Roundup in the news, picking a project and going on a permie tour!
Now that the winter chill is just about over, it’s time for Spring proper to warm our souls as we get ready for another season of growth and invigoration!
There’s been a lot of talk about Roundup in the news of late – in case you missed it Monsanto was ordered to pay $289million as a jury rules weedkiller caused a man’s cancer, creating shockwaves across the world. Some Australian councils are already investigating alternatives to Roundup, however the Chief Executive of the National Farmers Federation, Tony Maher, doesn’t believe Round Up causes cancer. Of course, most permies will try working with natural solutions such as companion planting to handle pests or weeds – as well as recognising that “weeds” are just another part of nature!
Given that spring is here, and all we want to do is get back into the garden, we’ve decided to give the mantle of Song of the Month to British electronic act Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, with their single Garden.
Permablitz #210 – Edithvale pt2
The return to Tina’s home to finish the transformation was lots of fun – wicking bed action, pond making, lasagna bed creations and lots of planting!
A massive thanks goes out to all the new blitzers who joined us on the day to make the garden such a success.
Dan Palmer has a book in the works!
Permablitz co-founder, Very Edible Gardens man, Making Permaculture Stronger ponderer, and all round ace guy Dan Palmer has decided to put the many words and concepts percolating in his brain onto paper – and he’s writing his first book!
Check out the video where he discusses all the grand plans, with words of praise and encouragement from none other than David Holmgren.
Hero of the Month
Coastal Salt Bush
This month our hero is the Atriplex cinerea, or Coastal Salt Bush, thanks to guest contributor, CERES horticulture teacher, former SKINC manager, current manager of Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery and Landcare and ridiculously knowledgeable person David Sparks.
If you are ever wondering what plant you could choose that can be used for a substitute for salt, can be cooked as spinach, is adaptable, has silver foliage, AND provides habitat for butterflies and blue fairy wrens – then wonder no more. The coastal salt bush – Atriplex cinerea grows along the coastal fringe of Melbourne. It grows to a bush of up to two meters and has striking silver foliage. But unlike most silver foliage plants it can grow in part shade waterlogged soils and dry soils.
To read all about this awesome edible native, click here!
Beets and Pieces
Pick a new project for your neighbourhood
For the last six months or so, various community organisations have been working behind the scenes to try to get a piece of the Victorian Government’s Pick My Projects community grants initiative, and the success of many of these plans will live or die based on the support of the community! It’s one of those rare times that the state government opens the doors for submissions for all kinds of projects – with a good chance of serious funding for it. The catch is (and this is a good thing!) that there needs to be evidence that the project benefits the community. Sounds pretty good to us!
Happen Films take us on a Permaculture Tour
The team from Happen Films have been releasing awesome permie films (both long and short) over the last few years, and they’ve just kicked off a video series called “Permaculture Tours”.
In the first episode they take a tour of Richard and Kunie’s property, Abdallah House, in Seymour, Australia. On this 1/7th of an acre property, the owners have made the most of the available space through thoughtful design of the garden, house, and marginal spaces. Find out more about Abdallah House and permaculture at the Abdallah House website, RetroSuburbia and Permaculture Principles.
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! It’s definitely the time of year where the most seeds can be started, but don’t even think of putting tomatoes in the ground yet… it’s still too cold.
If you’ve been meaning to plant some 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!
- 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! If you’re not sure how to get your seeds started, you can check out these fine guides from Sustainable Gardening Australia or Gardening Australia. In fact, given it’s still quite cold overnight, check out Gardening Australia’s guide to creating a simple hothouse to kickstart those seedlings along.