Feels like summer
Having had a weekend that started off really hot, then a little bit stormy, then kinda cool – one could be forgiven for thinking that the weather is just a little bit crazy right now… It’s like summer is trying to get started, but isn’t quite sure how. While this means that tomatoes may be starting later than usual, our zucchinis are going gangbusters, and we’re thrilled to bits to see berries of all kinds popping up everywhere. Yum!
While this is the last newsletter of the year, we’ll be returning for a blitz-filled 2019 in February with the next newsletter… Yup… we’re taking a month off! More time for the garden and to hang out with family and friends.
One of the great things about summer is catching up with friends in outdoor spaces, and for our last Permablitz Collective meeting of the year, we did just that. A lovely night was spent with good fine, cool drinks and fun people by the side of the Yarra – hopefully there will be many more during these warmer months!
To celebrate the relaxing summer vibes, we’ve selected none other than Childish Gambino to give us the song of the month, with his latest tune Feels Like Summer. Enjoy!
Permablitz #214 - Lalor
Recently an eager team of blitzers transformed a bare front yard into a garden full of natives and fruit trees – it’s even got a free sharing library! Joel and Kaitlyn’s design will help Chris and his family enjoy veggies and fruit for years to come. A big thanks to everyone for making the day such a success!
Check out the day's adventures here!
Last chance to get blitzed with just one point!
Don’t be shy! If you’ve been to the odd permablitz and you think maybe you’d like to be blitzed yourself, let us know.
Usually we say you need to come to two or more permablitzes before you qualify. Sometimes this is a lot, especially given we know how hard it is to get into blitzes when they are booking out so quickly.
So to keep blitzes happening, we are bending the rules a bit. Til the end of the year, if you’ve been to a blitz and want one of your own – hit us up. We’re keen to make your part of the suburb edible for you!
Hero of the Month
Good King Henry
The Good King Henry , or sometimes known as ‘poor man’s asparagus’, is a perennial that produces edible shoots and spinach-like leaves. Once common in gardens, it’s something of a rarity today.
It is edible all over, the new shoots can be cut and cooked like asparagus and the flowering stalks are a good stand-in for broccoli. Check it out!
How to: Care for your worms during extreme heat
As summer continues, it’s only going to get hotter. On days of extreme heat, it’s important to make sure your pets have lots of access to cool, clean water. But what about the worms? Won’t someone think about the WORMS??
Thankfully, former Collective all-round top guy (and hero to worms everywhere) Thomas shares just what to do.
Beets and Pieces
The Power of Trees – Agroforestry
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN say that current farming practices might only be viable for another 60 years.
A sobering thought.
One way to mitigate erosion and improve farming methods is agroforestry.
Agroforestry is a combination of Agriculture and Forestry. Agriculture being nowadays mostly the growing of (annual) crops and pastures (ranching) and forestry the growing of trees. There are a myriad different ways to implement it, such as alley cropping, understorey, food forests and windbreaks.
In tropical countries the system of agroforestry is already an established method to grow a few high value crops like cocoa. But in more temperate climates it is largely unknown nowadays. Time to change that!
Read more about agroforestry (and the many benefits it can provide) here.
Degrowth in the Suburbs
Food production, home energy generation, water storage, food preserving, travel by bicycle – all familiar practices to retrourbanies. These are good initiatives, we know, yet all-too-often they are presented as one-offs disconnected from their urban, social and political environments.
The good thing, the significant thing about Happen Films‘ new production, Degrowth in the Suburbs, is that it contexts retrosuburban ideas within the economic, environmental and political context they exist in. The 15 minute video takes us into Sam and Helen’s life in their detached suburban home and garden in Coburg, a suburb of Melbourne.
In the Garden
Summer is really starting to kick in now, and the days will continue to get longer as we head for the summer solstice – and of course it’s going to get hotter! Make sure you’ve got all your plants well mulched to protect the soils from the sun and the coming dry winds.
As strange as it may seem, early summer is the time to sow some winter brassicas such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and swedes so they can be harvested in winter.
For more great tips on managing your summer crop, check out Deep Green Permaculture’s Gardening Guide for the temperate zone (that’s us Melbourne-types!)
Seeds you can plant in December include:
- Asparagus Pea
- Cape Gooseberry
- Climbing Beans
- Dwarf beans
- French Tarragon
- Mustard greens
- Sweet corn
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!