Blitzing and Buzzing times, plus Onions that Walk Like an Egyptian
To celebrate onion-planting time, the theme song for this month is Green Onions by Booker T. & The MGs
Erika has left us (sniff!) for the wide open spaces of the US of A, and we’ll be meeting with some wonderful people who have put their hands up to take over her Permablitz role. We’re looking forward to meeting our brand new Internal Communications Director (but we’ll call them our Innie!)
This Sunday is International Permaculture Day, and our very edible gardener Adam Grubb will be doing his thing on-stage at ‘A Celebration Connecting the Many Facets of a Permanent Culture’ (after Costa has warmed up the mic for him!)
It’s a great event being held at CERES with a wealth of permaculture luminaries presenting a number of talks about soil, community gardens, food forests and a whole lot more. Check it out!
Keep your diaries free for Tuesday, 26th May, when we will hold our second Permablitz Designers Guild meetup for the year. To be held at CERES, there’ll be presentations on best-practice permaculture in action, and opportunities to network with other like-minded people.
Designers Guild sessions are primarily a networking & knowledge sharing forum for our permablitz designers group, known as the Designers Guild, but we would warmly welcome anyone interested in Permaculture and Permablitz to come along and say hello!
Competition time is drawing to a close…
Thanks to the generosity of Permablitz Designer Guild member Terry, we have a copy of the book “Practical Self Sufficiency – an Australian guide to sustainable living” to give away.We’ve had some pretty cool entries, and we’re going to run it just a little bit longer. To win, just send a photo of you with the best thing you’ve grown in the last 12 months – it can be your prize tomatoes, an abundant fruit tree, your baby chicks, maybe even your bee beard! (I admit it – I really want to see a bee beard…).
All pics can be seen in our photo album on Permablitz Melbourne’s Facebook page and on our website – the one with the most likes by May 11 will find this book in their letterbox!
You can send your pics via the Facebook page (or use the message feature if you prefer). If you’re not on Facebook, you can still enter – just email [email protected], and ensure you have “Practical Self Sufficiency comp” as your subject line.
Competition closes Sunday night at midnight, and the winner will be announced on the website and Facebook on Monday 11th of May – good luck!
Hero of the month
Egyptian Walking Onions
As their scientific name “Allium proliferum” states, these hardy little onions are very “prolific.” After planting them in your garden you will have onions every year for years to come! Egyptian Walking Onions are also called “Tree Onions, Egyptian Tree Onions, Top Onions, Winter Onions, or Perennial Onions.”
Egyptian Walking Onions are a hardy perennial. In Melbourne they can be planted or harvested any time of year. If pulled, the roots and a small piece of bulb may be replanted. They may be propagated by planting the bulbils that form on top of the flower stalk, or by digging and dividing the mother clump. There are a few weeks after the flower stalk forms in which the stem becomes hard and undesirable. New bulbs form beside the flower stalk producing tender bulbs later in the season.
Egyptian Walking Onions taste just like a regular onion, only with a bit more pizzazz! The entire plant can be eaten. Shallot-like onions form at the base in the soil. They can be eaten and prepared just like any other onion. The hollow greens may be chopped to eat like chives or green onions. They are excellent when fried, cooked in soups, or raw in salads (my favorite). The topsets are excellent when peeled and fried. You can even pickle them. Or just pop them in your mouth like popcorn! Watch out, they’re a little spicy!
You can read more about this onion that walks like an egyptian here.
Gangsta Gardener on Patrol
South Central Los Angeles is known for many things, mostly not good. Think Rodney King riots and civil unrest, drug culture and urban ghettos. Ron Finley has started something new by planting food forests and edible gardens in unused areas between the sidewalk and the curb called parkways – initially because he was tired of having to drive 45 minutes “just to get a tomato.”
Read all about it here.
Laneway plantings and verge gardens
It’s an interesting time to be an urban gardener lately, with residents forcing laneway garden removals and councils such as Manningham charging $85 for a permit assessment to plant out a nature strip. We spoke last month about Daniel who is facing a $750 fine for using his unused car space to create a community garden – we hear this is still under review. Luckily some areas are more supportive of edible spaces, with other areas such as Mornington Peninsula now allowed to plant produce on their verges.
We’re all about creating edible suburbs, but don’t put yourself at risk legally by doing so! If you’re thinking of planting on your nature strip, please check in with your council’s website to find out where you stand.
Save the Bees!
Bees haven’t been doing so well over the last ten years or so, and we need to do everything we can to spread the word to help these little guys. Bees are the whole reason as to why we have vegetables, fruits, trees, flowers and 90% of wild plants.
We need bees to pollinate plants, make honey, and continue the natural balance of earth.
Luckily artists Louis Masai and Jim Vision have decided to create some of the most amazing murals to raise awareness about bees and the critical situation were. Check them out here.
If you want to find out more about the issues facing bees today, watch this fascinating Ted presentation here.
Til next month, from deep within Permablitz Melbourne’s secret hive – keep on buzzin’!