One of the many participants at last weekends permablitz at the Paradise Street Community Gardens, Michael Ayala just wrote in with this wonderful story from the day:
On Sunday morning a large number of environmentally minded friends, neighbours and strangers came together with a common goal: to create an alternative space to fulfill some of the basic needs of humans - fresh food, a beautiful environment and social interaction.
It is at Paradise Park, in Highgate Hill where all these innovative urban gardeners are working to construct a collective dream, the dream of re-connecting community with its environment, the dream of re-connecting people with Mother Nature. Brisbane has good climatic conditions for growing most of the plants we need in our everyday diet. Vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, beetroot, turnip, beans, corn, sweet potatoes and capsicum are all on the list of healthy “goodies” that Brisbane residents can enjoy throughout the year. Just a little piece of earth, some compost, water, and the will to do some outdoor exercise is what we need to start the amazing experience of growing our own food.
It is not only the enjoyment of growing locally; but also the satisfaction of putting into practice a politically correct alternative that encourages food security and self reliance. Cities are growing organisms that need food to live and grow, but many of us have lost the tradition of growing what we eat. Permablitz provides cities and their inhabitants the opportunity to feed themselves again. Using permaculture principles we can recycle most of the nutrients that would otherwise be wasted in landfill, and transform them into rich compost to nourish the soil.
People of all ages and backgrounds, neighbours and friends, relatives and people just passing by, came together last Sunday to build this amazing project. After a long day of work, we all filled our stomachs, but also filled our minds and our hearts with this sustainable initiative. A relaxing massage after a full day of work was the best reward for all hard workers who came to give a hand in one of the most inspiring community garden projects in Brisbane.
Thanks to everyone for coming and for sharing your muscles, your smile, your conversation and your life. I look forward to participating in these events in the future.
Special thanks to Andrew for putting the video together and all the wonderful people who turned up for the day. We hope to see you all back there on the 16th to help finish off the earthbag construction and rendering. There are lots of photos up in the gallery already, with more to follow.
UPDATE: Another great video from Andrew Carter of the post-blitz Return to Paradise event from last weekend. Click here for the funk version.
The following is a short interview with Jayne one of the organisers from the awesome Permablitz #08 held at Cafe Checocho's on the 10/10/10 and excerpts of which originally appeared in the Northey Street City Farm Newsletter, special thanks to Justine from the farm!
what is the garden going to be used for (ie. community, the cafe's food?) The ideal outcome for the Checocho's garden is to support the kitchen so we can grow and serve fresh produce straight from the backyard (sustainable & fresh), we also endeavour to inspire and support community through sustainability practices, art, music, healing and growing culture.
how many people showed up on the day and what was done? We had a fabulous turn out, approximately 50 keen energetic folks. We were able to implement stage 1 of Checocho's garden plan, this involved paving, building a berm, paths and planting up the beds. We were also able to squeeze in a comfrey and bamboo workshop as well as some soil testing.
why did it happen at Cafe Checocho? Checocho's is a creative cafe, loungeroom and second home to many living in the West End. It is a family and place to learn and grow...in time we are working towards the cafe having a sustainability and healing component... so where better to start than with the growing of our own food... why did it happen? i guess it was an organic process with enough energy and perma-friendly staff and family with the motivation and passion to grow food locally.
what did it mean to the people involved? what does it mean for the place? what do customers reckon? The day was absolutely inspiring filled with enormous team spirit, dedication and heart. I think the meaningfulness comes from what communities can achieve when we all put our minds and sweat together. It was a day where we learnt and shared in permaculture, built friendships, shared skills and most of all had FUN!!! :) For Checocho's it is a step forward in what we see as the right direction, we are altruistic folk and for us it means that we can serve fresh, vital and love-filled food with low carbon mileage. To us this is of utmost importance. As for our customers i have seen joyful smiles when they see us harvesting greens from the backyard!!
Our hugest thank-you's and regards to permablitz as a way of bringing community together to learn grow and share in creating a positive, fun and friendly future.
The gang from the recent Jones Street Permablitz in Highgate Hill (17/07/2010) were recently featured in an article in the Courier Mail. The day was a fantastic success with a great turn out and a real transformation achieved. As you can see from the photo the yard is already serving up a delicious bounty of tasty greens. Be sure to check out the gallery and video for more fantastic pics.
Steph Zannakis and Claire Forbes turned their West End garden boundary into a productive growing area with the help of the group. "The house has been a rental for about 10 years and the garden hasn't really been tended. We had a number of gardenbeds that also needed a facelift.'' says Steph.
The duo got a permaculture design plan drawn up and they bought some plants and then asked the group if they could organise a blitz.
"We already had compost because we'd been making it for some time; but we needed to organise mulch and think about materials, plants and putting on food for people,'' Steph says. "There's a document on the website that gives you guidelines.''
Claire, Steph and housemate Luke Reade planted several different fruit trees, including some citrus, plus exotics like a yellow sapote (also known as canistel or egg-fruit), a wampee tree (which bears clusters of tangy, grape-like fruit) and a peanut tree (see breakout).
They wanted to share some of the bounty with the neighbours. "The strategy was to put a few on the street boundary, because legally anything that hangs over a boundary you're allowed to pick it's a shame more edible trees aren't used in the landscaping of the city.''
The article was written by Fiona Donnelly, to read more visit the courier-mail website:
Hosts for the day Michael and Isabelle had only recently moved to Yeronga, and having had to leave their well established veggie garden behind, were eager to get started transforming their new property.
Approximately 15 local gardening and permaculture enthusiasts descended and set to work on no-dig and biointensive double-dig garden beds. These were planted out with an abundance of tropical root vegetables including sweet potato, cassava and arrowroot.
Isabelle prepared an amazing stew from home grown veggies cooked to perfection with her solar cooker, and everyone tucked into delicious bliss balls, dips and fresh veggies for morning tea.
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger. – God.
Our suburbs are a gleaners paradise, the overhanging branches and diverse pickings are tribute to our bountiful subtropical climate and multicultural heritage.But the decades of nativist plantings, and the overly-cautious policies that keep food producing trees off of our nature strips lest somebody slip on a macadamia, or be offended by fallen fruit, has dampened the cities potential as a veritable food forest.
The edible streets tour offers an introduction to foods, fungi, weeds and other functional plants that inhabit our urban environment. Along the way we discuss the ethical considerations of harvesting, share maps, surplus and ideas to contribute to our edible landscapes.
The lovely Kat from Forgreenies has just posted a short video from the most recent edible streets walking tour. Be sure to check out the other great videos on her website, including this instruction piece on how to make a fruit harvester.
Most of the fruit we can buy in the city has traveled long distances, sometimes it even comes from overseas. This wastes huge amounts of energy, and alienates us from our food and farmers. If you own property why not consider planting fruit trees and other edible and functional landscapes along the perimeter. It is a great way to provide for your community and share with your neighbours.You can also petition your council to plant and support foodscapes and community gardens, or just start doing it yourselves.
“It was a joyous day filled with collaborative sharing, and I gained knowledge of the local abundance that our streets really offer,” enthused Teia, one of the lucky participants on the day. If you think you’d like to join in the next tour register your interest by joining the blitzbrisbane newsletter and keep an eye on our calendar of upcoming events.
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.