On the verge of winter, greening the city and beyond!
Because the days are cold, the morning air is getting misty and the doona is our new best friend, the theme song for this month is rockin’ 80’s anthem Hazy Shade of Winter by The Bangles.
Sun June 26 @ 9.00am
Permablitz 168 – Ashburton
Do you want to host your own Permablitz? Find out how here!
Or maybe you’ve just completed a PDC and are itching to use your brand new skills to design the next wave of blitzes? Join the Designers Guild here
Permaculture/Gardening mini fest at Exit Strategy Studios
Sat June 06 @ 2.30pm – late
Certificate III in Permaculture
Wed Jun 10 – Dec 11 @ 9:30AM – 03:30PM
Furniture Making and Carpentry – Learn to make a bee-centric horizontal top-bar bee hive!
Fri Jul 10 @12:30PM – 04:00PM
Permaculture Design Course in Geelong
Sun Jul 19 – Nov 15 @ 9:00AM – 05:00PM
Last week was our 7th Designer’s Guild session and what a night it was! Special thanks to our guest speakers Django Van Tholen from CERES and Taj, the Perma Pixie – their talks complemented each other beautifully, Django introduced us all to small-scale and industrial-scale aquaponics, and Taj gave some big picture design information, sharing her thoughts on our responsibilities as designers to regenerate and establish ecologies. Read all about it here!
Keep a look out for the next guild session, which will be held at the end of July in Richmond. As a reminder the sessions are hosted at rotating locations across the city on rotating nights of the week so a variety of people can attend!
Our Practical Self Sufficiency competition has wrapped, and we saw some amazing photos come through – wicked witches, mushroom hearing, mega honeycomb, giant melons and more… 9 year old Gladys took the prize for a photo with her chickens that she raised from chicks! She now has a copy of the book to inspire her family on their journey to greater sustainability. Thanks once again to regular blitz designer Terry for the donation of the book.
Website blitz – help needed!
It’s been a while in the works, but permablitz.net will soon be getting a makeover all of its very own – but we need help! This tragic band of permaculture-diehards and backyard gardeners just don’t have the front-end skills needed to make the new site shine – do you?
If you’ve got JS, CSS or super design-y skills, shoot us a line – we promise it’s not a full build from scratch, mostly tightening up what we’ve newly put in place.
Hero Of The Month
Visitors to Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens will no doubt be familiar with this beautiful tree, with no less than 27 scattered throughout the gardens.
The Ginkgo Biloba or ‘maidenhair tree’ is either male or female, and is a beautiful specimen tree for parks and large gardens with spectacular clear yellow autumn foliage. In Asia the smelly flesh of the fruit is removed and the seed is boiled or roasted before eating. The seeds are available in Australia in some Asian food stores. It is used for medicinal purposes, both in Asia and the west. Ginkgo is said to help a range of ailments including high blood pressure, poor circulation, memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The male trees will produce flowers, but no fruit. The female Ginkgo trees produce the fruit and seed, or ginkgo nut. Unless you are looking at harvesting the seed the male Ginkgo tree is the best option as the fruit produced by the female tree has a tendency to smell.
Ginkgos were widespread at the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, around 125-220 million years ago. Today Ginkgo biloba is known as ‘a living fossil’, because it is the only surviving representative of a group of plants which was once common all over the world. It is believed that this tree is native to China, and that it may be extinct in the wild. It has possibly only survived because for thousands of years monks planted it around temples in China and Japan.
You can read more about this beautiful tree here.
Bits and Pieces
More laneway plantings, verge gardens, and greening the cities with weed!
It’s been a very interesting month for gardeners – especially if you’re in the inner city! The City of Melbourne have announced a three-year plan to green the city including removing “under-used” roads and replacing them with parks! There’s also plans to divert waste from landfill, including a program that takes food scraps from Melbourne’s laneways and turns it into compost for our parks and gardens. (A bit late for Brothl of course!) Your feedback counts – show your support of these initiatives by telling Melbourne what you think.
Speaking of great initiatives, special mention has to be made of Dandenong Park, where edibles are grown to give to the needy, sharing with local non-profit Avocare.
City of Yarra residents can finally apply for a permit for gardens in laneways, with clear guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed. Residents wishing to plant in a laneway or a verge will pay $290 for the permit, which covers public liability insurance. Council officers also have the right to inspect the garden every six months.
It’s not all good news though – the City of Banyule look to be cutting funding to several environmental programs including community gardens to ensure the funds to pay for council office solar panels. And a petition on change.org is underway to ask the City of Hume to develop policies encouraging and allowing food growing on nature strips. If the City of Yarra can have it, so should Hume!
Meanwhile over in the western suburbs, Paul Sargeant has joined the Food is Free movement, bringing delicious edibles to his neighbourhood in Albion. Further afield, landscape architect Josh Byrne created an urban orchard community garden in Perth after the local council asked him to create a community space – it is now in it’s third successful year. There’s even a food forest with fruit and nut trees being planned in Canberra!
Finally the best gardening news comes from Kazakhstan, where a local council accidentally planted marijauana in city centre garden beds, taking greening the city to a whole new level. Of course, the council blames guerilla gardeners and an investigation is underfoot.
Til next month, keeping the home fires burning at Permablitz Melbourne decentral – keep on planting!