Hot composting, standing in the rain and learning about murnongs
The worst of winter seems to have passed us by now, and our hearts are singing with thoughts of spring – our fruit trees’ buds are beginning to swell, bees are venturing out to collect pollen, and soon we’ll be getting ready to plant out our summer crops! Closer to home, we’ve been putting our crops of lemons to good use, making our annual batch of limoncello as well as scrummy lemon cakes, and using excess honey from our beehives to dabble in the medieval art of mead-making. The chooks have been pumping out eggs even through the worst winter had to offer, so we’ve always had omelettes with kale to keep us going – but we’re definitely looking forward to some summer fruit.
As the nights have been a bit colder, we’ve also found ourselves in front of the TV… And turns out permaculture is creeping into the mainstream even more than we thought! Permaculture educator extraordinaire Pete the Permie and his amazing property were featured on Gardening Australia recently, and SBS’ Gourmet Farmer has gone full permie, with the latest season focusing on regenerating the soil on the farm. And who better to ask for help than Hannah Moloney from Good Life Permaculture! They’re definitely a few shows worth checking out…
Given the weather of late, there can be no other theme but rain. And who better to give us the song of the month than the Reverend Al Green with his soulful Standing in the Rain?
So... when are the blitzes happening?
One of the most common questions we at permablitz decentral respond to is “when is the next blitz happening?” The answer to that is… complicated…
Did you know that there are currently twenty designers working on twelve permablitz designs across Melbourne at the moment? It’s this kind of goodwill that ensures the permablitz community can continue to thrive – and we can’t thank them enough.
But it does take time. Good things can’t be rushed. But wow – aren’t they great when they happen!?!
Once a blitz is ready to go, the first thing we do is announce it via our Instant Blitz Notification List. Then we create a Facebook Event. They usually book out in a day or two, so be quick! But remember – if you can’t make it, please let us know so we can let people in the waiting list know.
The Guild Session returns...
Twenty people or so joined us for a Guild Session in Heathmont recently, and we revisited the Permablitz Design Process using the garden of hosts Kate and Steve as an example of what we would typically be working with.
The day had great people, yummo food, and some good learnings as we focused on getting the client requirements from what the site owners say (and what they don’t!). There was also some great hot compost action from Raph, and Kushala gave us a wonderfully thorough overview of what to look at for the site analyis.
Some great ideas were developed, and a future blitz at the site may very well be on the cards. Stay tuned!
The Permablitz Collective wants to get social...
The Permablitz Collective is currently on the prowl for new members to help us in our mission to convert gardens into edible oases.
We always welcome good people, and we’re really hoping that someone will come on board who can help us out with our socials… If you write good and stuff, know your way around a social media account or two and can schedule a post like a boss – we’d love to chat!
A mid-winter Permabee at the Dunstan Reserve Food Forest
We recently joined the West Brunswick Community Garden and Food Forest team to prune, weed, plant and compost. It was an action-packed few hours of fun, with lots of learning and garden-sprucing done. An amazing outcome for just a few hours work – yay team!
Hero of the Month
Historically growing by the plenty in the wild, the Murnong is a native Victorian plant that was once used and cultivated as a key food by local Aboriginal communities in the Melbourne area and surrounds before European colonisation.
With the loss of Indigenous knowledge about this and numerous other edible native plants in Australia, much of the information that has survived is fragmented and incomplete. What we do know, though, is that these Microseris species can be eaten raw or cooked – and roasting is a great way to bring out the natural flavours.
Want to learn more about the indigenous plant? Click here!
Beets and Pieces
Could a return to bartering be the key to cutting food waste? This cafe is trying
Any successful gardener knows that having too much of something at once can quickly lead to waste — which is why one Geelong cafe has revived the art of bartering.
The cafe is turning that abundant homegrown produce into a type of currency, encouraging customers to swap their surplus fruit and vegetables for coffee.
The cafe’s manager Jaz Hobson said the chefs endeavoured to incorporate whatever people supplied into their seasonal menu.
To find out more about how Jaz is managing her cafe, check out the original article from the ABC here!
Australia’s first native rooftop farm is not just about bush food
The co-founders of Indigenous start-up Yerrabingin brought to life the 500-metre-square space on top of an office building in the industrial area with more than 2,000 medicinal, edible or cultural native plants.
In addition to producing over 30 native bush foods, the rooftop will serve as a space for education, Indigenous employment opportunities and a range of community benefits including workshops on sustainability and wellbeing.
Sounds good? Check out the full details in the original article from SBS.
In the Garden
It may still be cold outside, but you can the good news is you can start thinking about what to plant for your summer crops! If you’ve got a greenhouse or somewhere warm, think about getting some seeds in to get a head-start on your summer planting. Angelo from Deep Green Permaculture has some great tips on starting your annual vegetables indoors – check it out!
Seeds that do well in August include…
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!