2014 Funky Chicken Tour proceeds benefitted New Farm Institute, the 501(c)(3) educational arm of Green Gate Farms. We put our financial support to a call to action, by working with the Austin Permaculture Guild to host a Permablitz for our beneficiary.
Above: Video of our 250-ft. berm and swale. Dug by hand. In one weekend. Through community.
Update, January 2014: Check out this photo of the farm just a little over a month after the Permablitz.
Started in Australia, a “Permablitz” is an event where a group of 2 or more gets together over a short time period (1 or 2 days) to make something happen. That “something” involves installing or adding to a food landscape, using Permaculture design concepts and skills, and building community.
On the weekend of November 8-9, 2014, we undertook making the dream a reality, as 50 volunteers came out to help at the farm. The plan was to install a perennial food forest on a berm and swale dug on contour for water conservation.
The “food” of the system included native and cultivated fruit trees, farmer’s trees, perennial vegetables and herbs, minerals, and cover crops. Most Permablitzes held in Central Texas to date have involved installing 1, or, at most, 2, 60 ft. berms and swales over a weekend. This Permablitz went far above and beyond the norm, with a 250-ft. berm and swale and over 500 feet of dead wood put on contour up on the hillside to prevent soil erosion. As this Permablitz proved, many hands make light work!
Skip Connett, Green Gate owner and farmer noted the weekend filled with “cutting deadwood, digging a 250-foot swale, and planting fruit trees has transformed a wooded hillside into a defensive line against groundwater runoff, soil erosion, and farmer neglect…Our plan is to use this hillside for New Farm Institute’s education workshops and camps. Eventually we’ll have chickens pastured in the lower pasture that will thrive from all that diverted water.” Read Skip’s full post on the event…
Thanks to everyone who made this event happen for our farmers!
Zach Halfin gives a plant talk at the Permablitz.
Trees planted included:
Mulberry, Black Beauty
Figs, Brown Turkey; Celeste
+ Mycorrhizae Innoculant
+ Soft Rock Minerals
+ Cover Crops
+ perennial vegetables and herbs
Austin Permaculture Guild – find the latest Permablitz schedule and other events at APG’s website
ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION
Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc. (UPAT) is 501 (c)(3) with a mission to educate people on the benefits of raising poultry as part of a sustainable food system. UPAT is the parent organization for the Funky Chicken Coop Tour®, an annual self-guided tour held on Easter weekend in Austin, Texas. It is also the parent organization for the Austin and Central Texas Backyard Poultry Meetup.