Feels like a cold day in Melbourne lately
It was a busy month in Permablitz-land… We had the blitz in Croydon recently, and there was also 3000acres’ Olive to Oil program to take advantage of. Thanks to some help from young helpers, we managed to harvest 35kg from a single tree, netting us a delicious 3.5litres of primo olive oil — delish! Make sure you don’t miss it next year.
We’ve also been collecting leaves from across the suburbs — it makes for excellent mulch, and the chooks love it when we dump big piles of leaves in their run for them to run through.
As for the Collective – we’ve grown by three! Permablitz designer extraordinaire Natalie, the indefatigable Lauren and aquaponics man Ben have joined our merry crew, boosting our resilience as an organisation moving forward. Lauren’s already off to a flying start, having documented the recent Croydon blitz, but more on that later.
Lately even if the sun manages to shine, it always Feels like a cold day in Melbourne – and the Foo Fighters agree. That’s why they’ve got the much-coveted honour of our Song of the Month!
Permablitz #217 - Croydon
A week or so back saw a big transformation happen at Kirri’s place – her front yard had wired fence added for kiwi fruit and passionfruit, lots of natives added for screening, a pond was restored and an irrigated veggie bed put in!
Out the back saw the removal of not just a few trees, but an actual forest of privets and Josh and Tom almost single-handedly set up two raised beds to be irrigated.
It was a lot of fun with some great camaraderie.
Check out the events of the day here!
Hero of the Month
Our Hero of the Month is Salvia, shared with us by the bee-friendly team of Buzz and Dig!
Salvias are easy grow and provide colour in the garden throughout the year, and are a true hero to local pollinator species and biodiversity in your garden.
Plant some salvia to invite native buzzing pollinators to your edible garden, and listen for the buzz next Spring!
Want to learn more? Of course you do – click here!
Beets and Pieces
Dairy goats – The key to sustainable abundance in the suburbs
Ever wanted to keep goats? Kate from The Nourishing Hearthfire tells us everything you need to know about keeping them – including food, shelter and your responsibilities.
In return, they’ll give you love, milk and awesome manure for the garden.
Win! Read the full article here.
How weeds help fight climate change
In the 1970s and 1980s, farmer Peter Andrews became interested in sustainable agriculture. He looked at the waterways and the plants that were growing on his property and tried to avoid fertiliser and weed killer. He wanted to make the farm as resilient to the weather as possible.
One major issue was drought. Another was that weeds were growing on the property, while native plants weren’t.
He had two major realisations. First, plants are fundamental to keeping the land in balance. Second, so is water.
Every landscape, he saw, has its own contours – a point where water originates from, and a point to which it flows. To regenerate an eroding landscape, you start at the highest point, slow down the water flow, then work downwards, filtering the water with whatever vegetation there is, he explains. This was the genesis of his idea of natural sequence farming.
Natural sequence farming has four main elements. First, restore fertility to improve the soil; second, increase groundwater; third, re-establish vegetation, including with weeds if necessary; fourth, understand the unique needs of a particular landscape.
Andrews’s ideas aren’t universally accepted. For decades, he was been seen by many as a maverick. He is not a scientist, and it took until 2013 before scientific evidence showed that natural sequence farming can be effective.
Read Andrew’s full story in the BBC article here.
In the Garden
There’s not much planting to do this month, but there’s still a bit you can do around the garden. Any fallen leaves can become an excellent source of mulch – if you don’t have any in your own garden, don’t worry – many suburbs are literally covered in leaves right now! The best way to use them is to put them in a pile in your yard before running them over them with a mower – or even a whipper snipper will help. This will dramatically increase the breakdown process.
It’s also an excellent time to divide and plant perennials. Bare-root season is almost upon us, so have a think about where you can squeeze in another fruit tree – you know you can never have enough!
Seeds that do well in June include…
- Broad beans
- Corn Salad
- Florence Fennel
- Mustard greens
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!