Permablitz
September 29, 2009 1:19 AM   Subscribe

Your new veggie garden. Early Saturday morning, you and about fifteen others turn up at a strangers home and get to work setting up a veggie garden using permaculture design principles. Once you've done this three times you can put your name on the list to have the horde come to your place. Permablitz began helping people create home food gardens in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, and the meme is spreading, first to other Australian cities, then to France, Uganda and the Netherlands. The veggie gardens are great, but perhaps even better is the way it is rebuilding the community relationships of mutual support that modern urban dwellers could be forgiven for thinking were gone 19th Century practise of barn raising.
posted by compound eye (24 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Permablitz in other australian cities:

Sydney,
Dandenong,
Castlemaine

and a photo from Alice Springs
posted by compound eye at 1:35 AM on September 29, 2009


I like How to Grow More.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:21 AM on September 29, 2009


It's a little like guerrilla gardening but with the landowner on your side.
posted by pracowity at 2:29 AM on September 29, 2009


Is it only me who hates the term 'veggie'. I don't want to give pet names to things I kill and eat.

Apart from piggy-wiggies, that is...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:49 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


neat idea!
posted by HuronBob at 3:20 AM on September 29, 2009


I love stuff like this. Now, if only I had 1) a garden 2) time to tend to it 3) lived in a city that didn't have plain hazardous air.
posted by flippant at 3:31 AM on September 29, 2009


The deer/raccoons/squirrels in our neighborhood wholeheartedly support any of our efforts to grow vegetables. They also appreciate the nice garnish our bushes and shrubs add to the veggies.
posted by digsrus at 4:49 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like How to Grow More.

This was mentioned twice in one of the more recent Make magazines, so I checked it out. At first I was like "this is the best book EVAR" and taking notes. Then I got exhausted just trying to remember all the stuff I had to do. Not that it was so much actual work, just that there were so many little things. Plus I hardly need more tomatos or jalapenos than I got this year. Cripes.

Anyway, back on topic: I love permaculture but I hate people. So while I love that permablitzing exists, I would not partake.
posted by DU at 5:16 AM on September 29, 2009


It's a little like guerrilla gardening but with the landowner on your side.

or renter, last weekend there was a big veggie garden set up in a rented house.

(veggie is pretty standard australian english, not cutesyness)
posted by compound eye at 5:40 AM on September 29, 2009


I'm slightly skeptical by the fact that they'll only consider your house for "blizing" if you've had input from a certficated permaculture design consultant. Which the group's organisers happen to offer as a paid service.

Has anyone heard of "permaculture design consultants" before? Does the certificate / qualifications structure exist anywhere that isn't run by the people claiming to have one?

I dearly want to believe that this is every bit as cool as it sounds. I suppose that, even if it is a way for garden designers to drum up business, the product they're delivering -- a garden design plus the fun of getting together to build it -- could stll be pretty great. It's just that I once got burned by an exiled Nigerian prince, so I find it hard to trust great-sounding things on the internet.
posted by metaBugs at 5:45 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm slightly skeptical by the fact that they'll only consider your house for "blizing" if you've had input from a certficated permaculture design consultant.

It isn't required that you pay someone. I guess a lot depends on how often they are able to provide a volunteer.

From the FAQ:

Q. Will someone help you design it beforehand?

A. We try to organise at least one volunteer permaculture designer who wants experience to help you with the design process. Most of the time we find someone, although occassionally distance or complexity of the project works against us. You can alternatively pay to have a professional permaculture designer help out, and some organisers of the permablitz network are also professional designers. See our page on Permaculture Design Consultants.
posted by diogenes at 6:31 AM on September 29, 2009


Sounds pretty hard to become a Permaculture Design Consultant -- 72 hour certification, all in one weekend. No sleep for you! Fall in, designers! Ten hut! Reeeeaaaady.....design!

But I'm with DU. Great idea, but PTSD makes me uneasy around people, so this wouldn't work for me. Fortunately, I did my own permaculture design consulting and got my garden going a few years ago, and now it's rockin'. I'm sure that's basically what they mean: someone has to look the place over at the very least, to decide how many raised beds to install, what size, etc, to draw up a list of materials needed for that site. Having a clusterf*ck of people show up with random materials wouldn't get things done very well.
posted by jamstigator at 6:34 AM on September 29, 2009


Costa's Garden Odyssey show on SBS recently had Costa joining in on a permablitz day. The SBS website has a bit of a write-up or you can see the video of the whole episode.
posted by harriet vane at 7:27 AM on September 29, 2009


Anyway, back on topic: I love permaculture but I hate people. So while I love that permablitzing exists, I would not partake.

Me too. But on the upside, I can do this by myself, on my own land, and have all the fun with none of the pesky other people. Win-win!
posted by rusty at 7:54 AM on September 29, 2009


A few other relevant permaculture websites:
Plants for A Future.org - Provides an extensive database of edible perennials. Some of the plants are really obscure.

Permaculture Activist Magazine - Pretty self explanatory. A magazine. About permaculture.
posted by mdpatrick at 8:47 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


A. We try to organise at least one volunteer permaculture designer who wants experience to help you with the design process. Most of the time we find someone, although occassionally distance or complexity of the project works against us. You can alternatively pay to have a professional permaculture designer help out, and some organisers of the permablitz network are also professional designers. See our page on Permaculture Design Consultants.

Well then. In that case, I'm back to my gut reaction: this is brilliant. When I finally become a proper grown-up and actually settle somewhere long-ish term, I really hope there'll be a group somewhere nearby.
posted by metaBugs at 9:32 AM on September 29, 2009


Oh yah I see people playing this of Facebook all the time. Looks fun!
posted by hermitosis at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2009


what a great idea! thanks for posting this
posted by jammy at 10:52 AM on September 29, 2009


I'm currently slogging through some permaculture books and putting in a garden. It seems like demand for this sort of thing is going to shoot through the roof in the next decade; lawns are just so last century.
posted by mek at 12:50 PM on September 29, 2009


nice first post, btw.
posted by wilful at 5:58 PM on September 29, 2009


A lawn is not ideal for all circumstances, but it does tolerate the presence of human traffic. That is a wonderful feature found in few plants.

I love fresh vegetables and I love a nap in the grass. Here in SF thanks to parks and farmer's markets I can have both without inviting some cult* to take over my back yard**.

* They are probably very nice people. I am allergic to organizations with a tendency to recruit.

** I have no back yard. That would cost millions of dollars here.
posted by poe at 8:59 PM on September 29, 2009


There's an organization called Daily Acts here in Petaluma, California whose Homegrown Guild group does something very similar (they call it Garden Wheels).
posted by harmfulray at 10:33 PM on September 29, 2009


I like this idea a lot. Experienced gardeners (people who have failed a lot) help inexperienced gardeners (people who would probably fail this year) and they get quick results: Bang! Your garden is planted. Just add water. And then when you go along to help with someone else's garden, you learn a little more and you again get to see quick results -- in one day, you help turn an empty lot into a garden with a future.
posted by pracowity at 11:58 PM on September 29, 2009


thank you wilful
posted by compound eye at 5:25 AM on September 30, 2009


« Older Sesquioxidizingfragalisticexpialadocious   |   Uno Moralez - Supernature! (NSFW) Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments