[image from flickr
– imagine if we could establish something like THIS right here in Maidstone! To share with all!]

So many exciting community projects happening in the inner west at the moment!

Last month I attended my first Permaculture Out West meeting – I was so excited to hear it even existed! Like minds in my own neighbourhood, who’d have thunk it? Actually these guys put me to shame, I’ve just scrabbling to find out what’s going on and helping where I can.

One project I am particularly interested in is a proposal they are putting forth to council to start up some market community gardens at a site in Maidstone. Council are wanting to sell the disused land that was once upon a time the old Maidstone Community Centre and later a tennis club. It’s just a short walk from our place.

The POW group are pitching to council to delay the sale for 5 years and to let us try and establish some kind of community market gardens, in the model of CERES. The idea is that the organic produce grown at the gardens would be available for purchase and you could subscribe to get a $20 a week box of seasonal veggies delivered to your door etc..

They are collecting signatures and email to council, but it needs to be in by Oct 30. So if you are a local resident in the Maribyrnong Council area, and think it’s a good idea, please take five minutes to write a short support email to the address below!

Maribyrnong City Council is seeking expressions of interest for the purchase of council land by public tender for Maidstone Public Hall site at 16 Thomson Street Maidstone.

Permaculture Out West (POW) is proposing that the land be kept in community hands.

Permaculture Out West ( is a group of individuals interested in growing more food in the city.

  • Our goals are:
  • to reduce our impact on the rural landscape;
  • to produce food in a more sustainable way. No petroleum based
  • to re-connect people to their community and to the land.

We are a not-for-profit group. Run by community members for the community.

POW’s proposal is to develop a market garden on Maidstone Public Hall site. Vegetables would be grown on site without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Water would be harvested from the site’s building.

  • Planned Services
  • a weekly box of fresh vegetables
  • box of vegetables delivered to your door
  • collection of your food waste. This will be composted and used for the garden beds.

We are proposing a commercial operation that will employ 2 people on site to maintain the gardens. Parking and traffic will be kept to a minimum. We respect the right for people to enjoy their neighbourhood and not add additional car traffic and parking problems.

If you support POW’s proposal to keep the land in community hands, please register your support by sending an email to Please include your name, address, phone number and email address. We’ll use your name and address in the Expression of Interest application to show the level of support for a market garden. Your details will NOT be passed onto a third party, and we won’t attempt to contact you unless you indicate you’d like to be actively involved.

If you cannot email or if you want more information, please call Katerina: 0422 261 725.

Our expression of interest must be submitted by Friday 30th of October, so please contact us before then. This is our only chance to keep this land in community hands!


[click to enlarge]

I’ve long heard about the fantastic, colourful community gardens at St Kilda, ‘Veg Out’. They’re having an open day this Sunday so seems the perfect opportunity to check it out!

You can check out more about the gardens here.

[image from flickr]

Hope you all had splendid weekends! I meditated, saw a dance production at Melbourne International Arts Festival, did a permaculture workshop class and cooked Kosheri from the Ottolenghi cookbook. (If you don’t have this cookbook, I am telling you HUNT IT DOWN!)

I’m about to put my Diggers Club order in to claim my free membership seeds. I also am ordering a few books, and coz my order totals over $75 I can claim a free 6 month Diggers Club membership to give as a gift to someone. (I do not ‘gift’ as a verb!)

So I thought I’d share the love with some dear reader. Membership means you will get their quarterly seed catalogues of hundreds of delicious, jaw droppingly exotic heirloom vegies that will inspire you to get out into your yard and food garden to your hearts delight! The catalogues also have some great articles in them. You will get a discount on all the items in their catalogue and you get some free seeds from them as well. Plus membership gives you free entry to their gardens (in Victoria, Australia – Heronswood down in Dromana, near Mornington and St Erth near Daylesford).

If you’d like the 6 month membership, please leave me a comment, tell me where you’re from, what you like reading on my blog, anything really. I love hearing from my readers! I’ll randomly pick a winner this week.

[from my flickr set]

I’m Permablitzin’ faster than I can post em!

Here’s one we did at Mel’s place in Seddon, organised by the Permaculture Out West group. It’s a quite new group, I attended my first meeting this week and have signed up! Check out the swanky new site here.

I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking for this one.

Here’s the front of Mel’s place. She had planted a native and perennial edible verge.

She also planted some green manure that needed turning in. That’s what you can see here:

My wonderful weeding! There were some native grasses, warrigal greens and other natives and herbs amongst here for passersby to enjoy:

And yes it did give me a big kick up the butt to go home and finally tackle my OWN weeding! Here is Mel’s great little courtyard area out the front which she plans to eventually turn into a food forest. Perhaps at a future Permablitz?

An essential part of any great Permablitz – a scrumptious, energising feed for the volunteers!

Woah check out that line of rainwater tanks! Jealous. Surely they’ll just about be self sufficient in water with this much storage!

Putting together the chook house from scratch. Think we could put chook house on a wedding gift list?

Chook house was clad in reused weatherboard – so cute! Very nice touch.

Justa about done and ready to set up the chook run

Mel’s also got a rabbit(s?) Soft, furry, cute and their manure is great for the yard.

There is usually a workshop or two run at a Permablitz. Here is Kate running one on propagating soft wood cuttings

Kate also runs a business called ‘Rapunzel’s Wild Garden’ growing advanced edible seedlings to order, ready to put in your garden beds at home! Quite a brilliant idea. It means you need to plan ahead BUT gives you some wonderful choice of unusual heirloom varieties like those offered by Diggers Club, which are quite often not available at your regular nursery. Contact Kate at rapunzelswildgarden [at] bigpond [dot] com

She provided some WONDERFUL ideas about growing your own advance seedlings though. You can use strawberry punnets as mini glass houses to propagate from seed. And then you can pick them out and plant into the bottoms of 2L plastic milk cartons! Cut the tops and bottoms of them, fill with soil, plant your seedling. When they reach the size they are above, you can pop it directly into your garden bed and just slide the plastic off the top! You can reuse these a few times too. Brilliant idea and reuse of materials.

Now here is the area of the yard that believe it or not, was once all concrete! A wet concrete cutter was used to cut up the concrete to be reused to create raised garden bed (again – fantastic reuse of material!). Best thing about this method is that you can cut the concrete to the exact size you want it to be to create height of garden beds as well as a path to access them.

Here they are using builders sand to held level out the concrete pieces and compact it down to create the paths and walls for the garden bed

The beds were filled with soil and compost

A cover was made to protect the piping from the kitchen


Ready to plant out with all these goodies

Mel and her fabulous new garden even made it into the local paper! Check out the story HERE.


Both in West Footscray!
Sat 10 Oct – Permablitz #77 Michelle’s at West Footscray.
More info here.

Sat 31 Oct – Nyree’s place in West Footscray.
More info here. Viva la spring. Please come and join Nyree and Willie in the West to help transform their small, barren, concrete yard into a scene from “The good life”. We will be building and planting a chicken house and run, raised garden beds and a vertical garden using the wire frames from old bed bases that require stripping. We also need help pulling up the front fence and garden to prepare the soil for a future food forest.

I’m sad I won’t be able to make the one this Saturday. I’m already booked into a CAE class to learn how to string my own pearl necklace! But hope to see you at Nyree’s at the end of the month.

In the meantime be sure to check out the fabulous newlook Permaculture Out West blog!

[image from flickr]


Remember the wonderful Monica whose blitz I blogged about a few weeks ago? See here to read the original post.

Well Monica is having an OPEN GARDEN DAY at her house in Moonee Ponds tomorrow Saturday 3rd October from 10am.

The address is 297 Ascot Vale Road, Moonee Ponds [Melway Ref 28 J8]

We will be popping along for sure and I really encourage anyone in the area to drop by and seeing her tremendously inspiring and productive garden.

They have also put together a CD that will be available on the day, that documents how the garden has come together over the years. I can’t wait to see it.

Monica’s house is a Sustainable home and Eco home, is also a heritage listed too.

She also has plenty of living creatures integrated in her design quail, ducklings, laying egg hens, rabbits etc.

Go check it out!

[image from my flickr set]

Back in August I posted about the fantastic Vietnam On A Plate tours that are put on FREE by Maribyrnong Council in Footscray.
I was very excited to read in the local paper that they are running some more throughout October but turns out they are all booked out already! They really fill up fast.
Anyway if you live in the area keep an eye on the local newspapers. Hopefully with the demand they will run some more soon.

I turned down a Permablitz at our house today! It’s a bit too soon. We were offered a ‘blitz in November but we’re in the midst of wedding planning because we’re trying to get on top of it all early.

But it was nice to be offered already! I’ve been to four Permablitzes now and am just enjoying attending them, meeting other like minded people and learning valuable skills.

I think we will try and schedule one at our place after the wedding – a ‘newly weds Permablitz’ because really – it would be the best wedding present EVER!

And seeing we shamefully STILL haven’t gotten around to getting our rainwater tank we’re thinking perhaps we could ask people to put money towards us getting a rainwater tank for our wedding present. Rainwater tank and a chook run, ah I’d be so happy! Though, for the record we’re not just thinking of ourselves. We’re figuring out a way we can ask our guests to not just spend money on us, but to split it and to make a donation towards a charity as well, perhaps we could find a project we feel particularly connected to and raise money for it.

So perhaps an Autumn blitz in May, otherwise we could wait til August because that seems to be a good time – you can still get those bare rooted fruit trees in the ground then!

Tomorrow I am attending my first ‘Permaculture Out West‘ meeting to see what they are all about. There seems to be a real burst of permaculture, social and community type activity in the west at the moment. It’s tremendously inspiring!


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