Suburban grazing goats and nice weather for ducks
The broccoli and kale are going gangbusters, the sweet peas are racing up the stakes, and thanks to the rain our mulch is soaked with water galore! To celebrate all this splashing about, the theme song for this month is Nice Weather for Ducks by Lemon Jelly
Permablitz needs you!
Do you want to get more involved in Melbourne’s blitzing action?
Can you take better photos than a bear?
We’re looking for people who can help us write down the good times as they happen so we can remember it all in technicolor detail – if you can help, click here for more details!
Permablitz #168 in Ashburton
The weekend before last we blitzed Alex & Nicole’s backyard – it was ace! We sheet mulched, made wicking beds, espaliered trees, ate some awesome food, made some friends and generally had a good time. Thankyou everyone for making this such a great day. Check out the photos and full recap here!
Designer’s Guild Session #8 in Richmond
On July 22, we had an awesome Designer’s Guild Session, with Adam from Very Edible Gardens and Paul from Growing Spaces sharing the wisdom to an appreciative crowd. Read all about it here!
The Guild Sessions are designed as a way to gather, share skills, and meet the other great people in the Permablitz network. Even if you are new to Permablitz – come along and find out more. Keep a look out for the next meeting which will be held in September.
Hero of the Month
Fennel is a perennial grown as an annual, easy to grow, great in salads or pasta, and can be a hit with the kids as “it tastes like black jelly beans!”
Fennel is often classified as both an herb and a vegetable, and can be used in many ways in the kitchen. It’s also a popular plant among herbalists, and has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy, most commonly for digestive problems. In addition to this, fennel (or its essence), is also widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts, antacids and in various culinary applications.
You can read more about fennel here.
Bits and Pieces
Go green – go goat!
A big part of traditional Australian life on a Saturday arvo is to fire up the big, noisy lawnmower and mow the lawns and nature strip. Many of us will use the clippings to re-use through the garden, but only the truly hardcore will clean their turf of weeds such as cats ear, bindii, dandelions and many others.
A common response is to reach for the weed-killer, but scientists have proven a more effective method – and it’s one that is sustainable, won’t leave any nasty chemical residue, and you may even receive some free fertiliser! The scientist’s solution? Goats!
Goats aren’t part of Melbourne’s natural suburban landscape, but this may just be a cultural thing – in the United States, businesses such as Rent a Goat are booming, and when Amazon lunched their Home Services in Seattle earlier this year, goats were the immediate favourite.
Some benefits of using goats include the ability to tackle difficult terrain, safely clearing land that can later be used for farming, garden use, or building children’s playgrounds. Goats are a guilt free, zero-emission alternative to heavy machinery. And they’re cute too!
It would be great to see an initiative like this taking off in Australia! Certainly the outer municipalities like Casey and Melton would have greater access to these “tools of the trade” as it were – this could just a be a booming business in waiting!
Lonely elderly given hens to keep them company
Lonely elderly people are being given hens to look after to stop them feeling lonely and isolated.
The project, which is backed by David Cameron and Boris Johnson, has launched in London for the first time following a successful pilot in the North East.
It is also being used to help patients suffering dementia. Staff in care homes have reported a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication where hens are in use. Read the full article here.
In the garden
It may still be cold outside, but 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!
Things you can plant in August include:
- Cape Gooseberry
- Globe Artichokes
- Mustard greens
- Shallot bulbs
- Snow Peas
- Spring Onions
Til next month, from the wet and wild bunch at Permablitz Melbourne decentral
– bring on spring!