From the happy hosts: As Saturday’s heat began to build, twelve people descended on our house. They quickly set to work, moving dirt and fruit trees, pulling out tree stumps, and constructing garden beds.
Interspersed with the hard work we heard laughter and conversations, and saw connections made and contact details shared. The magic of Permablitz seems to be that everyone gets what they want from the experience. As they left, several attendees, after having just spent a day applying their energy and time to transforming our garden, thanked us for having had them along!
Our Permablitz really began several months ago with the design team meeting at our house. Special thanks go to Leah for her great rendition of the final designs. We’re thrilled with the result and look forward to having everyone back again in 9 months to see how their baby (garden) has grown.
Thank you to everyone who came along. It was magical to see our yard transformed right in front of our eyes. At the end of the day we sat back in our new seating area, in front of our new pond, overlooking our new garden beds and breathed a happy sigh as we shared a beer to celebrate.
And from the Chief Designer: It was a great day at Matt and Emma's with a gorgeous brick edged vegie bed and perennial beds for arising from the bare earth. Despite hot weather the blitz team swiftly moved several cubic metres of soil and mushroom compost into the new beds from the adjoining laneway. Following a delicious lunch there was a workshop on installing a small ponds, and those who stayed until the very end enjoyed a taste of babaco (cool climate paw paw relative) and a well deserved cold beer! A testimony to the effective design (by Ryan, Leah, Thomas and Kat) was that despite the tiny garden (10m x 5m) the vegie bed ended up surprisingly large and should provide most of their fresh vegies, with plenty of room left around the edges for at least 5 espaliered fruit trees, fruiting vines, shrubs and herbs, paths, as well as a cosy seat for two to relax in their new oasis! Well done everyone!
Special thanks to everyone that came! And to Tim Metherall for filming the timelapse. In the background you'll see a fox-proof chicken coup and "strawyard" being constructed, with lawn cleared and veggie beds prepared in the foreground. Also check out the great photos from the day.
Also big thanks to The Sharehood who donated plants. Everyone who came could take a free veggie seedling home, the only catch was you had to take two, and give one to a neighbour and tell them about The Sharehood. The Sharehood "aims to build joyful, sustainable and resilient communities by encouraging people to get to know their neighbours and share with them." There's an online tool and services trading network. Learn more at www.thesharehood.org or watch the little video below with Michael Green, who gave a workshop at the blitz.
The hosts of this blitz included Asha Bee, who was at Permablitz #1 back in 2006 and is part of the Melbourne Permablitz Collective and writes our regular newsletters. They write:
Having been in and around Permablitz Melbourne in from it's early days it's easy to take it for granted that a bunch of strangers would come to someone's house and spend all day doing manual labour just for the love of it (...and for all the perma-learnings through the workshops and the opportunity to be blitzed in the future, yes) but being on the other side of a permablitz again - having wise friends help design the garden, chook run and strawyard, and then having a bunch of strangers-to-be-friends convert our field of lawn into all that in one day - it's great to be reminded of how special the Permablitz concept is. Three cheers for Permablitz and thirty cheers for everyone who was involved in our blitz!!
-- Asha, Ellie and Laura
The Ascot Vale Special School blitz went very nicely. About 15 blitzers turned up, most of them first timers with lots of enthusiasm and wonder. The first job was the retrofitting of nine corrugated iron beds into wicking beds, under the guidance of the Seila the wicking-man. All the pipes had been precut, and were ready to go, and with Seila's workshop it was a great success. It usually is with Seila the wicking-man.
As well as the wicking-beds, 80 % of the chook house was completed. Lunch was held in the students kitchen, and was a typical menu: the volunteers were pleased to be immersed in the school's programme.
In spite of the fact that, personally, this blitz was a blitz, with just three weeks of preparation at a very busy time of year, I'd love to host part two sometime soon. Maybe see you there...
Elizabeth and Rodney's blitz in Preston was a great success. We started by preparing cardboard for sheet mulching while getting aquainted and then had our morning circle with introductions, some health and safety, and some info about Elizabeth and Rodney's inspiring new energy efficient house. Then we got stuck into it with some extensive sheet mulching, a quick workshop on good tree planting practice, and some heavy duty concete stump removal (which was very successful). Paths and irrigation went into the front and then it was time for a wonderful lunch lovingly prepared by Elizabeth and her mother. After a good yarn, and lots of blue cheese, half of the group departed for a tour around the 9 star energy rating house, which has just won a design award! The rest of us got on with the irrigation and paths in the back.
Back in November, a small band of mostly female volunteers came together for Damien's second blitz, in Reservoir (Blitz 117). The first was in May, 2010 (Blitz 89 - photos of the blitz, and the follow up, and are in the gallery), and since then Damien has been back out in the permablitz world helping other's set up their food gardens. This time, the blitz was to build up the back yard with soil and compost, and to build a fox-proof chook house and chook run.