Making a biz from your permie passions and wicking bed action
We’re on the tail end of summer, and since it hasn’t been as crazy-hot as previous years, our gardens are now fit to burst! Cucumbers and peaches and berries and zucchinis and beans – even our coffee plant has given us a good harvest! Of course, all eyes are on the tomato plants – they’ll ripen soon we hope! And check out the swag from a single permie’s garden above! Pretty awesome…
Last month we got to chat to Ben from Ben’s Bees and he shared with us his beginnings and how he’s grown his business… Permablitz Collective superstar Hermann also put together a great article on wicking beds (based on the writings of the wicking bed inventor), and we’ve also teamed up with the team at Permaculture Victoria to present the Fair Food documentary as part of the upcoming Sustainable Living Festival!
Speaking of the Sustainable Living Festival, there’s a crazy amount of awesome things happening this month (way too many for us to fit in our usual Events List) – make sure you check out the mega list at the Urban Agricultural Forum‘s site.
To commemorate these final days of summer, our song of the month is one of the smoothest summer tracks ever – Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness” – so chilled..
Blitzes in the works and working with the Guild!
Coming out of the holidays, we’re looking at blitzes in the coming months, with some amazing Designer Guild members on the case!
If you’ve done a PDC and are interested in getting more involved, then hit us up. It’s a great way to continue the educational experience of the PDC in a real-world context while meeting other designers – and the Collective is always there to help!
Permablitz #195 – Greening the Mall at Box Hill
This blitz heated up as eager blitz volunteers met in the brick and concrete settings of the Box Hill Central Mall with a vision of transformative action – some herb’n’veggie-filled wicking beds were going to be made!
Permablitz and Permaculture Victoria presents... FAIR FOOD - Film screening & panel discussion
If you would like to learn more about the importance of having access to local food, fairly produced, and the issues facing our local producers, then grab your ticket now. The choices we all make about the food we grow, buy and eat can have a huge impact on the kind of environment we want to have, on how animals are treated and on how we care for and support each other.
The screening of Fair Food will be followed by a special guest panel who will delve into issues raised in the film. Guest speakers are’Nick Rose (Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance), Serenity Hill (Open Food Network), Pippa French (3000 acres), Sophia Christoe (Melbourne Farmers Markets) and Paul Miragliotta (Days Walk Farm and Farmer Incubator).
Hero of the Month
Shark Fin Melon
Our hero of the month is the Asian green Shark Fin Melon, the essential ingredient for the healthy and nutritious shark fin melon soup (not shark fin soup!) boiled using a Tanyu claypot. When planting these out make sure you give them some generous spacing – we would suggest 1-2m apart, to allow them space to trail. As with squashes, they should be watered in well.
Bits and Pieces
A few thoughts on wicking beds
One of the big hits at Permablitzes are wicking beds. Hermann has put together an article that discusses how they work, why they work, and what you can do to make them even better!
How Ben makes a living keeping bees in Melbourne
Urban beekeeping is going from strength to strength, with more beekeepers than ever in the state of Victoria alone. A handful of beekeepers have taken the next step into self-sufficiency , and have actively sought out a livelihood from this. Honey production and providing pollination to farmers and orchards are among the most common ways to generate income streams from beekeeping, but many beekeepers also offer bee-collection services for when a swarm has found itself in a place where people would prefer they rather not be!
In the Garden
We’re now in the last month of summer, and as the weather is all over the place it’s a bit tricky to get regular things done! When you do water though, make sure you do so less often and water deeply. This encourages roots to grow down, making plants less vulnerable to heat and drought.
When you do your weeding, lay the weeds on top of the soil to dry out and become mulch, but make sure you remove and dispose of the seed heads first!
It’s also a good time to do the summer pruning of your fruit trees as well as giving your citrus trees a good feed.
Seeds you can plant in February include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Chinese Cabbage
- Mustard Greens
- Potato tubers
- Rhubarb crowns
- Salad Burnett
- Shallot bulbs
- Spring Onions
Remember: some seeds do better starting off in punnets, some in pots and some in the ground. To get the best from your seedlings be sure to check the best methods first!
From all at Permablitz Melbourne decentral – stay cool and enjoy the summer vibes!