I have a few updates relative to our May 1 seed bombing of Water Street.
We reached out to a few reputable, in-state suppliers of native seed, and heard back from Native Connections in Three Rivers, Michigan that they had a prepared mix that might meet our needs. It contains significantly more species than we’d requested, but it seems as though, all things considered, it might be a good way to go. Not only would it be less expensive than the custom mix we’d inquired about, but it contains a number of interesting plant species that we’d originally thought would be difficult for us to acquire.
In addition to the two species of native grass that we’d requested (Canada Wild Rye and Indian Grass), their proposed mix would include: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Side-oats Gramma, Bicknell’s Sedge, June Grass, and Switchgrass. This mix has a little less Canada Wild Rye than we’d wanted, but the folks I’ve consulted with thus far seem to think the other species would more than make up for that fact. (A few of these species are ones that we talked about early in the process, but decided against, as we thought they’d be too expensive.)
As for the forbs, we’d requested Yarrow, Black Eyed Susan, Common Evening Primrose, Common Milkweed, and Sand Tickseed. Of that list, the proposed Native Connections mix contains only Black Eyed Susan and Common Evening Primrose. (While the mix doesn’t include Common Milkweed, it does include Butterfly Milkweed.) Again, however, they’re adding several species that should be competitive on the site, which we’d thought might be out of our price range, like Showy Goldenrod, New England Aster, and Yellow Coneflower. In total, their mix contains 27 species of forbs, whereas we’d only requested 5. (The complete list of species included in their proposed mix can be found here.)
And, as all of these seeds have been cold-stratified, it’s likely that we’ll see some growth this year, assuming we get more rain and sun, than we do seed-eating predators.
If we go this route, the price for the seeds would be $275. (The mix that we’d originally asked for, to give you a point of comparison, would be $415.) Everyone I’ve spoken with thus far has suggested that we go for it. While it’s unlikely that every species included in the mix will make it on the site, quite a few have a good shot, and it should be interesting to see what happens, and learn from the experience… And nothing, of course, would preclude us from planting Common Milkweed and Yarrow later, if this first attempt doesn’t take off like we’re hoping that it will.
Also, I think I’ve found a source for dry red clay. 20-pound bags are $23, and cost $15 to ship. Since we’d like to make quite a few seed bombs, I’m suggesting that we purchase four bags, which would bring the total to $152.
So, assuming everyone is OK with this plan, we’ll need to raise $427… which I’ll round up to $500, to cover incidental items, like poster board for day-of-event signage, twine to mark the target areas, taxes and the like. If you’d like to contribute, I started an online FundRazr campaign earlier this evening, and we’ve already made almost the entire $500. (FundRazr takes a %5 cut, and I believe that PayPal takes some as well, so the total raised will be less than $475, but still sufficient.) If you’d like to join me in making a contribution, I’d appreciate it.
Once we’ve raised the money, I’ll order the seeds and the clay, and we’ll begin scheduling some times to meet and make bombs together… Oh, and, if you aren’t able to contribute financially, you can always contribute compost! By my calculations, we’ll need at least 100 pounds of it.
And, if you haven’t already, please join the Seed Bomb Water Street Facebook group.