It's been hot, humid, wet and sultry - welcome to the new Melbourne summer!
Looking for new blood this Autumn and Permie of the Year
Autumn is almost here – and we’re already seeing fallen dry leaves swirling around the streets… That means that many of us are now wrapping up our summer harvests, and getting stuck into preserving for the seasons where tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, peppers, honey and various herbs aren’t in quite the same bountiful supply.

The Designer’s Guild have been hard at it on the blitz design front – there’s no less than eleven blitzes in various stages of conception right now – and one or two of them are even due for announcement sometime in the next month or so! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for those!

While we wait for the next day of blitzty action, we will celebrate this wonderful time of harvest and honey,  with our song of the month from Scottish alternative rockers: Jesus and Mary Chain withJust Like Honey.

Hero of the Month: Tromboncino
This is the zucchini with outstanding flavour that doesn’t get too big too soon. Be sure to train the quick growing vines up a trellis so it hangs straight or you’ll have lots of long and curlies! They fruit later and store longer than other varieties, and grow prolifically.

You’ve just gotta check them out!

Beets and Pieces
Transforming suburbia
Whether it’s a herb pot on the windowsill or tomatoes in the garden, we are being encouraged to grow at least some of our own produce for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

In some parts of our cities and towns community gardens are flourishing. Chickens and native bees are returning to many suburban backyards.

So what does it mean to live sustainably in our suburbs? How can we transform suburbia to achieve a carbon positive, low energy future?

ABC captured this discussion with speakers David Holmgren (permaculture co-originator), Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia), Dr Dominique Hes (senior lecturer, Sustainable Architecture, and director, Thrive Research Hub, University of Melbourne), Kat Lavers  (Permablitz hero, permaculture practitioner and teacher), Michael Ableman (co-founder, Sole Food Street Farms) and moderator Nick Ritar (co-director, Milkwood Permaculture)

You can listen to Transforming the Suburbs on the ABC here, as recorded at the National Sustainability Festival, Melbourne on 11 February 2018

Chickens will become a beloved pet — just like the family dog
Raising chickens is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the United States, yet chickens often suffer because people don’t know what they are doing.

“Most of us got our first chicken because we wanted fresh eggs,” backyard chicken expert and blogger Kathy Shea Mormino says. “People think ‘How hard can it be?’ But we make it more complicated just by misunderstanding how chickens need to be cared for.”

More than 1% of all U.S. households now raise chickens; the USDA estimates that by 2019 urban chicken flocks will increase by 400%.  Here in Australia, back in 1994 roughly 1% of households owned chickens, but current statistics are hard to come by although more people we know seem to have backyard chooks today than back in ’94!

Read the full story at LA Times here.
If you’re thinking of getting chooks, check out the Very Edible Gardens guide to chickens here.

Back in the Garden
March is the beginning of Autumn, so there’s plenty to do! It’s a great time for planting new trees once the weather beings to cool as there will also be time for the trees to establish before the onset of winter. Yes, winter is coming…

If you’ve got pumpkins in your patch, it will be time to pick them soon – make sure they are fully ripened (there shouldn’t be any green on the stem or skin), and cut them when the vine starts to die off.

Thinking of garlic as well? It’s a good time for it!

Seeds that do well in March include…

Seeds you can plant in March include:
Beetroot Mustard Greens
Broad Beans Oats
Broccoli Onions
Buckwheat Orach
Cabbage Parsley
Caraway Parsnip
Carrots Potato tubers
Cauliflower Radish
Chervil Salad Burnett
Chicory Salsify
Chinese Cabbage Shallot bulbs
Cress Silverbeet
Garlic clove Spinach
Kohlrabi Spring Onions
Leeks Strawberry runners
Lettuce Swedes
Mizuna Turnip
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!


permablitz melbourne
eating the suburbs, one backyard at a time

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