Planting out the suburbs and eating fresh
2016 seems to have flown by so fast, and with seemingly more losses than wins (Prince, Bowie, Cohen, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, the great Bill Mollison…) it’s easy to feel a little lost. Luckily this has also been a year where we’ve seen some wonderful community spirit and volunteerism shine, with around twenty blitzes throughout Melbourne this year!
Each time a permablitz takes place we are reminded of the importance of growing our own food – whether that be for seasonal veggies or a food forest. You may notice apples, cherries, figs, apricots or nectarines growing on the trees in your part of the world – it’s great to have access to such good fresh food! And food is never as tasty as when grown yourself..
To honour this tasty time of year, our psychedelic Australian song of the month is Apple Tree by Drop City
Permablitz #192 - Preston
Jess and Matt lead the team, setting up two wicking beds and a complete irrigation system, installing some fence posts and planting some fruit trees, as well as building the keyhole raised beds in the front yard. Awesome work!
Permablitz #188 - Frankston, part two!
Last time we were here, we built a great many things, including an African keyhole bed, but sadly didn’t get time to finish everything on the list. So with enthusiasm and determination Permablitz led the volunteers on a mission to make Bronnie’s place look amazing – and look amazing it now does!
Permablitz #190 – Brunswick West Food Forest
The West Brunswick Food Forest blitz was lots of fun for people of all ages – and everyone was keen to learn new skills, make new friends and care for the food forest.
Permablitz Revisited - Warrandyte 3 years later
Permablitzing seems to provide an excellent incentive to maintaining a garden. Three years later and the garden is still a joy. Carol says there was nothing that didn’t work out. What was planned and implemented works well and they are still developing more…
Hero of the Month
This month Kat has shared her love of all things leek – growing regular leeks requires dedication and patience; they take 100-130 days to reach maturity. But luckily for gardeners there is a handy shortcut: perennial leeks!
A Herb For Thought
This month Naomi brings you the lowdown on the humble dandelion! Get savvy with its many uses; from culinary creations, to garden-growing superfood.
Dandelion has a whole range of garden and health benefits that deserve recognition and appreciation, and which should inspire you to save multiple places for dandelion in your nature spaces moving forward.
Bits and Pieces
Eating fresh with the Gung-Hoe Growers!
We recently met Mel and Sas, two energetic and passionate young women who have recently started a small organic market garden business in Harcourt, just outside of Castlemaine. They’ve started small and between them are currently working around 4 days a week, balancing other part-time jobs to supplement their income while their farming project continues to grow. And growing it is!
Alta Vista neighborhood gets a new food forest
San Antonio recently enjoyed a permablitz in which a food forest was created. “People are just amazing when they work together, you can just get so much done in a short time. It’s transformed!”
It even made mainstream US news! That’s right – a permablitz was on the mainstream TV in the US – amazing!!
Fresh food a-plenty with The Growing Abundance Project
The Growing Abundance Project encourages a strong local food economy by promoting local farmers and reducing food waste. Their promotion of food security and healthy foods has hit home, and they’re only getting started!
Kat says quails are grouse, tips them to top chooks in backyard pecking order
What most people know about quails can be summed up in a short sentence: they’re small birds served up in posh restaurants.
In one year of keeping (live) quails in her backyard, our very own superstar Kat Lavers has learned a lot – and fallen in love with them. And she’s become convinced that quails are the ultimate inner-city pet.
In the Garden
Now that it is officially summer, the days will continue to get longer as we head for the summer solstice – and of course it’s going to get hotter! Make sure you’ve got mulch on all your plants to protect the soils from the sun and the coming dry winds.
And as strange as it may seem, early summer is the time to sow some winter brassicas such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and swedes so they can be harvested in winter.
For more great tips on managing your summer crop, check out Deep Green Permaculture’s Gardening Guide for the temperate zone (that’s us Melbourne-types!)
Seeds you can plant in December include:
- Asparagus Pea
- Cape Gooseberry
- Climbing Beans
- Dwarf beans
- French Tarragon
- Mustard greens
- Sweet corn
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 festive break!