We need a better name than "seed ball."
February 17, 2007 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Help-us-name-filter: Our urban envirionmental group is working on a project to seed vacant land. We're using the seed ball technique pioneered by Masanobu Fukuoka--forming seeds, humus and clay into small balls which are tossed onto the ground or thown over a fence . We need a catchy name for the process, something better than "seed balls," and without the violent/militaristic/terroristic assoiciations of "seed bombs."

(Although we do like what these folks have done.)

The goals of seeding vacant lots are beautification, restoring life to dead soil, and increasing water permeability. Some plants can be useful in cleaning up contaminants and breaking up asphalt. A main focus our our project is education and awareness of the seed ball technique, and we hope to make a public exhibit and involve schoolkids and community groups in improving blighted land in their neighborhoods.

Rejected names include Seed Delivery Devices, DIY OXN (Do It Y-Oself Xeriscape Nutriballs), Thyme Release Capsules, VDS (Vegetative Delivery System), and so on.
posted by hydrophonic to Science & Nature (35 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Obviously, you're playing enviro-paintball.
posted by paulsc at 3:15 PM on February 17, 2007

Best answer: envirorbs?

I'd think that your presentation techniques with the community and school groups would have more of an impact than the specific name you use for the seed balls. If your presentation is boring, the most awesomest name ever won't make up for it. But if you make the whole idea and process fun, new, etc., you can get away with just plain 'seed balls'.
posted by CKmtl at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2007



posted by iconomy at 3:23 PM on February 17, 2007

I must say, Thyme-Release Capsule is quite clever. But consider also:

- Luckyballs
- Throw 'n' Sow
- Plantesimals
posted by rob511 at 3:34 PM on February 17, 2007

Johnny seedy balls.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding CKmtl. "Seed ball" is a perfect name because it lets me immediately visualize the things you're talking about and because when I type it into Google, or ask another horticulturist about it, I get expected results.

I've almost fallen asleep by the last syllable of "vegetative delivery system". But "seed ball"? It's got an elevator pitch built in!

Specifically, avoid big scientific-sounding names that scientists aren't actually using, and doubly so avoid puns, because you don't want to assume that your audience understands that there's a pun (time-release, ok) or even that their English is strong enough to get the pun.

Keep it simple!
posted by mendel at 3:40 PM on February 17, 2007

Seed spheres?
posted by Solomon at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2007

Seed Ball, simply because that's the name you can find it in Wikipedia under.
posted by magikker at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2007

Go with Seed Ball, but just for the hell of it:

Life Ball

Throw Pod



posted by notyou at 4:08 PM on February 17, 2007

We need a catchy name for the process

Are you looking for a name for the process or the devices themselves? If it's the devices, then I'll Nth 'seed balls' as it is what they are. If it's the process itself your looking to name, I'd go with 'the Fukuoka Fling'. Mainly because it's fun to say.
posted by quin at 4:09 PM on February 17, 2007

Pod, or Podding - ala, well, seeds that form as pods?
posted by porpoise at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2007

Soilant Green
Rx Earth
Throw and Sow
posted by lobstah at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2007

posted by 31d1 at 4:14 PM on February 17, 2007

You're throwing greenspam. And the practice is urban bukkake.
posted by goetter at 4:25 PM on February 17, 2007 [5 favorites]

Flower Shower.
posted by inkyz at 4:31 PM on February 17, 2007

And the practice is urban bukkake.

That'd go over well for school groups...
"Daddy, daddy! We did bukkake at school today!"
posted by CKmtl at 4:32 PM on February 17, 2007

I guess onanizing is right out, then.

(Seriously, I overlooked the schoolkids/community groups intent. Sorry.)
posted by goetter at 4:38 PM on February 17, 2007

I like "Fukuoka Fling" to describe the action because it includes a bit of the history by including the name.
posted by Listener at 4:42 PM on February 17, 2007

I agree that "seed balls" is excellent, hard to beat for clarity and pithiness. Think about whether it sounds okay in the phrase "Mom, we're going [seedball]ing this afternoon." I think that sounds ok.

green globes?
"greening" would be a good name for the activity, maybe, but doesn't leave you with much for the balls themselves.

long-range sowing machines? (har har. no.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:51 PM on February 17, 2007

Seed Machines

/derail declared

I have never heard of this idea to reclaim land, and think it's f'n brilliant. There are several vacant lots near me. Is there anywhere I can buy pre-made seed balls that are safe for my locale (Seattle area)?
posted by frogan at 4:59 PM on February 17, 2007

frogan, you can buy a pack of 12 "seed bombs" on this page that the OP linked to.
posted by tastybrains at 5:17 PM on February 17, 2007

What about calling them SuperBalls, ala those bouncy rubber balls you can get out of the 25 cent machine at the grocery store? They're Super, because they're encouraging plant growth and creating life and doing all sorts of neat things. And everyone knows what regular old superballs are, and thinks that they are at least a little fun. But yours are fun AND important.

You could structure the program like you're doing the work of Super Heros, then. Bonus: CAPES!
posted by inging at 5:54 PM on February 17, 2007

This may be too geeky for your tastes, but I would be compelled to call this katamari damaseed.
posted by brett at 6:17 PM on February 17, 2007 [3 favorites]

Not exactly on topic, but Philadelphia Green has, in my opinion, done some fantastic work in the realm of vacant lot reclamation and management. See before and after pix here. Get your own manual for reclaiming vacant lots here.

Full disclosure, Philly Green is an off-and-on client of mine.
posted by qldaddy at 6:57 PM on February 17, 2007

I guess "scrotum bowls" is out, huh?
posted by rob511 at 9:05 PM on February 17, 2007

posted by vanoakenfold at 9:08 PM on February 17, 2007

johnny appleballs!
posted by bruce at 9:50 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Thro 'n Gro

Ground Balls

Spring Flings

Sprout Launchers
posted by artdrectr at 1:09 AM on February 18, 2007

Not answering the question, I know, but I feel compelled to share that a group in Australia used tennis rackets as "an advanced delivery system" for sending seed balls into gorges they were trying to repopulate with indiginous species. Too fun.
posted by vers at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2007

Project Genesis.

posted by oneirodynia at 1:14 PM on February 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody! I didn't intend for my question to be some sort of market survey, but it seems that a lot of people like the original name a lot better than we did. So "seed balls" it is. "Spring fling" has a nice catch to it; we might use that one too.

frogan, by all means, send these folks some money, and there's a product called Seedballz (*cringe*) that you can order through a lot of places. But at one ball per square foot, you might want to make your own. This site has instructions. You really just need clay, potting mix and seeds. You can buy red clay used for pottery or find some under the ground. Around here it's usually 18 inches down--try a construction site or anywhere the ground's been cut into lately. It's good to sow native species, but for greening abandoned lots in the city, we're sticking with what we can buy in bulk: millet, lentils, wheat berries, mustard seed, raw sunflower and birdseed mix. Sunflower sends down a strong taproot, good if there's no soil near the surface.

vers, do you know the name of that Australian group?
posted by hydrophonic at 11:48 PM on February 18, 2007

Envirorbs is ok, but very awkward to say out loud.
posted by iconomy at 7:00 AM on February 20, 2007

The tennis rackets were a dim memory, and I didn't find the article when I searched for it earlier, but today it sifted up; it was a Kiwi Conservation Group working with a Park Ranger.

Here's the online article.

Hope you have a grand time with your excellent project, Hydrophonic!
posted by vers at 11:56 AM on February 21, 2007

And I need to hasten to offer a correction and apology - I read about this a while ago and it was hazy. The Greater Wellington region (in the article) is in New Zealand, not Australia. Eeep.
posted by vers at 12:03 PM on February 21, 2007

Wow... literal podcasting. Or would that be plantcasting? Neat.
posted by zennie at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2007

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