Thanks to all those who made it along to the 5th and final Guild Session of 2014 last week at Ceres. We had our biggest turnout yet and a busy, information packed evening thanks to our speakers Kat & Kat for their presentations and to designers Terry and Shotaro for sharing & workshopping their designs with the group.
As a reminder, these Guild Sessions are designed as a way to gather, share skills, and meet the other great people in the Permablitz network. In this session, Kat Lavers presented on how to best design ideas for home composting with the do's and don't's of worm farms, composting, chooks & bokashi. Covering a lot of ground in the time provided and helping the designers to carefully discern what type of home composting systems they should be recommending in their designs. We also had Kat Dugas present an intro into getting mushrooms growing in our designs, also bringing in some tasty examples of what we should be aiming for! Thanks Kat and Kat!
In this session we were also fortunate to get the chance to learn about 2 designs brought in by designers Terry and Shotaro who explained them to the group before getting into some creative brainstorming and design development! So much information and creative energy in one night! So it was all in all a very busy and once again a very successful Guild Session evening. Thanks again to Ceres for hosting us!
We have wrapped up the series now for 2014 with 5 successful Sessions held at various locations across Melbourne, and look forward to another series of Sessions for 2015! It's been great meeting everyone who has been able to participate this year and we look forward to seeing your smiling faces, along with many new smiling faces next year!
Permablitz Collective Melbourne
The Melbourne Permablitz Collective's resident worm enthusiast Thomas, has some tips for keeping your worms cool this summer...
Before too long, we are going to get hot days. Days so hot that our eyeballs dry out, and worms cook in our worm farms. This isn't good for the worms, and isn't good for us, so here are some vermafriendly strategies:
Your worm farm should be in full shade, and particularly protected from the harsh afternoon sun. However, even that isn't protection when the air temperature is above 40degrees several days in a row.
Put a towel over your worm farm, with the ends in buckets of water. The water wicks up the towel and evaporates, cooling the worms.
Ice bucket challenge
Put ice in your worm farm, preferably big blocks of it, to really cool it down at the start of the day.
Bring your worm farm inside, and share your cool air conditioned space. A well maintained worm farm shouldn't smell or be a problem.
Going to ground
All of the above are only short term solutions. If you are going away on holiday for two weeks, or even if you aren't but want to be sure, you could dismantle your worm farm, and put each shelf directly in contact with the ground (still in the shade, and putting some form of lid on top of each shelf). That way, the worms can seek refuge in the earth when it gets too hot. Don't worry, they should all come back, as compost worms like a rich food source which the normal soil won't provide.
What started off dubiously, with morning showers and max of 11 degrees, Melbourne’s weather turned out a typical ‘4-seasons-in-one-day’ for our Stage One Sat 1st Nov Permalbitz at Norfolk Terrace, in Flemington (a 24hr residential rehabilitation program for people experiencing mental ill health).
Lead by Dylan and Jo from The Desert Echo on behalf of the Farnham St Neighbourhood Learning Centre, many hands made light work on this day, as seen below.
Today we were able to create 2 ground level garden beds and 2 raised wicking garden beds made from pre-cut, untreated pine and lined with expensive ‘$40-50/m pond lining material’, with a central, circular arbour (yet to be fully constructed).
What a great day we all had with a great lunch (please see annotated pics below). We are all looking forward to the next stage to complete it! Great work everyone and thanks to the leaders were able to source the funding necessary for it and instigated it.
Check out more photos here.
Thank you to everyone who came out for a great blitz at Beaver Street Kindergarten last week! We had a small but very diverse group with participants from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Brazil, Chile, France, India & America.
The idea behind the design was to create something educational and interactive for the kids so they could come into the garden and be inspired to learn about growing food. The design included one big wicking bed, two smaller tubs, a few fruit trees, one tall trellis for a passionfruit vine and a lower trellis for the kids to access using recycled containers.
Workshops for the day included building a wicking bed, creating degradable pots for seedlings using newspaper & in-ground worm bins using recycled plastic buckets. Since we had a small group everyone had an opportunity to see all the workshops and help with assembling the wicking bed.
We double checked the wicking bed was working properly before filling it with soil and then planted out the new bed with vegies for the kids to look after.
The recycled containers were great for hanging herbs & flowers along both sides of the trellis. And it was a hot day, we all tried to hide from the sun as much as possible!
One little guy is getting it already! He was very enthusiastic and wanted to help with all the watering.
Thanks again everyone. The kids were very excited about their new garden when they arrived at school the next morning.
See more photos from the day here.
On the 27th of September it was time for a country-feel Blitz in Upwey. The sun was shining the hands were eager and the spirits were good. People knew they were up for something special.
Our host Tom doubled up as a designer to lead us through the day. Collective members Kat and Hermann helped out on the various projects on the day. The list was long. Tom wanted to establish Hügelkultur beds in the back of his house, convert the front garden bed into a home-made wicking bed, build a chook shed in the back from salvaged round timber and dig a pond.
More than 20 volunteers, among them many locals, showed up to make light work of the tasks that were planned for the day. The day progressed quickly with digging out the pond to solidify the Hügelbed and chopping new wood up for the other beds. In the front of the house eager volunteers prepared the ground for the wicking bed and dug out camellias that will join other gardens in the area.
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