Members of six Guadalajara families gathered together on June 14 to hike along the 2.2-kilometer “Nature Trail” laid out by rangers in the Primavera Forest. All members of the group were carrying bombs, but not the sort that cause destruction.
Just the opposite. “These are called seed bombs,” explained trip organizer Stefanie McGrath, handing me a hard brown ball about an inch and a half (4 centimeters) wide. “They’re made of clay mixed with the seeds of the milkweed plant on whose leaves the Monarch butterfly lays its eggs,” she continued. “Unfortunately, the numbers of Monarchs are in serious decline because of deforestation, agricultural spraying, urbanization, fires and climate change. So we’ve come to toss our seed bombs in an area where milkweed plants have a chance of growing and someday providing food for las monarcas.”
McGrath went on to explain that this was a hands-on project of seven Guadalajara families for promoting pollinator plants for bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. “It’s the first time we have done this so we had to learn a lot of things about how to make the bombs correctly,” she added.
They were able to get the seeds from a local, SEMARNAT-certified resource and obtained local, natural powdered clay from potters in Tlaquepaque. The families then gathered together several weeks ago to make the bombs ahead of the start of the rainy season.
I asked who came up with the idea of this project and learned it was Stefanie’s daughters, Carlie and Olivia.
“We were looking for a project that would help the environment and I thought of the milkweed plants we have growing at our house and how much we enjoy watching the caterpillars turn into butterflies,” Olivia told me.,
As we began our hike along the edge of a steep drop overlooking the forest, I heard someone in the group mention that seed bombing was their 14th project.
“Tell me a little about the other 13,” I asked.