Getting ready for the next 200 Permablitzes!
After the excitement of hitting our 200th blitz last month, it looks like September is shaping up to be a blitzin’ good time for us all – with three events planned so far! And now that the Spring is with us, there’s no better time to be in the garden – the soil is warming, and there are so many herbs and veggies just itching to get their roots down to do some serious growing!
One of the recurring themes at the Upwey blitz was reusing the materials at hand – whether that be the biomass from the fallen timber and leaves in the hugelkultur, or reusing old sleepers for steps in the rear of the property. Reusing and repurposing objects saves time and money – and to honour our frugal ways the song of the month is none other than the Formidable Vegetable Sound System with No Such Thing As Waste!
Permablitz #200 - Upwey!
Last weekend a fantastic bunch of blitzers ascended the Dandenongs to help us blitz Helen & Morris’ property – and what a day it was! A day full of laughing, step-making, rain, planting, good food (REALLY good food!), hugelkultur, kookaburras, hail, irrigating, weeding, smiles, building, meeting new friends and more – we barely noticed the cold despite snow falling a mere 10 minutes away!
Thanks to everyone who made the day such an amazing success – and we’ll be finishing it off this weekend with the Permablitz #200.1 – Upwey follow-up!
The Collective is mixing things up...
After some recent membership drives the ever-evolving Permablitz Collective is honoured to welcome Kali and Lyndon to the fold! Both Kali and Lyndon have already made significant contributions to the Permablitz movement – Kali has written no fewer than three write-ups for various events, and Lyndon has also contributed this month’s very well-received Hero Of The Month!
We also bid a sad farewell to our favourite naturopath Naomi – she’s just landed her dream job so will be focusing on that for a while. Never fear however – the role of Guild Coordinator has been taken up by Queen of the West Michelle!
Hero of the month
Stinging nettle is infamous for the discomfort it can bring at the mere touch, but it’s one of the most nutritious plants you can eat! (And they can be made into a wonderful nettle soup, or nettle and ricotta dish…)
How to: Installing an espalier system using catenary wire and wire fittings
The art of espalier is becoming increasingly popular, especially for smaller gardens as it enables you to maximise your space. Check out this how-to from our designer extraordinaire Terry!
Beets and Pieces
The World’s Cutest Owl Look-Alike Is The Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny frogmouths have huge, wide mouths that make them unmistakable (though they are often confused with owls). Their mouths, however, also make them seem like fluffy little chicks their entire lives!
They’re one of the most active forms of pest control, as they love to eat mosquitoes, flies, moths, beetles, worms, and other vermin. Believe it or not, their mouth fits the occasional frog as well!
Check out out the super-cute pics of these guys over at Bored Panda.
Urban agriculture’s role in resilient city food systems
With the help of citizen scientists and gardeners, this project is creating a new urban agriculture dataset. This dataset will allow urban agriculture to be looked at in the context of its role in cities and in food supply resilience, both now and into a climate change affected future.
Is urban agriculture going to save the world? Could it help Melbourne’s food supply be more resilient? Is urban agriculture more, or less sustainable than other forms of agriculture? What resources get used to grow food in cities? How might this change in the future?
Until now, research about urban agriculture has often been concerned with what’s growing in cities. It often looks at what the current benefits of food growing are, or how much land is available to grow food.
But with the help of citizen scientists and gardeners, this project is creating a new urban agriculture dataset. This dataset will allow urban agriculture to be looked at in the context of its role in cities and in food supply resilience, both now and into a climate change affected future.
Become an urban agriculture citizen scientist!
Your garden doesn’t need to be amazing to participate, the survey-takers interested in all food gardens, of all sizes, and of any level of productivity.
At the end of the year, gardeners who complete this survey will go in the running to win prizes. The more times you complete the survey the better the prizes, and your chance of winning!
In the Garden
Hooray – Spring is here! The days are finally starting to get a bit longer and the soil is getting warmer, which means soon the summer crops will be going in! If you’ve been thinking about planting bare-rooted trees, then don’t wait any more – get them in now. It’s also a good time to feed your fruit trees if you haven’t done so already.
It’s also a good time to get some potatoes in – not sure how? Find out how here!
Things you can plant in September include:
- Asparagus Pea
- Cape Gooseberry
- Climbing Beans
- Corn Salad
- Dwarf beans
- Globe Artichokes
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Mustard Greens
- New Zealand Spinach (Warrigal Greens!)
- Potato (once the frosts have finished)
- Snow Peas
- Spring Onions
- Sweet Corn
- Winter Savory
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!