Our 2nd ever Permablitz is just 3 days away!
This blitz is being held in the backyard of Paul’s house, one of Permablitz Jogja’s co-ordinators and Permaculture Designers from Australia who lives in the area of ‘Jeblog’ village on Jalan Nitiprayan.
I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no, Jeblog is not a place where retired Jedi knights gather and write blogs on intergalactic adventures fueled by sugar palm bio-fuel…
Jeblog is about 10 minutes south-west of the city in Jogjakarta, an area that still retains a lot of rice paddy’s and traditional Javanese village living.
In the study of ecology an ‘eco-tone’ is the area where two different ecological communities meet and overlap (like an estuary where ocean and freshwater meet or like in Australia where Rainforest and dry Eucalyptus vegetation converge). In Permaculture we use the ‘edge effect’ (or eco-tone effect) to increase productivity.
An eco-tone is usually always synonymous with increased biodiversity and abundance of life.
In one sense you could say that this part of Jogjakarta is very much an eco-tone (both culturally and ecologically). Where the old and the new overlap and intermingle. The city and the village life exist in the same realm.
It is an abundant place for creating social change.
There are a lot of artists and social activist who live in this area, as well as many rice farming javanese villagers who still know how to grow food and build using bamboo.
Integration is key to community resilience and this is something Permablitz Jogja aims to achieve.
The Site Analysis – ‘Rumah Jeblog’
Our target area is a 10 x 10 meter backyard. The photo above was taken back in October 2012 during the dry season.
The site contains abundant opportunities for Permaculture implementation and access to free local resources (rice straw, cow poo, bamboo).
As you can see from above when we first visit the site there is:
- bare soil with a very small clump of young banana trees and 2 small papaya.
- a large pile of sandstone rocks ideal for garden bed edges and rock wall.
- Next door there is a structurally diverse food forest.
- a range of micro-climates due to shade from buildings and nearby trees.
Before Paul returned to Australia we made a rock wall and a circular garden bed.
… The rest was left to natures awesome regenerative powers.
Most of the site was now blanketed in various pioneer plant species (also known in some circles as ‘weeds’).
Dalih examining the soil structure. (volcanic sandy loam).
The process of natural regeneration was well under way and interestingly a pioneer genus common throughout the Australasian region (Macaranga) had already germinated and by using it’s bio-pholtoviac solar powered leaves, was attempting to convert the area back into a rainforest eco-system!
And the once small banana and papaya are now almost ready to harvest!
Goals and Objectives
The intent for this particular site is to establish a productive edible garden using Permaculture principles and design.
As well as this we want to nurture and network with the growing community of urban agriculturists, make connections with local people and implement systems of sustainability in our own lives.
The main PermaBlitz objectives for ‘Rumah Jeblog’ are:
•Utilize limestone rocks on site to create Mandala raised-bed gardens
• Create rectangular shaped bamboo chicken house.
• Make a compost pile using materials sourced within 500 meters.
• Build a herb spiral in center of garden.
• Design a worm farm using recycled fish tank.
• Establish a small nursery system for growing seedlings.
The design is not absolutely fixed, we always allow for the input of any spontaneous collective creativity during the Permablitz.
Having said this, the general placement of design elements and how they inter-relate will follow very closely our design plan.