It may still be cold outside, but you can the good news is you can start thinking about summer crops
Counting to 200 with blossom in the air!
Can you guess what Brunswick West, Upwey, Jan Juc and Avondale Heights have in common? These are all permablitz designs-in-progress that are each edging each other out for the honour of hosting the big Permablitz 200!! Who would have thought this little backyard blitzing endeavour would last so long – let alone spread around the world!

Meanwhile winter continues its march onwards, and while the days are getting milder the mornings are still oh so fresh! It’s great weather for sweeting brassicas and helping snow peas climb to the sky – and a great time to be eating the bounties that winter provides. Wandering around the suburbs we’re seeing the tell-tale signs of oncoming spring – the blossoms are starting to show! To celebrate this wondrous event we’re giving the song of the month to French electronic maestros Air, with Cherry Blossom Girl.

Hero of the Month: Asparagus
It’s the perfect time to dig a hole and plant an Asparagus! Or maybe plant a couple of crowns into a big pot… Once planted, water well  so the air pockets get away from the roots. Side and top dress with blood and bone, then in spring, little shoots will appear.  Bonus!

To read more about this amazing plant, click here!

Beets and Pieces
Farming the suburbs – why can’t we grow food wherever we want?
Food provides the foundations for human flourishing and the fabric of sustainability. It lies at the heart of conflict and diversity, yet presents opportunities for cultural acceptance and respect. It can define neighbourhoods, shape communities, and make places.

In parts of our cities, residents have embraced suburban agriculture as a way to improve access to healthier and more sustainably produced food. Farming our street edges, verges, vacant land, parks, rooftops and backyards is a great way to encourage an appreciation of locally grown food and increase consumption of fresh produce.

Despite these benefits, regulations, as well as some cultural opposition, continue to constrain suburban agriculture. We can’t grow and market food wherever we like, even if it is the sustainable production of relatively healthy options.

While good planning will be key to a healthier, more sustainable food system, planning’s role in allocating land for different uses across the city also constrains suburban agriculture.

Making our food systems healthier and more sustainable requires a two-step approach.

First, we need to fortify the parts of the system that enable access to healthy food options. Second, we need to disempower elements that continuously expose us to unhealthy foods.

Read the full essay on this important topic in The Conversation here.

Melburnians waste enough food to feed extra 2 million people
Feeding the average Melburnian generates about 207 kilograms of food waste a year – meaning close to 1 million tonnes of edible food ends up rotting.

If that wasn’t alarming enough, food waste costs an average household more than $2200 a year.

The figures, produced as part of the Foodprint Melbourne project, were the first to quantify the city’s food waste, Melbourne University researcher Seona​ Candy said.

With Melbourne’s population surging and the city tipped to reach 10 million by 2050, food is considered the next big challenge in waste.

The Foodprint Melbourne project is a collaboration between academics and councils to discover what it takes to feed Melbourne.

See the full article in the Sydney Morning Herald here.

Back in the Garden
It may still be cold outside, but you can the good news is you can start thinking about what to plant for your summer crops! If you’ve got a greenhouse or somewhere warm, think about getting some seeds in to get a head-start on your summer planting. Angelo from Deep Green Permaculture has some great tips on starting your annual vegetables indoors – check it out!

Things you can plant in August include:

Seeds you can plant in August include:
Asparagus  Parsnip
Beetroot  Peas
Cabbage  Potato
Cape Gooseberry  Radish
Capsicum  Rocket
Chilli  Shallot bulbs
Eggplant Snow Peas
Globe Artichokes  Spring Onions
Kohlrabi  Strawberries
Leeks  Sunflowers
Lettuce  Thyme
Mint  Tomato
Mustard greens  Watermelon
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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