London neighbors create 'instant' permaculture gardens for each other

Permablitz london photo
Video screen capture Permaculture Magazine

I've gotta say, I've been loving the Living with the Land video series from Permaculture Magazine.

Whether it's showing us vegan organic agriculture, mature forest gardens, no-dig market gardening or regenerative agriculture through holistic grazing, the series has introduced some wonderful ways to manage land that don't just "do less harm," but actually heal the soil and renew biodiversity too.

But most of the examples so far have been rural.

Given that more and more of us are living in the city, how can we rethink our relationship with the soil? One answer, I think, is to rethink our relationship with each other. That's the idea behind Permablitz—a concept that started out in Australia before catching on in London—and which involves neighbors getting together to carry out one-day garden makeovers using permaculture design as the guiding vision.

From beautiful pollinator gardens to small-scale edible landscapes, there's much that can be done in an urban setting. And by bringing neighbors together, the project aims to both build social bonds and also overcome the inertia and helplessness that many people feel when staring at a small, uninspiring urban yard and wondering what they can do with it.

The other cool thing about Permablitz is the fact that, much like time banks, it promotes reciprocity. Once you've taken part in a few "blitzes", you get to request one for your own yard or community group.

I have to say though, I'd have thought twice before using the "-blitz" suffix in London. But maybe times have moved on...

Tags: Activism | Gardening | Permaculture


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