This was the largest blitz we have had to date, and was a great opportunity to connect the community on an even broader scale than usual. Green Connect, a Port Kembla based social enterprise, have a farm called Urban Grown that had recently come under new management and was desperately in need of some permie power to implement their design.
Core Permablitz blitz collective members Jacqui, Bec and Shez are deeply involved in the farm and wrote some words about how amazing it was to have the Permablitz volunteers descend on the farm for the biggest blitz yet!
“Green Connect is a social enterprise that connects people to jobs and urban sustainability. We design and develop urban sustainability with and within the community, increase local food security, and create job opportunities. The aims of Green Connect are to:
- Reduce waste to landfill and turn organic waste into a productive resource
- Grow chemical-free food and build community capacity to grow and prepare food and understand nutrition
- Reduce food miles
- Improve land, water and biodiversity where we work
- Design and develop urban sustainability with and within the community
- Create job opportunities, particularly for young people and resettled refugees
Our farm – Urban Grown – is based at Warrawong High is currently being managed by a volunteer management team, including Shez, Bec and Jacqui who are three quarters of the team that coordinate Permablitz the Gong. When the backyard permablitz scheduled for February fell through and no other hosts could be found at short notice we decided to cash in our blitz credits and hold a permablitz at Urban Grown.
In the weeks leading up to the permablitz our spirits were somewhat dampened as work on site had been slowed due to excessive rain. On blitz day our rain, hail or shine policy was again put to the test (and should be expanded to include gale force winds!) but over 50 amazingly talented individuals came together to weed, build, dig, mulch, swale, connect and reaffirm what an amazing place Urban Grown is, giving us renewed enthusiasm about the farm.
Swales were created in a neglected section of the site and productive no dig mounds built for a market garden that will slowly transition to a productive food forest area.
Angela’s team worked to regenerate a biodiversity corridor and revitalise a pond revealing a beautiful dry stone wall.
There was a team tirelessly working to uncover a terraced area that will be converted into a south American food forest, while below another team dug trenches in waterlogged clay and started transforming a neglected shed into what will become our new chicken and duck pen. At the same time another team deconstructed the old chook house creating space for expansion of the market garden beds.
Finally our muddy site was transformed with countless barrowloads of mulch and by the end of the day we were able to run a tour of the site.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Carlos who made two delicious giant paellas for lunch, to Dee, Tessha and Wendy for bringing awesome morning and afternoon tea snacks, to Angela for the generous donation of native plants and Aaron the Warrawong High School students for the loan of tools and use of the shed and outdoor kitchen space.
It was inspiring to see so many people interested in taking permablitz out of the backyard and into the wider community supporting the aims of social enterprise. A number of people indicated they would be interested in future volunteer opportunities at Urban Grown. We are please to announce we will be launching our volunteer program and will be welcoming volunteers to drop in on the second Saturday of every month between 9 am – 12pm, with the first volunteer day coming up this Saturday 14th June. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We also have some more regular volunteering opportunities so if you are able to commit time on a weekly basis please get in touch. Jobs will initially include watering, weeding, digging, mulching and building.
Thanks again from the Urban Grown and Permablitz the Gong teams for such an awesome day! We hope to see you at Urban Grown again and at the next Permabalitz!”
Check out the full set of photos on our Facebook page