Hong Kong’s first Permablitz in Sheng Shui
Throughout Hong Kong there is growing interest in balcony gardening and community gardening, and people has growing awareness to impact of climate change to food production, and the significance of sustainable living.
In 2011, Hong Kong Permaculture Institute (HKPI) started running the PDC- teaching the design principles, the gardening / planting technique…..It is more than theory but practical as well. So HKPI will run the first Permablitz in Hong Kong to utilize the knowledge and skill in Permaculture to help an organic farmer to resolve the flooding problem in rainy season every year.
The aim of Permablitz was to finish all the tasks in one day, so everyone – whether they be old friends or new, me then dissembled on the same day. The Chinese translation is – 「樸門閃聚」。(樸門- pro.. POK MUN , Gate of Simplicity, 閃聚-pro.- “SIM JAE”, quick( like lightning) gathering)
In this blitz, one of the co-organizers was “Ah Mun” (Chinese pronounciation). Ah Mun is an interior designer, he just finished his PDC early in the year. He said with a smile that the Permablitz – apart from helping the host – the farmer, is also hoping to develop a platform to deliver the message in sustainability to participants…… Ah Man continued, “They will expect the blitz is going to be hard work, but the organizer will prepare yummy food to add fuel for the blitzers, yummy food is essential in Permablitz…” There will be workshops in planting, cultivating fish in the pond – a full program!
No money is involved, just self- help and helping others.
The first permablitz was at Sheng Shui – at Wildroots Organic –輝哥農場 (輝pro. Fei , the name of farm owner), 哥pro. Gor , elder brother ; 農場, pro. Lung cheung, Farm). Fei is an organic farmer. In the farm, there is a problem in the drainage system – every time after heavy rain, water would flood the farm, accumulate everywhere and caused a bad impact to the crops. So the organizer ( of the blitz) designed a drainage system- first to dig the ditch, then a pond for fish and water plants cultivating, as well an an aisle in the middle of the pond to create a wetland landscape to provide biodiversity of various habitats. The aim was to drain the excess rain water which causes problem initially to become the resource for the construction of wetland and water habitats.
Permablitz is fun. First of all, it is “pure”, no money is involved- participants / blitzers are not required to pay, but will get a good sweat from working hard! The facilitators do not receive any payment but offer their professional knowledge and share their skills. The owner only pays for the materials, providing the fruit and snacks. Everyone shares the joy of working together without money complications. Secondly, it is “wild”, walking into a muddy pond, digging the dirt with a hoe, everyone becomes a “muddy duck” – a rare experience for urban dwellers.
Tasks achieved on the day:
- Constructing a small dam gate, mixing cement with hands
- Dig a ditch around the pond for drainage
- Dg deep part of the pond as habitat for fish
This article originally appeared here. A huge thanks to Charlie Si for providing the original translation.