Well permablitz deis-y-seis exploded into action yesterday with a fantastic turn out including our beloved Nelson Campos the day before he moves to Adelaide (where he plans to continue his fine work as a bridge between permaculture and the local South American community). Nelson brought along some very special seeds harvested by Vilma from a broccoli planted on permablitz numero uno in April 2006.
Around 25 people came by and launched Brendan into food production in a major way with photos to prove it (Thanks to Shoko for uploading photos of the day here ). On the day, we broke up into teams to...
1) Turn a wild wandering dew mountain into a large stone and brick-edged key-holed veggie bed sheet mulched, fertilized with wormcastings, planted out with literally hundreds of herb/vegetable seedlings then mulched with straw. In three or so weeks this garden will be producing salads like crazy!
2) Plant a lemon tree, an apricot, two tamirillos, a loquat, two tagasastes, comfrey and yarrow into the orchard area with worm castings and sheep manure to get them off to a good start.
3) Set up a trellis on a north-facing fence and planted climbers including two passionfruits and a snake bean below it.
4) Install a bathtub pond for aesthetics, a water food-plant garden and beneficial bird and insect drinking water right in the middle of the main veggie beds (with some lovely stone edging by Keith and Nathan).
5) Set up a chook system complete with fox-proof housing and two happy isa browns. As soon as he sources some star pickets, Brendan will be completing the chook run system fence during the next week so the chooks can range and turn more wandering dew into yellow-yolked eggs.And all this in about four focused hours of work - not a bad effort at all! And what with Di's garden-based minestrone soup and various other contributions, a fine lunch was had in the context of turning a bit more of melbourne edible. Thanks heaps to all who came and worked so hard - check the gallery soon for photos.
Now we've also had requests from a bunch of people keen to host permablitzes and pre-blitz site analysis visits soon, including folks from North of the city, so stay tuned. Remember anyone can submit a blitz on the calendar page - you don't need to ask! Let's make permablitzes self-organising so they can spread across the universe like an out-of control bloom of beneficial bacteria. Fill everyone's back and front yards with food either before the supermarkets crash or so they have to! Like Bill Mollison once said about the guy in Tasmania growing cabbages on his nature strip - this stuff is not only fun - it's subversive.
In a productive post-blitz discussion, a few of us also mused on a few possible criteria for future blitzes, espcially given as people are starting to queue up for them:
1) The blitz host and recipient should have been along to at least one blitz previously (partially so they know what they're in for and partially so they have a chance to reciprocate). Two or more would be great.
2) Everyone should stop together at around 4pm or whatever for some permasalsa or whatnot to give the event some fun closure and give folks some time to appreciate what they've created before people start drifting off (and to give them a reason to stay even longer!)
3) Each blitz should include the planting out of at least three trays of seeds for future blitzes with the host being responsible for keeping them alive and arranging to get them to the next blitz
4) The host should agree to a six-month follow up visit so whoever wants to can re-visit and get a feel for just how fast these systems evolve.
We are also thinking of organising a permablitz toolkit and resource base for use on each blitz - let us know if you have a spade, hammer or kid's wading pool etc to donate. We might eventually have to consider organising a pool of funds that can be drawn on to supply any essentials we can't source for free and the host can't afford on the day, including the possibility of minibus hire to get folks to and from. Who knows, there may even be some sort of grant available for this sort of thing, given how darn healthy it is for the community and for the planet.
May you currently be eating home-grown tomatoes and basil in abundance and catch you at a blitz soon,
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