Ask Dr. Joseph
Seed Your Future
As individuals, embedded in a community, we decide today about the future of tomorrow – about simplicity or diversity, about pure egoism or sustainability and connectedness to nature. Seed Your Future is a project FOR a future of diversity, modesty and respect for nature.
In an artificial world dominated by technology, the relationship to nature is increasingly lost. We far too seldom realize that insects in particular not only represent an extraordinary diversity and a unique biological wealth, but also ensure biodiversity and thus the stability of the planetary system. These small useful animals, which usually live in secret, guarantee life on the planet – and thus also our lives.
Each of our vials filled with diversity contains the chance to collaborate with nature. The result of this collaboration will be a species-rich, perennial flowery meadow that will become a new home for thousands of bees, butterflies and insects: tasty for the flying ones and beautiful & colorful for the eye of the observer.
“Any silly boy can crush a bug, but all the professors in the world can’t make one.”
Blossoming paradise for biodiversity
An important step in the colonization of insects is to reserve space for their retreat and to ensure that plants flower in a variety of ways.
In the Seed Your Future seed mixture for your personal flower meadow has been taken into consideration the scientific findings, and considerations of the State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture and 45 plant/seed varieties – including 30 different biennial wild herbs and 15 annual cultivated species – have been incorporated into the seed mixture. Together we can create a flower paradise that preserves and protects the diversity of nature.
Small steps, big traces
Small steps leave big traces. The solutions are not easy, but the summation and cascade effect of their positive effects on us, our fellow human beings and our environment is complex.
How can I contribute?
- Convert a part of your greenfield into a flowering meadow.
- Allow this flowering meadow to ripen by mowing less often.
- Prefer pollen-giving herbs and flowers to highly bred hybrids and choose native varieties that blossom at different times of the year.
- Do not sacrifice the last bit of space in front of the house on the altar of asphalt, but leave some space where lost “weed” can feel at home.
- “Messy” hedges, embankments or gardens can serve as a retreat for stressed companions such as insects, birds, etc. The beauty lies in the variety.
- The increased use of fertilizers and insecticides affects plant and insect diversity. Be economical with it, use primarily compost and thereby promote the health of your soil.
- If aphids should ever reproduce unchecked, use natural, balancing and plant-strengthening measures instead of resorting to the all-destroying poison from the shop. (The farmer needs his own poison pass for this, while as an amateur gardener, you are allowed to spray it without hesitation – please don’t.)
- Insecticides weaken the insects’ sense of orientation and learning ability and their immune system; they reduce their reproductive capacity and shorten their lifespan. Some insecticides act 7,000 times stronger than the long-banned DDT and remain as chemical compounds in our environment for years, since the microorganisms cannot recognize them and therefore cannot be degraded or only very poorly degraded, i.e., rendered harmless. As a result, the poison accumulates in the food chain and can also endanger human health.
- Prefer the consumption of those foods that have been produced with care and respect for nature.
How do we achieve it?
From the middle of March/May, a piece of the garden will be cleared from the lawn. This creates space for the new flowering. The seeds (approx. 1 g per square meter) are sown very thinly on the cleanly weeded, plant-free soil. Plants need space! In our glass tubes filled with the flower-seed mixture, there are seeds for approx. 4-6 square meters of a flowery meadow. The seeds are worked in lightly and superficially (the seeds are so-called light germinators) and rolled slightly (wind protection) to achieve a good soil closure. Irrigation is used especially during the plant’s development phase and in dry periods.
From May/June to the first frost in October/November, you can enjoy the different flowering colors. Please do not forget to collect some of the seeds in autumn and give them to your loved ones.
An important step to protect insects is to reserve space for their retreat and provide varied flowering plants and humus-rich soil.
Diversity vs. Simplicity
It is a great challenge for all of us to find the right path between these two extremes. Monoculture leads through industrially cultivated agricultural land not only to a dependence on the agricultural industry but also to a lack of food quality. More and more insecticides, fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery must be used to create a “functioning production process”. It is often overlooked that the fertilizers result in disrupted soil life.
Bio-diversity and valuable insect diversity, on the other hand, lead to a healthy cycle in the food chain, in which fertile soils, a healthy environment, a valuable habitat for insects and, consequently, healthy food are produced. Millions of insects, bumblebees, grasshoppers, dung beetles, butterflies, lacewings, cockchafers, moths, ichneumon flies, bees, hoverflies, and many more process our “waste products” into high-quality humus free of charge and thus ensure clean conditions on earth. They also pollinate billions of tons of plants, which depend on the support of insects for their reproduction. The “little helpers” thus form the fundamental foundation of our food cycle.
Do we really want to live in a world in which the dependence of agriculture on subsidies continues to increase and the biodiversity of our soils, food and quality of life continues to decline?
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU
Dr. Joseph FranzDate