All systems go for the blitz-tacular month of May!
May is here, and things are getting crazy… This month there’s not just one blitz, but three! PLUS another s(p)eed dating event – it truly is a blitz-tacular time to be alive! Not only that, but the busy bees of the Permablitz Collective have been bumping their noggins together to prepare the “Permablitz Turns 10 So We’re Gonna Have An Awesome Mega-Blitz Party!” Keep an eye out for that one. (We may do a bit of work on the name too…)
In honour of this upcoming anniversary event (and the triple-blitz month of May), our song of the month is the classic I Just Want To Celebrate from 70’s rockers Rare Earth.
Ten years on and still going strong!
Ten years ago, Dan Palmer and Adam Grubb joined a group of South Americans for the very first permablitz at Vilma’s house in Dandenong – and what a day it was! A seed was planted that day, and from it many a permaculture adventure has been born – from the vibrant permablitz community to successful permie businesses that were able to use the blitzes to cut their design teeth while helping others.
We’re planning a special ten-year-anniversary celebration mega-blitz (details to be announced really soon!) and hope to catch up with everyone who has helped us over the years – from designers, facilitators, hosts, documenters, collective members and of course the volunteers. It’s going to be ace – hope to see you there!
S(p)eed-dating: Propagation for singles out west!
After the runaway success of the first ever singles-only seed-dating permabee on Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d offer another – this time taking it to the West!
This time, the aim is to take transplants out of the surgery and into the nursery! Learn how to propagate seedlings with fellow gardeners while sharing the love with POWer Plants (Permaculture Out West’s community nursery in Braybrook) in a setting befitting of nurturing budding friendships.
Blitz reporters and hipster bunnies wanted!
Are you a budding writer with a flair for photography? A permaculture journalist just itching to get your teeth into a good story? Or maybe you’re looking for a practical excuse to get involved with the awesome Permablitz crew and prove yourself invaluable with your super-amazing skills with the camera and the pen?
Sounds like something you’d totally nail without breaking a sweat?
Permablitz #178 - Keilor
A few weeks ago on a sunny Sunday, twenty eager volunteers converged upon Keilor to blitz Brett’s place – and blitzed it with style!
It was a front and back garden combo; and the plan was to sheet mulch, put in irrigation from rain and grey water (buried pipes) and put in some fruit trees, berries and nitrogen fixing plants. Out back was adding more raised beds, making a banana plant circle again water fed by laying pipe for roof water, constructing a chook dome, setting up some trellis for espaliered trees and finishing a chook run.
Hero of the month
Kohlrabi is a low stout cultivar of the cabbage family that deserves to be more widely eaten, don’t be put off by its rather unusual appearance! Kohlrabi is German for turnip, and it certainly looks like one…
Bits and Pieces
From Sydney stockbroker to permaculture farmer
Andrew left a job in the world of high-finance to create a sustainable, less-materialistic and happier life with his wife – and his three-year-old permaculture farm looks awesome!
This video has been put together by Jordan from Happen Films, and captures beautifully the wonder of Andrew’s new home – and how his life has changed since leaving Sydney three years ago.
HenPower promotes wellbeing in aged care with the help of chickens
Aubrey Lavis lives in a nursing home surrounded by chicks and it is making him clucky.
The resident of the Whiddon Group’s aged care home in Casino has adopted a hen and named her Priscilla, or as he likes to call her, “my girl”. “She’s just special,” he said. “I can talk to her and she talks back to me.”
Priscilla is a Bangkok bantam and one of seven chickens at the Casino facility, where a program called HenPower is being trialled.
The program is an Australian-first also being trialled in the New South Wales regional communities of Bourke, Maclean and Condobolin. Whiddon Casino activities coordinator Jeremy Watson-Hunt said the idea for HenPower had been adapted from a program developed in the United Kingdom two years ago, and aimed to promote wellbeing through the practical aspects of hen-keeping combined with the pet-like bonds formed between residents and the chickens.
He said it was having particular benefits for residents showing symptoms of dementia. “It’s recognised that when people come into an establishment like aged care, they leave their animals and their past lives and that brings loneliness and helplessness, because everything is taken from them,” he said.
“What we’re trying to do is reintroduce that giving and receiving of care. It gives them a sense of purpose. It also allows them to think back about when they had chickens or lived on the farm with mum and dad and what they did. It brings it all back and will bring on a conversation about what happened 40 years ago when they used to keep chickens or collect eggs.”
In the Garden
May is the last month of autumn, and the weather is starting to get really cold! This is a time for pruning, dividing any perennials you may have, and putting in new trees, shrubs and vines. It’s also the time to clean up the garden, remove dead, diseased or excess branches and plants, and start collecting all the wonderful leaves which can be used for mulching and compost!
Some suburbs are well known for the massive amounts of leaves that fall, and you can sometimes see die-hard gardeners collecting the fallen leaves in garbage bags – it’s free mulch after all!
Seeds that do well in May include…
- Broad beans
- Corn Salad
- Mustard greens
- Pak Choy
- Snow Peas
- Strawberry Plants
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!
Til next month, from deep in the burrow of Permablitz Melbourne decentral
– keep those home fires burning!