It was a hot, humid, wet and sultry summer (except when it wasn’t!)
The last long weekend was a hot and humid one, with us Melbourne-folk getting a taste of the tropics – complete with sweaty nights and a welcome deluge at the end! We’ve had a great summer holiday, but we’re itching to get back into blitz mode… we’ve got some blitzes on the go at the moment, and can’t wait to announce them to the world. We hope to see you there!
Of course, if we’re going to have a heatwave, we may as well enjoy a Motown-infused glorious slice of pop to go with it – as such our song for the month is Martha Reeve and the Vandella‘s classic Heatwave!
Permablitz Revisited: Pascoe Vale – 4 years later
Four years ago, Fuchsia’s garden was transformed into an edible oasis, with chickens, swales, no-dig gardens, native trees and more… and you should see it now!
Costa urges a local focus in Blitzin’ the Border permablitz plan
Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis recognised the potential in Wodonga’s Sustainable Activity Centre when he co-hosted Saturday’s information session for the latest Permablitz group: Blitzin’ the Border, an Albury-Wodonga permablitz project.
Christmas Bee Hamper winner
It was a tough call given there were so many terrific entries – and each of the Permablitz Collective had a different favourite. But one entry kept coming up… so without further ado we awarded the Bee Hamper to Sue for her following entry “You know you’re a permie when you laugh at yourself talking to your worms in your compost bin.”
Hero of the Month
In this time of celebrating Australian culture, we should look no further than some of the wonderful edible natives this land has to offer – such as midyim berries, which are white speckled berries similar to blueberries – you’ve just got to try them!
To read more about this amazing plant, click here!
Beets and Pieces
David Holmgren’s Retrosuburbia – out soon!
How do you assess a property to rent or buy for it’s retrofitting potential? What are some cheap and simple appropriate cooking technologies that anyone can build from salvaged materials? What crops should be prioritised in limited suburban spaces? Which tried and tested greywater systems are easily retrofitted? How might bioregion influence diet? What behaviours can we adopt today that will increase our resilience in the future?
RetroSuburbia explores these (and many, many more!) practical questions and locates solutions within their strategic context to assist decision-making when applying permaculture ethics and principles across the built, biological and behavioural realms. The Permablitz community features heavily, and you’ll even get a sneak peak inside some of our retrofitted houses and gardens in the case studies! This hefty tome is an instant permaculture classic; a practical manual filled with shallots of wisdom and more inspiration than you can poke a chop-and-dropped stick at.
Retrosuburbia is available to buy from February 10. Find out more about this soon-to-be-classic here!
Is it possible to live without plastic?
For 70 years, the world’s plastic usage has grown inexorably from humble beginnings to a position where humanity now produces roughly its own weight in plastic every year.
But is there a turning point in view? Respondents to a Guardian callout said they found it easy when it comes to using reusable water bottles and fabric tote bags. However, trying to live a completely plastic-free life can be challenging.
Check out the full article in The Guardian to see how you can reduce your plastic usage!
A lifestyle built around balance
For Brett Cooper and his family, lifestyle means so much more than the latest trending interior design.
The father of two and his wife Nici moved from their urban permaculture property in Mayfield to a location on The Bucketts Way in the Karuah Valley near Stroud they call Limestone Permaculture. In Stroud, he and his family have worked relentlessly to create a life that is self-sufficient and sustainable.
“My interests have changed over the years and have now evolved to encompass research and experimenting in all things permaculture, regenerative farming/gardening and new technology that assists urban, suburban and rural residents becoming more resilient and sustainable,” Cooper says.
“We are exampling what is possible whilst holding down full-time jobs and leading modern day lives,” Cooper says. “We are proving that an average family from the burbs can make change for the betterment of themselves, their families and of course ol’ mother nature!”
“Permaculture provides the scientific principles and ethics to set yourself up with designing a property for running a garden or a farm. Those principles work at any scale,” Cooper says. “Our family has been living with permaculture long enough now to know it is the natural solution for a healthy and happy life, sustainable environment, resilient farm and garden.”
In the Garden
We’re now in the last month of summer, and as the weather is all over the place it’s a bit tricky to get regular things done! When you do water though, make sure you do so less often and water deeply. This encourages roots to grow down, making plants less vulnerable to heat and drought.
When you do your weeding, lay the weeds on top of the soil to dry out and become mulch, but make sure you remove and dispose of the seeding parts first!
It’s also a good time to do the summer pruning of your fruit trees as well as giving your citrus trees a good feed.
Seeds you can plant in February include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Chinese Cabbage
- Mustard Greens
- Potato tubers
- Rhubarb crowns
- Salad Burnett
- Shallot bulbs
- Spring Onions
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!