Permablitz #186 – Coburg – Newlands Preschool
What do you get when you combine a great community spirit with the power of permablitz? You get a boat sailing in a sea of warrigal greens that flows into a dry creek with its own bridge, that is in turn surrounded by a mini fruit orchard. And no, it’s a plot for a new Johnny Depp movie. All these adventures and more can be found in the recently blitzed Newland’s Pre-school in Coburg.
The usual moody Melbourne spring day started with the introductions, stretching and the outline of the activities of the day. Our tireless Permablitz volunteers as well as the parents of some of the little explorers from the kinder were led by the designer extraordinaire, Meg Pavey.
This blitz brought out an inner child in every adult volunteer. Apart from the usual blitz activities such as digging, mulching and weeding, we also constructed and tested our awesome creations to ensure the superior quality.
The construction of the obstacle course was loads of fun as every tyre, balance beam and stepping stone had to be climbed under, balanced on and hopped over as a part of the commissioning process. A newly created nautical area will inspire everyone to become a captain when they grow up. The area has all the essentials – including binoculars, a steering wheel and netting for the professional captain to navigate through the sea of herbs and native greens.
Meg gave us an interactive and informative demonstration on the construction of the worm towers. Worm towers are essentially an in-garden worm farms made of PVC pipe off cuts with several holes which we created with a drill (see pics). Worm towers are a great and tested way to distribute your organic waste around the garden. Whilst the worms indulge in your organic waste, their poo/juice leaches out through the holes into garden. Kids can get involved in designing and painting them. The white PVC is an empty canvass for kids’ creative output. They can even be made to look like mushrooms!
Another timely presentation was on propagation of plants from cuttings. It’s amazing how many plants can be ‘borrowed’ for free rather than buying them or raising from seeds. Many herbaceous plants can be propagated this way. Basically, a short length of the stem of a branch is cut off and put into the ground. Make sure to remove the leaves from the lower one-third of the stem. Eventually it will sprout roots and ta-da, a brand new plant, with exactly the same genetic material as its ‘parent’. So if you (or your more successful friend) have got a plant that you think should take over the whole world, this is a good place to start with.
At the lunchtime some young volunteer testers arrived (they may have been attracted by the smell of hot chips on a drizzly day) to lend a helping hand but mainly to supervise the proceedings. The adults got two thumbs are for their efforts and there were smiles all round.
It was just another great day of getting to know new people, outdoor workout, learning and making a difference in the young lives of a welcoming community. Thanks again Rita and Catherine, for your help on the day and the report and photos!
Click here to see more pics in the gallery of the day!