Seed balls: Guerilla gardening on a Saturday afternoon

On Saturday 27 April in Berlin, ARC2020 and Save Our Seeds got together for a so-called ‘Seed Ball action‘. Together we were rolling seed balls at Markthalle Neun in the trendy Kreuzberg district. Every Saturday afternoon, the restored hall is home to colourful stalls selling local products and has become a popular hang-out for Berliners. Many ‘guerilla gardeners’ and interested passers-by came to join. Some people even supported us bringing seeds from their own flowers.

Seed balls are small plantable balls made out of seeds, soil and clay. They can be used across cities to add a touch of much-needed colour. The seeds within the seed ball are well-protected until they reach a spot suitable for them to sprout. The resultant diversity of flowers not only looks great, it also provides good nourishment for bees, bumblebees and butterflies! On Saturday there were all kinds of flower seeds as well as sweet pea, zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot, buckwheat, dill, linen…

The action comes as an EU-wide petition on seed legislation was launched. On the 25th of April, Save our Seeds and Campact  launched a petition on the upcoming new EU regulation of seed marketing. The new regulation will de facto ban old and rare varieties and farmers varieties and threaten the exchange and selling of seeds of diversity.

The current draft regulation was written by DG SANCO, and needs 14 Commissioners to support it. Each EU Member State has a Commissioner in Brussels representing one of the 27 Directorates (DG). As it is anticipated that the DG Agriculture (Romania) and the DG Environment  (Slovenia) should vote against, it will only take 12 more.

Find and sign the petition here:

The petition is demanding that proposed EU seed legislation must allow more diversity in our fields and on our plates, rather than destroying it. Traditional and local varieties must remain exempt from licensing or certification requirements. Strict rules, controls, inspections and costly permits should only apply to seeds and seed materials which are traded commercially, in large quantities. The free exchange of seeds and seedlings between farmers, gardeners and seed initiatives must be guaranteed and supported.

Only by growing a wide selection of fruits, vegetables and grains, can we ensure that our agriculture adapts to climate change, new diseases and pests. We want colorful variety not standardized uniformity!

Next SEED BALL ACTION will be taking place this Saturday from 11 am at PflanzenTauschMarkt at Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Join and roll with us!