All posts by marcoandteresa

We’ve bent the rules….

Newsflash!

Usually we say you need to come to three permablitzes before you qualify to host your own, and there are many reasons why we say this. However, sometimes three is a lot. To keep blitzes happening, we are bending the rules a bit.

So until further notice, you can qualify to host your own blitz if you have:

  1. participated in two permablitzes, OR
  2. participated in one permablitz and have volunteered for a day with any two of the following groups (or similar):

– Helped out for a day at your local community garden e.g. The Rock Papamoa Community Gardens, see them on Facebook;
– Attended a community day at any Coast Care Group, through BOP Regional Council;
– Attended community day at any Bay of Plenty Conservation group, such as local wetland or riparian margin restoration e.g. Athenree Saltmarsh Restoration Group, through DOC or – HELP Waihi, Habitat Enhancement and Landcare Partnership (HELP) Waihi http://www.waihihabitat.co.nz/
– WWOOFing;
– Voluntary pest control work such as through Forest & Bird e.g. Aongatete Forest restoration Trust, through DOC;
– Attended, volunteered at or run workshops relating to permaculture practices

Basically we want to make sure you’re committed to the cause – creating edible gardens, sharing skills related to permaculture and sustainable living, building community, and having fun – and know what to expect at your own blitz.

So if you are keen to get your place blitzed and think you qualify – then check out this page here and let’s get things underway!

 

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Permablitz #25!

Paeroa Rural Food Forest Permablitz

Saturday 18th June 2016, 9am – 4pm
Location: Paeroa, register to find out where

We are developing a three year old orchard into the next phase of a Food Forest. We are also preparing the orchard for chickens to roam and under planting some of the fruit trees with beneficial plants at a large rural property just south of Paeroa.

The site is a north facing, easily accessible, gently sloping orchard.

We’ll be preparing some areas of lawn between the fruit trees with sheet mulching. These areas will be planted with more fruiting plants, some nitrogen fixers and other companion and beneficial plants. Existing fruit trees will be mulched, composted and bedded in for winter.

We will be fixing chicken mesh to the perimeter fence to make the orchard secure for chickens to free range. Housing for the chickens will also be established.

Likely workshops will be; on the care of chickens eg how to clip their wings, feeding chickens from the land, sheet mulching for food forest understorey planting, pruning fruit trees, chook housing from recycled materials, healing herbs and native plants/rongoa.

Anyone is welcome to teach a workshop on a sustainable living concept so if you have any special skills that will contribute to the learning of the participants please mention this at registration.

Please come and help. The hosts will provide a good healthy lunch and snacks. Hope to see you there!

What to bring:
-Sturdy Footwear
-Gloves
-Gardening tools (labelled with your name) – hammer, grass clippers, spades, shovels,wheelbarrows, hand tools
-Water bottle
-Hat and sun protection and wet weather gear

Plants/seeds needed: Tagasaste, Peppermint geranium, Chamomile, Salvia, Siberian pea shrub, Phaelacia, Yarrow, Lavender, Wormwood.

Donations to the sheet mulching pile appreciated: Horse or cow manure, untreated sawdust, seaweed, straw…

To register, fill out the form below. Your details will be emailed to the hosts who will contact you with further details on how to get there. Thank you!

Take a look at the Katikati Motel Permablitz – 3.5 years later

This is the first in a series of reports on previous Permablitzes in the Bay of Plenty.
The Permaculture Design Guild, who make up a proportion of the designers involved in the Permablitz programme, feel it is important to return to see how the owners are enjoying their gardens and to find out what has worked and what hasn’t worked .
Our first visit was to Katikati Motel which was Permablitz # 3 & 4 carried out in spring 2012.
BEFORE
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The area we blitzed was originally a swimming pool, which had been backfilled with subsoil. We designed a series of raised wicking beds to enable addition of good growing medium and to keep maintenance to a minimum for a busy couple, Kate and Kent Pfennig, with a young
family and a motel to run.
AFTER
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We recently visited Kate and Kent at Katikati Motel to see how their garden is going. This was a unique situation as Kate and Kent wanted this area to be developed for guests at the Motel to also be able to use the fruit and vegetables from the garden.
THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TODAY
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This was the first Blitz where we built Wicking beds and these have proved very successful for this busy couple. Kate says “I would do the wicking beds again, that was a definite good thing. They only need filling two to three times a year; at the end of spring, around January, and if very dry, again a month later. They have been great time and water savers when it comes to irrigating the vegetables.
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The beds are replenished with fresh compost at the end of each growing season. “The Pfennigs wanted to incorporate chickens into the area so that they could also provide guests with fresh eggs. The  rotational chicken tractor system hasn’t been continued with mainly because it was in the public eye and the area, especially after rain, wasn’t visually appealing for the guests.
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However the chickens are now housed elsewhere and when there were nine laying they not only provided ample eggs for the guests but also were fed food waste from the units thus closing the recycle loop. There have been crops of potatoes, corn, beans, herbs, and fruit. Raspberries, Grapes, Citrus, and Jerusalem Artichokes are currently ripe. The Pfennigs have since planted other fruit throughout the motel site. There are Olives as shade trees, more Raspberries against a hot wall,Citrus and Green Tea Camellias.
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Since completion there have been visits to this garden by the Tauranga Ooooby Group, a Tauranga Garden Club and Katikati BA5. It has generated a lot of interest and provided a good example of Permaculture in action.
By Trish Waugh, Permablitz guild designer

Report on Permablitz # 24

An energetic group of 22 people came together on Saturday 10th October to blitz a suburban backyard in Brookfield, Tauranga.

Host Sharon created the design for her PDC with Plenty Permaculture and this was implementation day!

sharon-and-design

The main task of the day was to create a series of small-scale infiltration swales on contour with vegetable beds in between. This will take advantage of the gentle slope of the property to harvest rainwater runoff.

digging-and-filling-swales

The swales were lined with tree branches, mulch and sawdust, which will act like a sponge during heavy rain, then will slowly release moisture to the vegetable beds. The swales also function as pathways between the beds.

The vegetable beds were prepared by double-digging and adding amendments such as inoculated biochar, vermicast, Nature’s Garden and compost.

The vegetable growing area will be divided into two parts: a perennial vegetable polyculture, which will be self-sustaining once established; and annual vegetable beds which will be managed using biointensive methods.

finishing-touches

Three interactive workshops were run to give everyone some fun, hands-on learning opportunities. Leo did a compost making workshop which resulted in a magnificent compost heap; Brad demonstrated double-digging and had his group powering through the vegetable beds; and Christine led a willow weaving workshop which resulted in a cute and rustic raised bed border (to be finished by host Sharon later).

compost-creation

willow-weaving

The lunch of chickpea and pumpkin tagine, arabesque lentils, salads, roasted chicken, lemon and coconut balls, chocolate chip slice and fruit cake was lovingly assembled by our generous hosts.

lunch

As we were munching dessert, Gisella gave us a fabulous introduction to biodynamic gardening. We learned that biodynamic gardening always starts with applying a preparation called 500. It’s an involved process to make it, using cow horns packed with cow manure and buried in the ground. However you can purchase it through the NZ Biodynamic Association at a very low cost per acre. A few of the group decided to try it, so we put in our order with Gisella and will meet up in a couple of weeks when the moon is in the right phase to have a strong arm stirring party (500 needs to be stirred for an hour to activate it).

Facilitators Trish and Leo kept things running smoothly and it was a fun and productive day with amazing results!

the-crew

final-result

 

Permablitz #24!

Tauranga Suburban Garden Permablitz – REGISTRATIONS FULL

Saturday 10th October 2015, 9am – 4pm
Location: Tauranga, register to find out where

We’re creating vegetable beds on contour and under-planting fruit trees at a typical suburban home in Tauranga.

The site is a north facing, gently sloped garden.

We’ll be forming a series of small rainwater infiltration swales which will be filled with mulch and used as pathways between raised vegetable beds. Some of the vegetable beds will be dedicated to growing perennial vegetables, while the rest will be used for biointensive annual vegetable growing.

A few existing trees will need to be moved, and underplanted with companion plants. Some of the existing lawn area will be sheet mulched.

Likely workshops will be on the correct posture for digging, double digging, making multi-purpose portable compost bins, compost making, using biodynamic preparations, possibly making tepees and garden edging with woven willow if we can find enough suitable material. Anyone is welcome to teach a workshop on a sustainable living concept on the day!

Please come and help. The hosts will provide a good healthy lunch and snacks.

Limited to 20 people, so be in quick!

Hope to see you there!

What to bring: -sturdy footwear, gloves, gardening tools (labelled with your name), spades, shovels, wheelbarrows, hand tools,water bottle, hat and sun protection.

Plants/seeds needed: Dwarf comfrey, tagasaste, peppermint geranium, chamomile, hyssop, honeywort, greater celandine, welsh bunching onions, salvia, chamomile, siberian pea shrub, chives, alfalfa, bulbs, boysenberry, loganberry.

Donations to the compost pile appreciated: Seaweed, grass clippings, cow manure, straw…etc

To register, fill out the form below. Your details will be emailed to the hosts who will contact you with further details on how to get there. Thank you!

SORRY REGISTRATIONS FULL

Report on Permablitz # 20 – The Rock Community Gardens

On July the 12th The Rock hosted the 20th Bay of Plenty Permablitz – and what a day it was! The sun was shining, the wind was light, and smiles radiated from end to end of The Rock’s busy pathways.

The day started off frosty, with frozen hoses and ice coating every minute surface of the vegetables, creating a crispy white wonderland (see photos!).

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The buzz grew as people started arriving, greeting one another, pouring hot teas, labelling tools and laying down gifted plants.

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After an introduction by Leo, Dave and Lily, Dave went over the Permaculture Design for the Food Forest to set the days agenda. Then after a big warm up stretch session we all got cracking! What a sight to see – all the weeks of preparation come to life in the hands of community, as the load was lifted up and shared between everyone.

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Around 40-50 participants planted over 30 trees (20 of these being fruit trees) and a guild of support species, including comfrey, lupin, lavender, rosemary, dill, oregano, coriander, berry shrubs, and garlic around the edges to help keep out unwanted visitors.

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Because the parent material at The Rock is a mercilessly nutrient-void sand, trees and shrubs were planted first in pre-prepared holes (refilled a month earlier with a mix of compost, manure and parent material), before cardboard and newspaper were laid around them to start the sheet mulch. A one meter radius around each tree was given special attention, building up the soil/compost layer a bit more to plant the guild species in.

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Puffing and panting in the sunshine, countless wheelbarrow trips transported a large quantity of compost and mulch between 50-100m to the Food Forest site to form the sheet mulch layers. This sheet mulch consisted of (from the ground up):
1. Clay slurry
2. Newspaper a metre around the trees, cardboard everywhere else (which ran out big time – oops! If you’re planning to sheetmulch an area, get as much cardboard you think is necessary then quadruple it!)
3. Manure
4. Compost
5. Compost Tea, Cow Pat Pit, RokSolid
6. Mulch

B&A1
Much of this enormous task was completed on the day, with one whole section completely finished (yay!) but quite a few areas remained uncovered by both compost and mulch, and were completed by Rock members in the week following.

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Between this area of sheet mulch, the empty space for a path has since been filled with sawdust to guide visitors around the edible permaculture forest. One seat got fully set up on the day, and the second seat has since been completed.

B&A2

Art also featured throughout the day, with Millie Newitt facilitating all the fruit tree signs being painted, in wild and wonderful colours and styles – Thanks Millie!

Some people took the time to prepare workshops for the Blitz that took place throughout the day and were a real hit (sometimes to the detriment of the main food forest task!!). Taking the time to prepare something and teach others is a great way to say thanks for coming and participating. Thanks to the following people for holding workshops:
– Dave – Dealing with kikuyu
– Chris – Dealing with Papamoa sandy soils
– Lily – Sauerkraut making
– Catherine – Fruit Tree Guilds
– Leo – Wormfarming

The feast that took place at lunch time was spoken of for days afterwards. Rows of salads, soups, breads (Thanks Flaveur breads!), cakes and more delectable home kitchen contributions were devoured in the sun, as we all  gathered round on beanbags, blankets, chairs and picnic tables to a well deserved break with some smooth beats adding to the mood.

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The blitz was also blessed to have one Green Wizard floating about, casting spells of laughter and wisdom to many throughout the day. Thankyou Green Wizard.

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A huge THANKYOU TO EVERYONE who came down to The Rock from near, far, and in the cold of morn to create something incredible that day – a productive, regenerative, bio-diverse public space – that will be a positive fixture in the community for years to come. Together we all rocked it! You’re all welcome anytime and we welcome anyone who wants to check out the Food Forest and learn more about Fruit Tree Guilds.

For more info on The Rock or to get involved, contact us at therockpapamoa@gmail.com.

Update from former PermablitzBOP Designer Kat Gawlik

Kat and Seiorse have made it to Fiji!

Kat Gawlik was such a contribution to PermablitzBOP while she was here last year.  We miss her!!  She and her partner Seiorse sailed off on their boat last month and have successfully reached Fiji!  Read the account below.

Bula!

We motored through the Navula reef passage into Fiji first thing yesterday morning, and took a whole day sailing with light headwinds up to where we are anchored now, at Lautoka Port. Our friends from Tauranga on their boat Pandora are anchored next to us, so we joined them for dinner last night – a real dinner with tropical vegetables all chopped, and a small portion of the 1.2m Mahimahi  that we caught about 2 days out from Fiji. Looking forward to watching the video of catching that again, it was the biggest fish we had ever caught and seeing it madly flapping in the cockpit was intense! We both felt a bit guilty killing it, but soon semi justified it thinking of how many restaurant fish meals we don’t need to order now.

The people here are so friendly and accommodating, all the official checkin formalities were fairly casual, and we are looking forward to having a look in town and going to the market.

Coming through the passage in the distance we could see perfect huge barrelling waves breaking across the reef of the infamous Cloudbreak surf break and a few floating apartments (catamarans) anchored nearby, the stuff of big budget surf movies. Doubt we will hit that up first. The surf spot ‘swimming pool’s’ sounds more like our thing…

The temperature here is perfect. We have all hatches open with lots of fresh air, and it isn’t too hot. Looking forward to our first swim in a nice clean bay somewhere. The chart shows we are anchored next to a sewer outfall and the water isn’t that inviting turquoise colour here. No doubt we will find a place soon.

We are planning on going to the Vuda marina today for Seiorse’s birthday to meet up with our other Tauranga friend on Messalina for some Fiji Bitters and live music. We wanted to put the boat in the marina to give it a good wash and do washing etc but it is full.

Hoping to get sim cards, cruising permit and a supply of fresh market fruits and vegetables on Monday before starting to explore the outer islands.

It’s good to be here after 10 days at sea, feeling blessed to have had no major problems with the boat, or any bad weather to deal with!!

Love Kat and Seiorse