Permablitz #165 in Box Hill North
Given the forecast rain, we were pleased with the turnout! Betweeen downpours in the morning, and then in a sunnier afternoon, 20 determined and lovely blitz volunteers:
- installed drip irrigation to raised beds and fruit trees in the front garden;
- excavated the floor of a 6x2m chook run, then attached a buried mouse-proof mesh floor to the frame of the base, and shovelled the soil back in;
- scrubbed out a used chook house with vinegar solution;
- cleared a 5x5m orchard area of weeds and unwanted plants, replanting about 30 of these in other parts of the garden;
Our warmup/stretch segment at the start got funny when a volunteer’s young daughter said “push ups!”, given that due to the rain we were standing room only in the hallway!
. . . The rain did interrupt play somewhat, and a few volunteers had to leave early. There was lots we didn’t get finished on the day, so Jaime and Anthony have spent every spare moment (even under lights at night) finishing off our ambitious to-do list: attaching the chook yard walls and roof; laying a deep litter system in one half of the chook run; relocating more of the dug-up plants; planting and espaliering the mulberry, cherry and peach trees around the chook run; digging out a few stumps and planting the orange tree in the backyard.
- shovelled 1/3 cubic metre of compost into garden beds and pots;
- prepared 3 fruit trees for planting in the orchard just north of the chook run (though we only planted two when we found heavy clay impeding drainage in #3 tree’s site; this had to be remedied later with gypsum);
- participated in mini- and maxi-workshops on: drip irrigation, chooks within a permaculture system, tool harpening & sterilising, tree pruning and espaliering, and soil pH testing.
Post-blitz, Anthony said “The sunny afternoon passed by much faster than the wet morning!” and “We’ll be busy for a couple of weeks yet, but it has been so energising to get the area cleared and so much progress made in the orchard area especially!”. With their new system in place they’ll save time and energy in keeping their food plants watered, and finally be able to get their long-awaited chooks who will have a lovely orchard to frolic in!
Thanks to all the great volunteers, Mal for his helpful input at the design phase, to Matt for kindly stepping in as irrigation guru, to Milica for serving as our fabulous ‘vibes watcher’ on the day, and to Jaime and Anthony for being super hosts and providing a great healthy lunch. Big thanks to Erika and Fei too for the behind-the-scenes support and encouragement.