Permablitz Community Gathering
20 December, 12:30-2:30pm
The Lazy Tramper, 282 Old Kaimai Road
There was a lot to be done at permablitz #20, with a great turn out and lots of enthusiasm the design was explained and everyone introduced themselves.
The hosts Marco and Teresa have only been on the property for a month, but with fruit trees that were gratefully gifted to them and plants to get in the ground – a blitz at their new property was in order!
A forest garden was designed along the principles of Koanga Institute’s ‘Design your own Forest Garden’ booklet. This design incorporates the many layers of a natural forest with fruit trees, nitrogen fixers, comfrey for the potash and many other mineral accumulating useful and edible plants planted in their appropriate guilds. Swales were dug on this slope to stop the water running off and taking the nutrients with it! The idea is that the water will stay in the swale and permeate through the berm to feed the deep rooted fruit tree.
As well as planting the forest garden, an area to reuse water was created and planted out with water loving plants. An area was dug out, the plants lovingly planted, wet cardboard laid on top, with a dripper line and then mulch. AND of course help was needed double digging beds in their zone 1 garden area!
There was a feast for lunch, which everyone tucked into with relief (hot work on an equally hot day!)
After lunch Marco gave a little workshop on biochar, how to make it, the uses and the benefits for the garden and farm!
Back to work for a final push before people had to start heading home for the day.
A drink or two was had at the end of the day marvelling at all the work that had been done. The power of people and the amazing achievements that can be made, never ceases to amaze us!
A fellow ‘permablitzer’ would love our help on her beautiful rural Waihi section.
We will create a swale on a north facing hillside. We are building this swale to capture rainfall and nutrient runoff. We will learn how to make and use a levelling device to make a horizontal swale. Then we will learn which seeds and plants are appropriate for the task of retaining the swale as we plant them. And if we have time, we will learn how to mark out and dig a second swale.
We will also experiment with making seeds balls with New Zealand native species. We have a rocket stove to demonstrate. We have plenty of fun tasks for people who are ready to get stuck into digging and getting their hands dirty, and we have heaps of fun jobs for people who don’t!
This magical site is certified organic and you will have the opportunity to ask the knowledgeable owner all kinds of questions about the variety of plant species on the property.
To register, fill out the form below. The hosts will send you the details. If you have not heard back within 48 hours – please re-register as something may have gone wrong in the registering process. Thank-you!
It was a well-established garden with many fruit trees already producing when Henk and Valerie moved in four years previously. The main aim of the design was to introduce more varieties of fruiting plants, especially Berryfruit and nuts and to form a herbal ley beneath a portion of the orchard, which would be extended gradually over a period of time.
Catherine and Kat held workshops on Berryfruit and Almond planting and Rex gave a very informative talk on Yakon; its uses and how to grow it. Thank-you Rex for the Yakon seed brought to share.
The most popular job was to install a traditional North American Medicine Garden, a wish that Valerie had had for many years, to be fulfilled by us all. It was a special experience for each of us as we placed a rock within the circular space and were given its spiritual meaning.
Henk and Valerie provided us with a delicious vegetarian lunch AND Henk and Rex entertained us with some classy tunes on their ukuleles… and other unusual musical instruments.
Following lunch it was all hands to the weeding, planting, mulching, and eventually tidying up then we stood back to enjoy the results of our labour.
A special thanks goes out to Brett Soutar of Short Back ‘n’ Sides, Arborists of Waihi for the donation of mulch for the garden.
A satisfying day for all and a big thank-you to Henk and Valerie for your hospitality.
As you can see from the Boarder Edging photo collage below, this is where raspberries were planned and what an efficient job it was.
Finally I teared myself away from all that great fun and buzz in the garden and walked straight into another lovely warm, colourful, happy zone – the kitchen! Wow, we were in for a treat for lunch!!! We had all sorts of freshly made goodies coming and all dietary considerations prepared for. Many people have asked for the name of the restaurant owned by the chef who prepared much of the yummy food, so what better place than here to make sure we all know where to go for a great meal. Korean Chinese Restaurant , Rock’n Wok, 45 Fourth Ave., Tauranga. What a lovely family and the sparkle in the eye with a beautiful wide smile on the face of that man while cooking was a sure sign for me of someone who loves to cook.
The group on the day was made up of a great mix of people. People from previous blitzes, locals, people who had recently moved here from overseas, people from Rotorua, people in their last days in the Bay shortly to head off to exciting new beginnings in the King Country, people planning to have their own blitz very soon, and people planning to set up their own blitz team, not to mention a few participating in or teaching horticulture courses, as well as PDCs.
We hope this has given you an idea of just how colourful a day we had!! The colour that shone through the most, the brightest, and strongest colour of the day was that of people power. Laughter, team work, fun and a real sense of family.
Permablitz #13 was held at Kaine and Rachel’s place in Katikati on Saturday 21 September.
Rachel was delighted that the gale force winds and torrential rains had done their thing on Friday night, which meant Saturday morning was the perfect weather to get stuck into the blitz. The main jobs on the day were making the wicking beds and planting. Below is the plan and drawings for the three wicking beds:
Hugo led the construction of the wicking beds, starting with pre cut 4-meter Macrocarpa boards. The finished height was 400mm high with corner supports and a centre brace.
The wicking beds are an improvement on raised beds as they have a wrapped, leaky pipe which runs through the bottom. This, along with the plastic liner allows efficient water use, watering plants from the bottom up. Watering is done by sticking a hose in the open end of the pipe and letting the bed get saturated. It’s fantastic for times of drought, for people who are away a lot, or for those who forget to water their veggies.
Before the pipe is buried, it is wrapped with a long, white stocking, a
“sock filter” from the building supply store. This keeps the fine bits of dirt from clogging the pipe.
The team then got onto wheel barrel duty and filled the bottom of the beds with 100ml of smooth river rocks (so not to puncture the plastic), then weed mat stapled to the wood. They then repeated layers of basic compost pile ingredients: compost, saw dust, grass clippings, horse manure and food scraps. A mix of topsoil and compost finished the beds, and voila!
Here are a couple of photos of the planting that happened on the day, besides the wicking beds.
A great day of learning and working hard by all! Kaine, Rachel and their two children will be eating fruit & veggies from this garden in no time! And they may even get to sneak in a Christmas holiday and come back to ingredients for a salad, thanks to the wicking beds.
Check out the Permablitz Bay of Plenty’s Facebook page for more photos of this great day!