Seed balls

On Friday, I went to the national Permaculture Ambassadors conference in Birmingham. It is the first such event I’ve attended and from the moment I walked through the door, I was glad I’d made the effort to drive across country to my sister’s, from where she took me to the station so that I could catch the train to Birmingham New Street.

Meeting people with similar interests was my main motivation for joining the event but I also learned a thing or two from the sessions. Most significant of these was about Counter Coin, a project being started in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

You might call it an alternative currency. Unlike Bitcoin, it is not a crypto-currency but rather is real coins which are ‘paid’ for good works and then spent at participating businesses.

The example the presenter used was a person perhaps helping a neighbour and a cinema with many empty seats. The person is paid in recognition of the social good they perform; the cinema in turn gets a fuller auditorium and therefore more revenue from the half ticket (to make up the difference after the Counter Coins are handed over) and refreshments bought. The cinema can then use the coins to purchase something to support its business and so on. It is also more likely to stay open in the town.

After the presentation, the issue of our current financial system, in particular interest on loans, was briefly discussed. I can’t say I’ve got to the bottom of this but I was given the Northeast Permaculture Network’s webpage on Understanding Money to look at. There are four lectures which provide a clear and informative breakdown of what money means. I haven’t watched them in their entirety yet but if you have the time, I would recommend you give them a go.

On a completely different subject, we’d been promised a small gift to take home. This turned out to be seed balls,

which are the following seeds mixed in clay: wild garlic, yarrow, red sorrel, wild salad rocket, land cress, wild strawberries and corn flowers.

That’s quite a collection of plants for the forest garden. Wild garlic and rocket are already growing there but it would be great to have the addition of the other plants.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Permaculture, Social and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Seed balls

  1. I look forward to seeing those seeds come up

  2. Linda Penney says:

    Awesome update Helen thank you for sharing and have a blessed day

  3. Clare Pooley says:

    Thanks for the Understanding Money link; I’ll look at that when I’m not so tired. The conference sounds like it was worth travelling to – especially with seed balls thrown in!

  4. jeffpermie says:

    Nice, the coin system is basically exactly like the LETS system which has been in place already for a number of years, I’ll try remember to let you know which Permaculture book explains the LETS system, it may have been Patrick Whitefield’s ‘Permaculture in a nutshell’ but I’m not 100% sure, the difference being that LETS is e-stored and you have your own record of the amount you have earned and spent.

  5. You had me at โ€œCoinโ€. ๐Ÿ™‚ There have been some similar schemes with banknotes -Bristol had one, I seem to remember. I canโ€™t recall what they call them, but it comes under collecting banknotes, which is how it drifted into my sphere.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.