PermaBlitzes are about helping our neighborhoods become more edible and resilient one yard at a time by harnessing and building the power of community.
PermaBlitz Definition: “Perma” is short for permaculture, which is a design system for regenerative living and land use. “Blitz”, is German for lightning, a focused application of energy. A PermaBlitz is when that energy is focused on installing part of a permaculture system in someone’s yard. As a comprehensive design system, permaculture includes much more than organic food gardening. Growing at least some of our food where we live, however, has always been a central emphasis within the broader picture of permaculture.
A PermaBlitz is a day on which at least two people come together to:
- Create or add to an edible garden or system for enhancing our environment
- Share skills related to permaculture and regenerative living
- Build community
- Have fun
You go to the Host‘s house, meet new people, learn about laundry to landscape greywater systems and build a small mulch basin, plant 2 fruit trees, eat delicious food, sheet mulch a new annual vegetable garden bed, build a trellis for green beans, and have a loads of laughs. That’s a PermaBlitz!
Every PermaBlitz has a design done in advance. Each design has the contribution of someone with a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and demonstrates some permaculture principles in action. Why? We want systems that really work; systems that are suited to the opportunities and limitations of the site, and the desires, skills, time and budget of the people that live or work there (the Host). A good design demonstrates permaculture ethics and principles and ensures that the needs of the land and people are met with maximum yields and resilience in a way that is sustainable into the future.
Permaculture design takes lessons from nature, adds some scientific insights, lessons from traditional agriculture, wisdom from indigenous cultures, and a healthy dose of common sense. Designers utilize this type of information to design systems that produce food, useful goods, and beauty for humans while enhancing the services our ecosystems provide. On the day of the ‘Blitz, the permaculture design is explained to everyone so they understand the rationale and can get more deeply involved in implementing the projects.
Interns are graduates of a Permaculture Design Course (PDC). They may be newly graduated or may have graduated some time ago but would like to hone their design skills. Interns have the opportunity to put their acquired knowledge to work so they can expand their understanding of the many skills and tools learned in their PDC. This mentoring experience will help burgeoning permaculture practitioners experience design and implementation beyond the basic permaculture concepts and ideas provided in a PDC. Get more information about our Intern Program here.
Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. PermaBlitzes create a network of people that come together to help on the day of the ‘Blitz so that they have an opportunity for gaining help in the future. This is similar to the traditional ‘barn-raising’ model; help others and you’ll get helped. To this end, people should attend two PermaBlitzes and two Chico Permaculture Guild Gatherings before qualifying for a PermaBlitz of their own. See the PermaBlitz Host and PermaBlitz FAQ page for more information.
Projects – Activities – Demonstrations
Projects at the Host site are divided into two categories: main projects and secondary or filler projects. Projects come from the final permaculture design. For example, complete a wicking bed, sheet mulch a lawn, etc. The main projects are undertakings that can be done the day of the PB and tasks that the host would like to get done by the group. If a the main projects take less time than anticipated – it will depend on the number of people and their skill and energy level – a filler project will be done to take up the rest of the time. One to three filler projects will be planned, but do not need to take place if time does not allow.
Activities and demonstrations are short to medium length tasks that take place during the PB. For example, making switchel, how to sharpen a pruner, build something simple from a pallet, etc. The activities may or may not be hands-on, but take about five minutes to half an hour to complete. The key is to make sure that the PermaBlitz participants go home having learned something new, useful and relevant to their own situation.
A hearty and delicious lunch is a necessity for hungry workers. The Host will organize the lunch and provide beverages and water. When participants sign up on Eventbrite, they can enter their dietary preferences. We’ve had scrumptious meals at every PermaBlitz and the Hosts have been willing to provide both omnivore and vegan dishes.
PermaBlitzes are free events for anyone in our community to attend! We strive to ensure permaculture education is accessible to everyone! Look over our PermaBlitz schedule and the PermaBlitz FAQ for more information. And feel free to contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.