April 11, 2012
Last night we had the pleasure of teaching not one but two classes at Etsy Labs.
Nestled in a converted factory building in Dumbo, Etsy Labs is a wonderful place full of crafting treasures. All the work is done on huge, over-sized wooden tables and the walls are lined with all sorts of scissors, brushes, glitter, glue, screen-printing materials and more. I love it. Lavender and I have taken classes there and we really enjoy them its a lot of fun.
We were invited to teach about Terrariums and Seed Bombs there. Those are two of my favorite things!
Seed bombs are made with clay, organic matter and seeds. They were invented by native Americans who lived in nomadic tribes. The seed bombs are a way to insure that the seed will have enough moisture and food to grow if gardens are planted and not tended to. By doing this, the tribes were able to plant gardens, travel and come back to reap the rewards. They are perfect for chucking into some piece of land where access may be prohibited.
The clay acts as a binder and as a source for water and moisture. Clay retains water very well and slowly releases it to the seeds and little plants. The organic matter, compost or worm castings, feed the seeds.
Seed bombs can be placed on the surface of a pot to grow or they can be put in a tree pit or chucked into a vacant piece of land. If sowing “in the wild” so to speak, please make sure that you use native plants and not invasive species. What a way to get your Guerilla Garden going
How to make Seed Bombs.
- 2 parts garden soil
- 1 part Clay powder
- Worm castings or compost
- Trust and Love
- To make clay powder, purchase red sculpting clay from an art supply store, cut it very thinly with a wire and let dry. Pulverize with a mallet or a meat grinder. This is the hardest part. I think about urban blight and pretty flowers when I am pounding clay. Old boyfriends, annoying room mates or a mean boss may be some other sources for inspiration.
- Mix the soil and the clay together and sprinkle some worm castings on top. If using compost, then omit the worm castings and replace the soil with compost.
- Add enough water to form a ball and have the materials bind together. Very similar to making a pastry crust. Not too much water, not too little, just enough to get it to stick together, add a little at a time.
- Roll about 5 seeds onto each ball. Just 5 . maybe even 3. Remember that each little seed has the potential to grow into a plant.
- Let dry for a couple of days and enjoy. Trust that your seeds will grow, and Love the beautiful gardens that you create.
Wow, wow and just wow.
We have been making terrariums for a few years now and I am still overwhelmed by how popular these are and continue to be.
I haven’t gotten the official count yet, but from my estimate, we taught about 150 people how to make them yesterday.
It was BYOC (bring your own container) and people showed up with everything from 1 gallon jugs to little test tubes. We made moss terrariums yesterday, just to keep it simple.
Here is how you make a moss terrarium. I must have repeated these steps about 50 150 times yesterday so I know it pretty well.
How to make a Terrarium
- Clear Glass Container, with or without a lid
- Sheet moss or Sphagnum Moss
- Peat Moss
- More moss and Decor
- Add a layer of rocks on the bottom. Make sure that you use clean rocks that are scaled with your container.
- Add a barrier layer of sheet moss or sphagnum moss
- Add a thin layer of charcoal
- Add a layer of peat moss…
- OK. Now let the fun begin. You can plant this with moss, lichens, decor, mini plants, what have you. MOSS MOSS and More MOSS!
I saw all sorts of things from a lady that looked like a mermaid in a terrarium, I call her the TERMAID, to little figurines.
I brought in some mini slate slabs that people colored with pencils. Those were pretty cool.
As always, we are available for any of your terrarium questions.
Check out the fun action below.
ps. a certain film crew from a certain tv show that has the initials MSL was there documenting the whole event. Can’t wait to see the footage!