What is a Permablitz?
The term permablitz is a contraction of permaculture and blitz, where a blitz simply means a focused effort to get something done. Permablitzes are always free, public events, with free workshops and shared food, where you get some exercise and have a good time. To be defined as a permablitz each event must be underpinned by permaculture design by someone with a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) – the most basic permaculture qualification. (1)
What happens on the day of a permablitz?
The owner of the property wishing to be ‘permablitzed’ develops a plan of what they want done to the backyard. The owner supplies trees, seedlings, and the materials required to install an edible landscape. People are coordinated via social media to attend the property usually on a weekend. The Permablitz team arrives and receives instruction from the owner or designer, who allocates tasks and offers guidance on what needs to be done. The team helps with digging and planting, along with any other activities that might be needed on the day. In return, the helpers receive lunch or dinner, practical experience, and the opportunity to spend a day with other likeminded people. Participants also get the opportunity to host their own Permablitz in the future. (2)
Below a great example of a 300 metre parking lot being transformed into a food forest.
What Can I Expect?
Every blitz is different. But you can expect to be welcomed with a cup of tea or coffee. When most people have arrived there will be an intro circle in which the design for the day and the ideas behind it will be explained, and then we’ll get to work. There will be tasks like sheet- mulching, planting fruit trees, digging paths and swales, making vegetable beds with no-dig methods, or implementing greywater systems. You’ll be shown what to do and will be working with others, and there will be short workshop relating to the activities so you can learn new skills. The host will provide a shared lunch. By about four o’clock we’ll break and thank everyone. Usually by then quite a transformation has taken place! (3)
The Sharing Culture is Growing
Permablitz’s have evolved in parts of Australia and New Zealand, and have spread to parts of North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Similar to a working bee, like-minded people who are interested in creating food security and edible backyards come together, volunteering their time to help install edible backyard gardens for others. Reciprocity is the key to a successful permablitz network. If you participate in two or three permablitzes we can help organise one at your house, backyard, or property.
Embracing the idea of lending a helping hand and sharing resources is opening up new business models and social enterprises. The opportunities collaborative consumption provides in utilizing resources more efficiently and saving people time and money have already shifted the paradigm. This will continue to present exciting opportunities for people across all socio economic groups and cultures.(4)
The permablitz concept has spread from Australian cities such as Sydney – Melbourne – Townsville – Brisbane – Wollongong – ACT ; into the United Kingdom: London; Canada: Otttawa Calgary Saskatchewan; New Zealand: – Bay of Plenty – Wairarapa; United States: Hawaii – Austin – Portland – Houston and many more locations. Just Google permablitz in your area to see if anyone is organising these events. If not, then get cracking and start your own fun, social, and practical permablitz’s in your region. Here is a link with a guide on how to organise and get started with your own permablitz.
To learn more about how to conduct and host your own Permablitz, click here.
Watch one of the First Permablitz’s with the Co-Founder Dan Palmer:
Cover Image: Courtesy of Permablitz Bay of Plenty
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