The Great Seed Bomb: One Woman’s Idea for Saving the Planet

Photo courtesy of The Great Seed Bomb.

Pollinators are important. Not just because it’s crucial that we preserve our planet’s biodiversity and undo the environmental harm we’ve caused, but because our food sources need pollinators. There are 90 commercially grown crops that depend on honeybee pollination. Thirty-five percent of global food production relies on various pollinators. Simply put: if bees continue to decline, some foods will become difficult or impossible to come by—including almonds, certain types of berries, and apples. Also, because bees contribute around $15 billion to United States crop production, their disappearance would mean a hit to the economy.

Jillian Jordan, founder of the Great Seed Bomb, was tired of hearing scary statistics and sound bites like the ones listed above.

“This is an ancient agricultural method,” Jillian Jordan says. “If you just chuck seeds out there, they’ll get eaten or washed away. This method gives the seed ample time to survive.”

“People feel overwhelmed when they read about climate change. They feel helpless,” Jordan says. “The news covers it in a ‘panic’ way, but as a citizen, I want to know what I can do about it.”

Jordan is an environmental advocate and social entrepreneur with a master’s in public administration. Her previous gigs include working for the Environmental Defense Fund in Austin and the Climate Institute in Washington, D.C. Ever since she learned about bee habitat fragmentation during a project some years back, the plight of pollinators has remained firmly in the back of her mind.

GreatSeedBomb_EventID-02In recent years, charity 5Ks and 10Ks have gained immense popularity. While considering that fun-run model, Jordan had the idea for a similar event—one that could help pollinators—and the Great Seed Bomb was born. Essentially, it’s a scenic bike ride with the purpose of planting wildflowers. Ticket proceeds go to local nonprofits, and, as the participants bike along, they “bomb” the landscape with dirt-and-compost clods carefully constructed to incubate the pollinator-friendly seeds inside. Theoretically, wherever one of these dirt “bombs” hits the ground, wildflowers and milkweed will bloom—and serve to attract and protect important pollinators like bees and butterflies.

“This is an ancient agricultural method,” Jordan says. “If you just chuck seeds out there, they’ll get eaten or washed away. This method gives the seed ample time to survive.”

“The Great Seed Bomb is about environmental awareness,” Jordan says. “We’re empowering nonprofits that don’t have a lot of money, and we’re giving people something tangible to do. And we’re helping to grow flowers and plants for thousands of monarchs and bees.”

The seeds are a non-GMO blend of milkweed and bee-friendly wildflowers native to the area and seed expert–approved. Milkweed is specifically important—it has been vanishing in large numbers due to landscape fragmentation, and is one of the only plants that monarchs will lay their eggs on.

After almost seven months of planning, the first Great Seed Bomb event was held on November 14 in Fort Worth. Participants received a fanny pack full of the seed-and-dirt clods and were invited to throw them anywhere they liked along the 15-mile route. People could also peruse the vendors, or stop at the environmental learning stations positioned along the bike trail. The tickets raised money for the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), Friends of Tandy Hills National Area, and River Activation for the Trinity (RAFT).

Thanks in part to the national news coverage the first event garnered, Jordan has since received requests from all over the nation—people and organizations looking for assistance in planning their own seed bomb events. Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Kansas, Iowa, and cities all throughout Texas have reached out. Currently, Jordan is planning a Dallas event in the spring—hopefully to be held in bike-friendly Oak Cliff.

“The Great Seed Bomb is about environmental awareness,” Jordan says. “We’re empowering nonprofits that don’t have a lot of money, and we’re giving people something tangible to do. And we’re helping to grow flowers and plants for thousands of monarchs and bees.”

For a daily dose of what’s new, now, and next in Dallas-Fort Worth innovation, subscribe to our Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.

Bikes of all sizes are welcome at The Great Seed Bomb.

Bikes of all sizes are welcome at The Great Seed Bomb. Photo courtesy of The Great Seed Bomb.

Comments are closed.