Permablitz #216 – Hastings
Andie is a sole parent, full-time health promotion worker, and loves supporting her local community with healthy living options. She is also a yoga teacher and sound massage healer who loves working with fresh organic food. She’s very aware of the impact a good and healthy diet makes, and always encourages her clients to eat well and mindfully. She had been looking forward to the garden transformation that today will bring, as she believes the new garden will enhance her life both financially and from a health perspective.
The day began as all permablitzes do – with stretching and warmup exercises to get the blood flowing, followed by a quick brief on how to go about a permablitz. Once the formalities were out of the way it was time to get stuck into digging, cementing, building and planting. Of course, we didn’t expect to be doing this in a downpour of rain! Luckily most of the permies were out there rain or shine.
Work started with digging into some hard clay by the back windows for new herb beds. We placed cardboard in between the windows and the new beds so as not to break the window, which can happen when digging in clay base. It’s hard labour! Once dug out, the two beds needed some good soil to replace clay so the herbs could actually grow. Once we placed some branches and logs for the edging it looked great!
Meanwhile, some holes were dug along the fence-line so that poles could be erected for the espalier. To move to the next stage of the espalier we needed the cement to set to hold the poles, but he rain was making this very difficult.
Andie had ordered some raised beds from a local carpenter, for which we had to level the ground beneath them to ensure they were safe once placed in their final resting place. Once this was done the work started on the hugel beds, ensuring the irrigation went in first, followed by the cardboard, twigs, branches, logs, and then the rest of the soil. Once this was all in then the planting could finally begin.
Andie was also lucky enough to have a tree lopper as a neighbour, and Mark was able to provide all of the mulch for the day. It smelt so fresh!
Andie’s son Jordan cut the poles for the espalier before started on another project with some mates – a new storage area for wood that would be used for their coonara style heater.
Shane (of the Wisdom Meditation and Healing Centre in Boneo) gave us all a lecture on “Enzymes for the garden and you”, which proved to be very interesting. Enzymes are the GOD factor. Shane gave us all a a wealth of information on how to make your soil come alive. He is spreading the word from the teachings of Dr Rosukon. (You can discover her work on YouTube). It was well received and Andie showed us her batch of enzymes which is fermenting well.
After a morning or working hard in the mud and wet, we were all very excited to hear that lunch was on. What a spread it was! Before entering the house the polite thing for us all to do was to remove our muddy footwear, but by the time I removed my boots and got inside most of it had gone! (Hence the lack of food pics – sorry!) That’s a true testament to how good it was. Josh was her chief re-heater and bottle washer so that Andie could concentrate on the garden.
The universe must have known something on the day, as the rain stopped for morning tea – but when we returned to work it started up again once more. When we had lunch it stopped again the sun actually came out! But as you might have now guessed, when we finished our delicious lunch the rain just started up yet again. The muddddddddddd!!!!
A cat run for Andie’s much- loved pets was established down the side of the house. A cat run is definitely a permablitz first, but naturally we decked it out with plants and mulch, after which it really looked great…
By late afternoon the poles for the espalier had been placed in the earth and were now ready to be wired up. Permie volunteer Geoff explained the best method for planting fruit trees, and showed us that we needed to remove 400mmx400mm of the clay and a 600mm circumference at the top, while the soil needed to be 90% clay mixed with 10% soil. This allows the roots to grow and search for water down below. Using Geoff’s tips we planted lemon, lime, apple, cherry and mandarin trees, as well as an avocado in the front.
For afternoon tea we were treated to bliss balls that Andie herself her made – and they were very moreish.
Overall, the day went very smoothly due to the organisation skills of designers Nikki, Harry and Jorge. Despite the wet and muddy conditions, everyone had a great day and Andie’s gratitude the effort that everyone put in was obvious to all. Andie herself had looked relaxed for most of the day, despite being the host with the most and helping out seemingly everywhere. At the end of the day we all formed a gratitude circle which I found enlightening.
If one word was to sum up the day, it would have to be gratitude!
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Hooray for Andie! A crackin' team of blitzers has just finished transforming her yard into a productive and edible space, with espaliered fruit trees, locally made raised veggie beds and more! Thanks to the design team supreme for making it all happen. #permaculturegarden #permacultureinaction
Photos of the day were taken by Leanne. You can see the full gallery here!