Today, a day before World Environment Day, I had an invite that said, “attend the workshop on Earth Ball Technique- a latest trend aiming at transforming and rejuvenating dry and barren lands into green landscape.” Being a believer in the cause and need for conserving environment I decided to check out the event held in the lush Signature Club Resort set amidst the Brigade Orchards in Devanhalli. After a tree planting session attended by ace cricketer Venkatesh Prasad and Sandalwood actor Vijay Raghavendra along with Vineet Verma, Executive Director & CEO at Brigade Hospitality Services Limited, the event took off to a flying start.
The concept of the Earth Ball was explained by Narendra DS from the NGO UttishtaBharatha. The concept is simple – as saplings can be quite expensive, these seed balls that cost just one rupee can help convert arid zones to green areas.
The seed balls are made with a mix of red soil, cow dung, cow urine and water mixed in a series of 3:1 which is 3 portions of mud to 1 portion of cow dung along with different kinds of seeds like those of Millettia pinnata, neem and tamarind, fruit seeds as well as fodder plants. Care must be taken that the ratio is maintained as excessive cow dung can cause the ball to over heat and disintegrate. All these materials are rolled into a ball and allowed to dry for about four hours till it is ready to be planted. Just make a small trough and insert the ball – it has a shelf life of 3 months! The balls are made in summer and are planted in the monsoons. This is a great way to ensure that a tree plantation drive can be done in a cost-effective manner. These seed balls are then rolled onto the areas and the conversion of over 60 percent.