Blitzes, Tomatoes, City Permaculture and a new Urban Farm!
Some may remember that last month we did a call-out for new Permablitz Collective members… We were completely blown away with the response – such amazing people! A big thanks must go out to everyone who applied, and all those who joined us at our regular meeting early last month. We’re really looking forward to seeing you all again!
And speaking of all things Permablitz – if you’ve been wanting to have a blitz of your own, the time is now – make sure you check out the article below!
Now I’m sure it isn’t just us, but this weather has us completely bamboozled… Is it Autumn? Summer? Both? Neither? It’s all so confusing. But thanks to Angus and Julia Stone I know that I wish that I had a mango tree in my backyard… They’ve given us our song of the month with Mango Tree!
Permablitz Revisited - 2 years later in Frankston
The sign at the front door says “Spoiled rotten pets live here”. It should read “coddled plants thrive here”! Both front and back yards are lush with growth, in spite of the dryness all around – there is 6ft tall corn, and tomatoes and squash are overflowing their beds. It’s just so bountiful!
See how Bronnie's place in Frankston looks now!
Permablitz Revisited - 2 years later in Brunswick
We recently returned to Lenka and Fergus’ garden to see how it was going, and it was great to see how the transformed backyard was really kicking goals. It is now a much more functional space; each trip to the clothes line or the compost bins provides opportunities to check on wicking beds, raised beds and fruit trees, and grey water from the washing machine keeps the fruit trees well watered. Win!
See how Lenka and Fergus' place looks two years after their blitz!
Who wants to get blitzed?
Have you ever thought of having a permablitz at your place? Maybe converting your lawn into a veggie garden? Or putting in wicking beds and a chook run? Maybe with a small orchard? Sounds pretty sweet right?
Now is the perfect time to jump on board with Permablitz to get your place producing the finest produce your suburb has seen. For the next few months, if you’ve been to a Permablitz then you’re now eligible to get your own place transformed. Brilliant!
If you haven’t been to a blitz before and are keen to have a blitz – get in touch, and we’ll do our best to get you along to a blitz (yup, even the booked out ones) so you can get your blitz points locked down.
Hero of the Month
Donna from Edendale Community Environment Farm was good enough to contribute this month’s Hero of the Month, and it’s a cracker – Oregano!
It’s the perfect time to learn about oregano, since there’s still an awful lot of tomatoes around and they are simply delish together. If you’re a first-time gardener it’s a great herb to start with, and will live happily in your hot spots – but isn’t a fan of frosts.
To read more about this amazing plant (and where to plant it), click here!
Beets and Pieces
Kat Lavers gives Happen Films a tour of The Plummery
Kat Lavers is a Permablitz super-star and Melbourne City backyard gardener, and uses the thoughtful permaculture design of her 10mx10m garden to grow over 400 kilos of food a year. She talks with great passion about why she feels small-scale urban gardening is so important for the resilient future of our cities.
Happen Films has just released a short documentary called Urban Permaculture, which covers Kat’s garden, her philosophy and how she lives her life.
Melbourne Food Hub kicks off new urban farm in Alphington
The Melbourne Food Hub is developing an urban farm in the heart of Alphington, to grow fresh food for sale while serving as an educational site to help aspiring farmers and gardeners learn all they need to know about growing great produce.
Launched last May, The Melbourne Food Hub is a project designed to provide greater connection between farmers and consumers, and foster a more sustainable, resilient and fair food system. Alongside the urban farm, the Food Hub is creating a community kitchen to help incubate small food business start-ups, a food distribution program aiming to increase fresh food availability in aged care homes and hospitals, a weekly farmers market, a community composting facility, a farmers depot and extensive workshop programs looking at all aspects of local food systems from growing, selling and processing.
If you’d like to get involved and have a strong interest in food and sustainable agriculture, get in touch with The Melbourne Food Hub. There are a variety of roles suited to different skill sets, including construction and building, watering and weeding, planting, installing irrigation, harvesting food and more!
Karen Sutherland teams up with Penny Woodward to bring us Tomato!
Tomato: know, sow, grow, feast is a new hardback book celebrating Australian heirloom tomatoes. These colourful heritage gems are full to bursting with juicy deliciousness and are enjoying a renaissance in Australia today. Inspired by this, Karen Sutherland (designer of many a Permablitz, and director of Edible Eden Design) has teamed up with horticultural expert and author, Penny Woodward to create a book brimming with information about heirloom tomatoes, so that tomato lovers throughout Australia could identify, learn to grow and enjoy them. Tomato explains why a ‘red tomato is red’, why ‘real tomatoes’ taste so good, and why tomatoes are so ‘good for you’.
You can find this book at a bookstore near you, or via Karen’s online store. She may even sign it for you!
In the Garden
March is the officially the beginning of Autumn, so there’s plenty to do! It’s a great time for planting new trees once the weather begins to cool as there will also be time for the trees to establish before the onset of winter. Yes, winter is coming… apparently…
Of course, it’s still pretty hot out there, so make sure you keep all your pots well watered, and ensure all of your veggie patches and fruit trees are well mulched.
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.
Seeds that do well in March include…
- Broad Beans
- Chinese Cabbage
- Garlic clove
- Mustard Greens
- Potato tubers
- Salad Burnett
- Shallot bulbs
- Spring Onions
- Strawberry runners