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!

 

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.
kk motel
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.
m4
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.
m5
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

 

Report on Permablitz # 23 – Turangi town house

Upwards of 25 people came to Turangi last sunday on what was a hot dry, and windy spring day. The site they came to work on was the front lawn of a typical hydro-house. This was one of many houses in the town moved on site for the Tongariro Power scheme in the 1960’s-70’s.

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The concept design for the site included the front lawn as a perennial food forest system – a great sustainable solution for a busy professional couple with little spare time. However, Turangi is renowned for poor and extremely free draining pumice soil and a cold climate. It snow occasionally in winter as the town is 340m above sea level.  However this north facing sloped front lawn is a ideal suntrap, the house gives it excellent shelter from the cold southerly winds.

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To alleviate water loss in the highly free draining soil, teams helped establish a combined Hugelkultur swale system. Stormwater from roof runoff was tapped into and piped to swales dug on contour above new berms. The berms were made from turf dug out of the swales and from trenches dug for wood which was buried under them. This waste wood was sourced locally from the fisherman’s track by the Tongariro river. There wayward gardeners had dumped pruning’s so these were put to good use.

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As the buried wood eventually rots, it will act like a sponge to absorb winter rains to sustain the fruit trees and food forest plants through the summer drought. Much of the food forest is planted with deciduous fruit to ensure the hosue isn’t shaded and particular care was taken in the design to ensure morning sun would still enter the main living space window.

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All involved had a great day with many young people new to permablitz having attended the day. The was a large international contingent of volunteers from Awhi farm and also staff from the Hillary Outdoor education center. It is hoped this event and local interest in the site will lead to further development of edible gardens at a Turangi Marae.

We are hoping to hold a massive multi-day permablitz someday to give back to the Turangi community, many of whom are the descendants of the visionary people that gifted NZ it’s first National Park. (Tongariro NP) Watch this space!

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Permablitz #23!

Turangi town home Food Forest Permablitz


Sunday 4th October 2015, 9:30am – 4pm
Location: Turangi town home, register to find out where

We’re planting a food forest at a typical home in Turangi.

The site is a north facing,free-draining, front sloped garden, so a warm and dry spot well suited to great growing.

Before the fruit trees go in, we’ll be forming rainwater infiltration swales for drought tolerance and for cycling nutrients into the system. Storm-water runoff from the house and garage will fill a new goldfish pond in front of the house. Once full nutrients from the pond will flow into the swales too.

We’re planting a large range of stone-fruit like cherries, prunes and apricots along with citrus trees fruiting shrubs such as currants and gooseberries. They’ll love the hard frosts and warm dry summers. These will become the structure of the multi-layered food food for this young turangi family and kids passing by on their way to and from school.

Please come and help, likely workshops will discuss Food forest and swale design, composting, tree planting and mulch use. Anyone is welcome to teach a workshop on a sustainable living concept on the day!

There will be a good healthy lunch provided. Hosts will help organise carpooling for anyone willing to come down here. Turangi has great hotpools, walks, and plenty to see and do for a weekend away! (not to mention great permies down here including the sensational Awhi Farm (google them!)

Suitable plant donations for our food forest appreciated.

We hope to see you here!
Hugo & Caro

What to bring:
-Sturdy Footwear
-Gloves
-Own gardening tools (labelled with your name) – spades, shovels, wheelbarrows, hand tools
-Water bottle
-Hat and sun protection

-Extra clothing (Turangi climate is about a month behind the Tauranga!)

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

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

Blitzing the BOP community one garden at a time