Gabba 'Blitz #26
Written by Amy MacMahon   
Sunday, 18 May 2014 21:09

A few weeks ago, we hosted our very own permablitz, in the backyard of our cottage-y house in Woolloongabba.

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The idea behind permablitz is that, edible backyards are a direct way to addressing problems in our food system, and why not build a community while you're at it! Volunteers gather in a member’s backyards for a day, giving it a permaculture inspired make over. Once you've been to three, you're entitled to receive one yourself. I’ve been to a fair few permablitzes in the past, and had a good idea about what goes on during the day, but hosting was very different, and such a treat! I ended the day feeling like the luckiest gal on the planet, having just host 30 inspiring and hard working volunteers in my backyards, who turned a weedy, overrun mess into a delightful, productive, edible garden.

We put together a plan late last year, with the help of Tim Davies, and had been working for a few months to get all the equipment, and then to get the word out to the network.

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As people rolled in, they got to work weeding. Every time I turned around, a forgotten corner of the garden had re-emerged. I spent the day running round answering questions and ferrying tools, while volunteers:

  • Installed a pond!
  • Made no-dig beds!
  • Weeded, pruned and trimmed!
  • Shifted a huge ponytail palm that I thought would never be able to be shifted!
  • Re-built the chicken coop, complete with a farmgate!
  • Pruned trees (the finger lime, incidentally, is thriving!!)
  • Planted out the front yard!
  • Planted bananas!
  • Ate a really great lunch that Andy cooked (thanks Andy).
  • We ended with cold beers and a sit down.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 11:57
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Moorooka Permablitz Report
Written by Tim Auld   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 15:20

Hi everyone, I've just come inside after watering my flourishing new garden, thanks to all of you who worked so hard at my Moorooka permablitz back on the 1st December last year.

It's only six or seven weeks since the blitz, and already I've harvested enough basil to make bunya nut pesto, two big cucumbers for tzatziki, the corn cobs are swelling, the tomatoes have shiny green fruit appearing, there are baby capsicums, the zucchini sand pumpkin are fighting for space, the paw paws are reaching for the sky, the banana leaves are unfurling, and all the turmeric, gingers, natives, blueberries, raspberries and other amazing plants you put in are doing well.

The bath tub pond is a delight, and I'm seeing far more birds than ever drinking and hunting lizards in the mulch.

It's all because of the great garden design, the fantastic soil you created and I'm sure - the love you put into it! A permablitz is like a small miracle, complete strangers turn up bearing gifts of plants and work all day to create a permaculture wonderland. It boosts your faith in community and human kind. Of course, it was a fair bit of work getting all the food and materials ready, but the results are fantastic. On the day we created three big vege patches bordered by low walls made from second hand roofing tiles, which look lovely. We moved a mountain of mulch to create extensive new beds, pruned the fojoa, built two compost bays, planted a tropical fruit patch, tore down the old fence and dug a space for the pond. Many hands really do make light work.

 

For me one of the best aspects of the day was what I learned from the other participants, from discovering new plants I'd never heard of, to seeing people's ideas become reality, insights about what would work well where, to tips and hints about every aspect of gardening. I also got to meet some wonderful neighbours from my area.

You're all invited back for the one year anniversary permablitz Christmas party in December 2014.

I can't thank the team enough for the whole experience. And if you're ever in the neighbourhood, feel free to grab some produce for the garden. Louise

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 15:26
 
The Cob Croft Blitz
Written by Tim Auld   
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:27

On Saturday the 2nd of November, we had a fantastic Permablitz at our place, in One Mile, Ipswich. We had 25 people spend a hot day digging, weeding, laying pavers and planting! It was a great success and we are incredibly grateful for all the hard work done on the day. There are a couple of pics of the Cob Croft 2 weeks later, and hasn't all the rain made a difference! We have put some shade covers over the beds also.

We had four teams that tackled different tasks, with the nearest to the house being weeding around the raised beds, then revamping them and replanting summer veg. Adjacent to that Karen and her team took on the enormous job of laying pavers in a checkerboard pattern in a big area under the Frangipani - now known as the outdoor room!

 

Another team did a fantastic job cleaning up the bricks and timber that remained from an old rickety brick shed we had knocked down a month earlier. We plan to build a Cob studio there, so any help with demolition was much appreciated!

After a quick rehydrate, a local and great friend of ours, Rob Grey of 'Bits Out The Back' (FB and YouTube), did a demonstation of how to build a wicking barrel. We ended up planting a raspberry in there, which is doing well.



Afterwards we managed to round up quite a few willing bodies to move 2 very large and heavy shed walls, away from the area that was earmarked as a banana circle, revamping our old banana grove.

A break for lunch, and we were priviledged to watch and learn about Butterfly Host Plants, a workshop ably presented by Jo Hammond, the business owner. www.butterflyhostplants.com.au We were lucky enough to purchase a Finger Lime!

After lunch, the beds were ready for replanting, and the pavers were nearly all put down. Two Blitzers tackled the herb garden edging and continued it on to the compost bin, while a large crew headed for the banana grove, to revamp and turn it into a real banana circle, where Arrowroot, Comfrey, and a few rogue tomatoes were planted. We have since added Cassava and will encourage sweet potato.


After such a vigourous work out on a hot day, most people headed off by mid to late afternoon. We had a small afternoon tea and were lucky to get a late arrival, Helen, who ably tackled the spaces between the pavers, and helped us fill them with garden soil, ready for planting with low-growing herbs.

All in all we had a wonderful day, and hope that all our fabulous hard workers did too!

Adrienne and Steve
One Mile
Ipswich.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 November 2013 09:28
 
Princhester Palace gets a Makeover
Written by Tim Auld   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:22
The day was warm and the team of eager permablitzers began growing from 8am. Princhester Palace began as a jungle of palms, apple mint and self seeded mango and avocado trees, by the end of the day we had transformed the backyard into a productive garden.

Start of the day

With a design by Tim Davies for the backyard we got well underway with the removal of unwanted jungle plants. Note to future Permablitz hosts - tie something bright around trees/things you want to keep! Our eager permablitzers were just that and before we knew it all the palm trees were down. But no matter, already the fruit trees we planted in their place are thriving.

Sunday morning slashing

 

One of the blitzers built a compost pile out the front and with everyone's creative input throughout the day it became the most magnificent compost pile you will ever see! A tropical style complete with palm frond boarders. And we surely needed one with all the plant matter cut down/pulled up from the backyard. (Hopefully Tim Davies has a photo of the pile?)

A couple of trailer loads full of hay and horse poo went into the zone one area ready for seedlings of herbs and leafy greens. Many hands sure does make light work and by lunchtime we had done most of the work. A palatial spread of salads appeared for lunch which was eagerly gobbled down in the welcome coolness under the house. We then heard a few updates of events coming up related to food, gardening and renewables.

Finished work!

Finished work!

With the afternoon sun so came a slower pace, good for planting out the various plants sourced from Edible Landscapes Nursery at Northey Street. As the sun edged towards its bedtime we rested our weary selves in the newly created seating area, enjoyed a beer and reflected on what was a productive day in the Princhester Palace Gardens.

A well earned drink

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:23
 
Morningside Mini-blitz
Written by Tim Auld   
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 14:48

There will be a half-day 'mini'-blitz on this Sunday the 28th of April at Morningside.

Further details here.

 
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Welcome to Permablitz Brisbane - this site has been set up to help people get together and have fun learning about, designing and implementing suburban permaculture systems.  Our focus is edible gardens, and our ultimate aim is to make the suburbs edible enough such that should food become unaffordable, we don’t even notice.  See above for the next permablitz and feel free to submit your own onto the calendar.  Check out photos in the gallery.

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