Permablitz is a social enterprise committed to improving the sustainability of our cities and suburbs. We use a sustainable design system called permaculture to help communities move away from denial and dependent consumerism to engagement and responsible production. Our core focus is helping people sustainably grow food where they live, building healthy community in the process. Rather than depressing people with the bad news, we empower them with the good news - that the solutions are at hand - and get on with having fun rolling them out.
This page some history, and some of our principles and why we do what we do.
What is a permablitz.
Permablitz started in April 2006 with a collaboration between permaculture students and a South American community group in the South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Since then, over 40 permablitzes have been held and permablitz has gained an international reputation as a successful tool for fast-tracking the suburbs towards sustainability. In Brisbane, permablitzes have taken off in 2010 with events being held across the city.
What is Permaculture and what is a Permablitz
Our primary tool is permaculture, an ethically underpinned design system for sustainable living and landuse. Mimicking the patterns and relationships we observe in natural ecosystems, permaculture is a process of consciously designing the places we live to be sustainable in the sense of being able to persist indefinitely. Permaculture goes beyond realising that conventional agriculture is the most destructive thing humans are doing on the planet: it offers an achievable alternative in the form of sustainable small scale local food production systems. Part of this vision is massively decreasing the distance between where food is produced and consumed. As an integrated design science, however, food is just one part of the permaculture equation. Permaculture equally addresses and integrates water, energy, waste, shelter, community, local economy, governance and all other aspects of sustainable living. It's broad, it's exciting, and it's blindingly relevant to the challenges we all face.
As a design process, permaculture has three phases:
1) design, where a design or pattern is made that seamlessly integrates a landscape with the wants, needs and abilities of the people living there
2) design implementation, where the design becomes a reality
3) follow up and system evolution, where we learn from our successes and mistakes, and we let the system demonstrate its own evolution
In suburban contexts, permaculture design focuses on the relative location in space and time of things like herb gardens, vegetable gardens, chicken houses, paths, ponds and fruit trees. We can grow a sizable proportion of our food in our suburban yards (permaculturists do not generally advocate complete self-sufficiency). If you don't believe us, get in touch and we'll show you living examples. It is hard not to get excited when you see a good permaculture design in operation, where all the parts function harmoniously together and the system largely provides for its own needs as well as providing for a good portion of yours. As integrated design, permaculture is much, much more than organic gardening.
A permablitz is a contraction of permaculture and blitz, where a blitz simply means a focused application of energy or a concentrated effort to get something done. Once a design is in hand, a permablitz is a day where volunteers come together to help make that design a reality. Permablitz volunteers help with events corresponding to the three phases of design discussed above:
1) pre-blitz design visits
2) permablitzes proper
3) post-blitz follow up visits
Our Core Beliefs
1) A sustainable system is one that keeps going when external inputs of non-renewable resources are turned off
2) Our current modes of food production, namely industrial chemical and fossil fuel dependent monocultures, are not sustainable
3) Permaculture is a tool we can use now to decrease our participation in industrial agriculture and to directly act on our most pressing issues, including peak oil and climate change.
4) We know the problems and we have the solutions. It is time to transition not just from denial to awareness, but from awareness to action. We can have a good time on the way. So let's go!
What We Do
Our primary role is facilitating permaculture designs, permablitzes to help implement those designs and follow-up visits to see how well they've worked out. In the process, we are:
1) rolling edible landscapes out across the suburbs
2) helping take permaculture to the mainstream and helping people take their first steps
3) facilitating the growth of a new generation of permaculture designers
4) building community and creating networks of gardeners helping each other
5) having fun while we redesign the future!