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

Follow up on previous blitz!

Newsflash!

G3 garden group from Mount Maunganui visited the food forest of Christine Paris in Whakmarama.  This was one of our earlier blitzes, designed by Hugo Verhagen.  It is neat to see some photos and a follow up of how the swales are working to feed Christine’s fruit trees and how everything is growing.

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This is a photo of the blitz day,  visit http://g3tauranga.blogspot.co.nz/ to see G3’s  impressions of this permaculture property when the visited recently.

 

 

Report on Permablitz at Envirohub

Envirohub’s Public Food Forest Permablitz Report
By Kat Gawlik, Lead Designer
15 March 2015

Although we had a lot of competing events happening on the same day because of Sustainable Backyards month, and the looming threat of Tropical Cyclone Pam, the mini-blitz at the Envirohub food forest was an intimate and successful morning that finished with a shared lunch including a salad of greens and herbs from the Envirohub gardens.

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This was to be the first Permablitz to happen in a public space, and we had an intimate crew of around 10 people; including a few regular ‘permablitzers’ as well as some new to the Bay of Plenty and for whom it was their first Permablitz.

After moving the seedlings and supplies up to the food forest slope, we started the morning with an introductions circle at 9am, a few clouds in the sky but no sign of the wind and rain that were forecast for later that evening.

The Rampant Immigrant

Before we tackled the rampant Kikuyu grass smothering the recently planted citrus trees, we heard from Catherine Dunton-Mcleod about the history of Kikuyu arriving in NZ with the early settlers on ships that on the long journey had stopped in South Africa where the South African grass made a ‘splendid’ substitute for the grasses and plants that had already perished on board. Little did they know that in the future the rampant and hardy grass would become a bane to many gardeners. We looked at possible methods to control Kikuyu grass including using black plastic to ‘cook’ the grass in initial site preparations, using a slurry of hydrated lime to immediately alkalise the soil (Kikuyu likes more acidic soil), using a physical barrier of sheeting iron dug into the ground, digging a deep trench, and shading it out with rambling plants like choko (chayote), orangeberry or nasturtium.

But we can’t be too hard on poor old Kikuyu, it was doing a great job in stabilising the steep bank and being the protective ground covering for the soil ecosystem beneath. So, once we removed the kikuyu grass from around the shallow rooted citrus trees we needed to replace that competitive yet protective soil covering with a diversity of beneficial ground covers, mineral accumulators, nitrogen fixers, pollinator attractants and pest repellents which would make up a fruit tree guild.

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The Citrus Tree Guild

During a well deserved morning tea of juicy nashies and kiwifruit water we heard about what a fruit tree guild is and talked about the role each plant would play in the citrus tree guild. Comfrey, rosemary, sage, strawberries, tagasaste, wisteria, echinacea, asparagus, lavender, thyme, rose geranium, globe artichoke, horseradish, mint and oregano were strategically planted around the now cleared citrus trees according to height, sun angle, and root depth, while the live piano music from the nearby Historic Village market permeated throughout the blitz site.

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With their claustrophobic collar of kikuyu removed, the citrus trees looked much happier with their new plant companions- a quick mulch of compost and grass clippings was laid and we were out of time!  We knew the new plants would get a good watering-in later that night with the predicted heavy rain the cyclone would bring. There is going to be a bit of on going maintenance to keep the invasive kikuyu away while the guild plants get established – get in touch with Noel Peterson from Envirohub if you would like to assist!

We finished the day with a yummy shared lunch while hearing Noel’s take on planting by the moon, and we got to take home a lucky dip of either dehydrated apples or cover crop seed of lupin, oats and mustard.

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Thanks everyone who came! It was a productive and fun morning!

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Contacts:

Noel Peterson, Envirohub, Historic Village
noel@envirohub.org.nz

Kat Gawlik, Lead Permaculture Designer, Permablitz Bay of Plenty
kat@forgreenies.com

Catherine Dunton-Mcleod, Design Guild Leader, Plenty Permaculture
uskiwi@eol.co.nz

 

 

 

 

Historic Village Food Forest Mini Permablitz

Historic Village Food Forest Mini Permablitz


Sunday 15th March 2015, 9am – 12pm
Location: Envirohub, Historic Village, 17th Ave, Tauranga

As part of Envirohub’s Sustainable Backyard month of March, the BOP Permablitz collective will be having a mini Permablitz at Envirohub’s recently planted orchard/food forest. It will be an opportunity for people who have never been to a Permablitz before to get involved and plant out a whole lot of support plants amongst the fruit trees and help turn it from an orchard into a forest.

The site is a free-draining, west facing slope, so a warm and dry spot suited to a range of mediterranean and sub-tropical plants, with around 45 fruit trees including peach, feijoa, mandarin, orange, lemon, loquat, lemonade, lime, grape, fig, guava and plum already planted. First we need to tackle the rampant kikuyu grass amongst the trees and we will experiment with a variety of ways including digging trenches, comfrey barriers, and alkalising the soil (kikuyu likes a more acid pH).

Then we will transplant and plant a variety of ground covers, nitrogen fixers, mineral accumulators, beneficial insect attractors and mulch-makers around the trees.

Over the course of the morning, there will be a couple of workshops with Envirohub’s Noel Peterson on Moon Planting, and Plenty Permaculture’s Catherine Dunton-McLeod on Fruit Tree Guilds.

There will be a potluck lunch so bring food to share.

Since the site is on council land and a part of Envirohub, all participants will need to sign a health and safety form. This will automatically register you as an Envirohub volunteer to attend any future events with ease!

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
-Food to share for lunch
-Any spare plants, seedlings, cuttings, seeds to support the fruit trees (see below a list of what is needed, or bring any other useful/edibles/medicinal perennials not mentioned)

Plants/seeds needed:
Tree lupin, comfrey, globe artichoke, wormwood, dill, lavender, salvia, clover, yarrow, thyme, marigold, borage, calendula, tagasaste, sage, oregano, lemon balm, chamomile, apple mint, jerusalem artichoke, hyacinth bean, scarlett runner bean, everlasting pea, hyssop, chives, strawberries, sunflowers, wisteria, lemon verbena, cosmos, honeywort, mustard, NZ spinach, welsh bunching onions, tea plant, soy bean (non-gmo), goji berry, asparagus, rhubarb, licorice.

To register, fill out the form below. Thank-you!

Sust Back Permablitz

 

Permaculture Monthly Film Fest announcement

Friday 27 March, 7:30pm-9:00pm
Wesley Centre, 13th Ave, Tauranga

A few of us have decided to start another “excuse” to get together besides blitzes: a permaculture film fest.  We’ve schedule it to run from March to December 2015 and possibly continue into 2016, if we all love it.
Neville, Kat and Lia and a few other people who have completed Geoff Lawton’s online PDC course, received about 100 hours of DVDs, covering many permaculture topics and practical solutions.  They are just packed with great information. Geoff encouraged all of them to watch the videos repeatedly and to share them with their friends and families.  So we are taking it one step further and sharing it with our community.
Starting 27 March, along with Sustainable Backyards, Plenty Permaculture and Tauranga Monthly Film Nights, we’ll start showing the best of those videos.  We’ll start with Geoff’s Introduction to Permaculture – 1:20 minutes, an excellent overall view of permaculture.  We won’t show the whole film so that there is time to talk, connect, meet, catch up, have tea and nibble on whatever yummies people bring along… a great opportunity for us all to come together in one place and keeping building relational ties.
The First will happen in Tauranga at 13th Ave and the location for the other nights is open for discussion.  We’ve thought of holding it in one location for simplicity, but then again, it could move to different locations to equalise the drive for people.   We’ll see who shows up and decide from there.  We also just made a guess at a good time for the showings, Sunday from 4-5:30, but that can be adjusted too if a defined group of committed “film goers” forms.  Maybe we need to think about childcare???  We’ll figure it out together.
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Report on Permablitz at Nashi Fest 2015

PermablitzBOP gave a workshop at the Nashi Fest this year discussing what a fruit tree guild is, how they work and their benefits. To begin the workshop we played a game to show how plants, people and animals are connected. Check out the photos below of the fun. Our facebook page has a neat video of Trish making a smoothie powered by a bike.

 

IMG_0393 IMG_0400 Permablitz workshop 1 permablitz workshop 2 Permablitz workshop 4 Permablitz workshop 5 Permablitz workshop 6 Permablitz workshop 7

Permablitz # 19 !

Historic Village Food Forest Mini Permablitz


Sunday 15th March 2015, 9am – 12pm
Location: Envirohub, Historic Village, 17th Ave, Tauranga

As part of Envirohub’s Sustainable Backyard month of March, the BOP Permablitz collective will be having a mini Permablitz at Envirohub’s recently planted orchard/food forest. It will be an opportunity for people who have never been to a Permablitz before to get involved and plant out a whole lot of support plants amongst the fruit trees and help turn it from an orchard into a forest.

The site is a free-draining, west facing slope, so a warm and dry spot suited to a range of mediterranean and sub-tropical plants, with around 45 fruit trees including peach, feijoa, mandarin, orange, lemon, loquat, lemonade, lime, grape, fig, guava and plum already planted. First we need to tackle the rampant kikuyu grass amongst the trees and we will experiment with a variety of ways including digging trenches, comfrey barriers, and alkalising the soil (kikuyu likes a more acid pH).

Then we will transplant and plant a variety of ground covers, nitrogen fixers, mineral accumulators, beneficial insect attractors and mulch-makers around the trees.

Over the course of the morning, there will be a couple of workshops with Envirohub’s Noel Peterson on Moon Planting, and Plenty Permaculture’s Catherine Dunton-McLeod on Fruit Tree Guilds.

There will be a potluck lunch so bring food to share.

Since the site is on council land and a part of Envirohub, all participants will need to sign a health and safety form. This will automatically register you as an Envirohub volunteer to attend any future events with ease!

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
-Food to share for lunch
-Any spare plants, seedlings, cuttings, seeds to support the fruit trees (see below a list of what isneeded, or bring any other useful/edibles/medicinal perennials not mentioned)

Plants/seeds needed:
Tree lupin, comfrey, globe artichoke, wormwood, dill, lavender, salvia, clover, yarrow, thyme, marigold, borage, calendula, tagasaste, sage, oregano, lemon balm, chamomile, apple mint, jerusalem artichoke, hyacinth bean, scarlett runner bean, everlasting pea, hyssop, chives, strawberries, sunflowers, wisteria, lemon verbena, cosmos, honeywort, mustard, NZ spinach, welsh bunching onions, tea plant, soy bean (non-gmo), goji berry, asparagus, rhubarb, licorice.

To register, fill out the form below. Thank-you!

 

Reminder: PB Community Gathering and change of venue

Hi blitzers,

This is a quick reminder post about our Permablitz BOP Community Gathering this Saturday 20 December, 12:30pm-2:30pm. This is going to be a great gathering over lunch to reflect on the year been and to celebrate together!

WE HAVE HAD A CHANGE OF VENUE:

The Lazy Tramper
282 Old Kamai Road, RD1, Tauranga 3171.

The owner of the Lazy Tramper wants to turn the lodge into a Permaculture centre with youth retreat and health retreat programmes. He is very happy and keen to host us all and it is a great way for us to connect with him.

Register for all the info through the previous announcement, don’t forget to bring along something to share for lunch, cutlery, plate and a cup and any seeds you may want share.

Hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Permablitz Community Gathering

Permablitz Community Gathering
20 December, 12:30-2:30pm
The Lazy Tramper, 282 Old Kaimai Road

Hi Blitzers!
 
On 20 December, your Permablitz Design Guild is gathering to talk about the year that’s been and the year that’s coming.  
 
(Your design guild, by the way, is made up of our local Permaculture Design certificate holders – Trish Waugh, Teresa Partridge, Kat Gawlik, Leo Murray, Catherine Firth, Catherine and Neville Dunton McLeod, and Lia Tuerllings.)  
 
You are invited to come up to Catherine and Neville’s place: 375 Whakamarama Road at 12:30 to 2:30, so we can all have lunch together, share ‘The Guild’s’ ideas for next year, get your feedback and input.
 
Given we’re holding this on 20 December, after a year of successful blitzing in the post Hugo and Sue period (PHSP), we think a little celebrating is also in order!  Musical instruments? Costumes?  We’ll leave that part up to you! However if you play the guitar or have a portable piano – Catherine would really love to hear from you!
 
If you have seeds to share, we’ll have a table set up for exchanges.  Please bring well labelled seeds plus envelopes or other containers to take some home.  A marking pen would be good!
 
Please bring a plate to share, cutlery, plate and a cup. We have access to a small kitchen with kettle, stove, oven.
Please fill out the form below if you intend on coming so that we can know numbers.
 
Parking:  It’ll be well marked.  
 
Carpooling:  We’ll organise it via the Facebook page
 
If Lost:  Call 027 240 1305
 
See you there!

 

Report on Permablitz #20

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.

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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.

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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!

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There was a feast for lunch, which everyone tucked into with relief (hot work on an equally hot day!)

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After lunch Marco gave a little workshop on biochar, how to make it, the uses and the benefits for the garden and farm!

Marco - biochar

Back to work for a final push before people had to start heading home for the day.

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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!

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Blitzing the BOP community one garden at a time