My wife calls me a ‘Crackpot’! I never listen, i always challenge the ‘Default’ and try to do things my own way. There is more authority in saying ‘I have tried this, it works‘ than ‘Hmm.. i guess..not sure..‘.
While researching (ok Googling ) about Organic farming, I came across this Japanese farmer / philosopher named Fukuoka . He re-invented and introduced this ancient technique of propagating seeds using clay balls! Pretty fascinating, i thought. Something i could also try .. I started researching (ok, YouTube-ing) ‘how to make seed balls’.
You can roll clay balls of any type of seeds but i picked Rice. Imagine if this works? We can simply broadcast clay rice pellets on fields, and watch them sprout and grow! No nursery, no transplanting needed. Hell, i could even win a award if this is successful! Tee hee he.
Get ready to clay…
Gather the stuff.
You can also soak the seeds into water first or spray lightly using the mist. Mist is a must, you cannot put water with your hands, the clay will just clump together and will become doughy. So, phuss phuss lightly and then sprinkle the fine clay onto the seeds.
Coarse clay wont work. I got the clay broken and powdered by the potter who sold it to me. Cost me Rs50 for 2Kgs. Fine clay will stick to wet seeds. Another phuss phuss and a little bit of clay. Now slowly start rolling with your hands. Pyar se.. haule haule..
Once a seed is coated with clay, it will start gathering more as you roll. Pellets and balls will start to form. Keep a fine balance of water spray and clay powder. Excess water will make the clay chikni (don’t be discouraged, you can use it as a face pack later). If you roll well, you will end up with this..
Put them to dry under the sun. Never make balls if there is no sun! This clay needs to dry in 1-2 hours.
What next? Keep a small portion of your field to experiment. Just throw these around in the field when the rainy season starts. Rice plants should sprout and take root.
I will keep you informed of the progress / success or failure of this in the next few months.