boys (ages 4 and 7) help. We used a simple recipe from the Kiwi Conservation Club kids magazine(and I looked up other sites on Internet) = seeds, compost/worm 

castings and clay. The clay was sourced from a bank in a local stream - nothing fancy, just grey/brown clay. 

 

In NZ we have a first generation  regrowth plant called gorse. It's everywhere waste land is. Native will given time (15-25 years) out grow gorse and it makes a good nursery plant. If I was to restore gorse waste land seedball would work well but the slips needed ground cover before the weeds grow.

 The bare land left by the slips was letting lots of light to the native bush. [Also], weeds such as Old Man's Beard and Banana Passionfruit and wilding pines like high light conditions.

The race was on to plant native plants to close this light before weeds took hold. I planted root trainers (small native plants 30cm high with a good root system $3 nz each, $500 worth) to get a good head start on the weeds. The seedballs was an after thought or experiment.

I only used Akeake seeds.The akeake seeds are easy to collect locally, and I know germinate easily in our local conditions. Seeing as it was the first time using this method, I just used the one type of seed.

The extensive road slip I was trying to replant was steep difficult to access, another reason to try seed balls. In fact, the seed balls weren't perfectly round which was good so they didn't roll back down the hill!

We had lots of fun making them, and will try a different seed mix next time. I only have a small one-man business to help people in the Marlborough Sounds keep their land weed and pest free. Replanting with natives and 'seedballs' is only a small, but important part of my work.

I'm heading out today along the route where the seed balls have germinated well, so I'll take some photos to send to you. Pity I don't have any 'before' ones to compare with."

Here are the pictures:


Thanks Andrew !


 




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