OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Permablitz

Permablitz is helping communities get together and have fun learning about, designing and implementing suburban food systems – one backyard at a time.

Photo of Meena Kadri
11 26

Written by

With 300+ events already taken place around the globe, the Permablitz concept is bringing edible backyards back to the suburbs. Originally launched in Australia and now popping up from Toowong to Texas, Yeronga to Uganda, Permablitz communities have been gathering to transform, inspire and share skills while collaboratively transforming the backyards, cafes and school gardens of the urban environment.

The network functions on the basic premise of reciprocity. Anyone and everyone can come to a Permablitz. They especially welcome first time gardeners. People from many different backgrounds and from nine months to ninety in age turn up. Because everyone has to eat and food gardening is relevant to almost everyone, you're sure to meet interesting, friendly people of many stripes and persuasions at a Permablitz.

If you go to three or so Permablitzes we can help organise one at your house. That's right. Permablitz is based on reciprocal volunteer support. Once you've been to a few we can help connect you to a volunteer or professional permaculture designer, help you plan your blitz, promote it, and co-ordinate it on the day. For free!

What can reciprocal models teach us about revitalising cities? Is diversity important to urban vibrancy? How might the "learning by doing" approach be used to encourage active citizenship?

[We originally heard about Permablitz on the OpenIDEO Local Food Challenge. Image sources: first + second]




11 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Anthony

I'm wondering if you could combine this with the micro-entrepreneur concept. Instead of "for free" - can this be a service provided by Detroit's citizens, for Detroit's citizens, paid for by blighted property owners? Or can you expand this concept to home repair as well as gardening? Teaching the 47% functionally illiterate population of Detroit a marketable skill such as gardening and home repair may go a long way.

Photo of Meena

Brilliant ideas, Anthony. We're big fans of economically sustainable business models & there are loads of great examples around of for-profit initiatives which still serve social good. Hoping you might be back in the Concepting phase to propose and flesh out what you're suggesting here. Home repair seems like such a great addition! I wonder how we might attract folks to such a venture? The Permablitz drew folks in as a fun, time based, collaborative event. Would be great to think about how to make what you're suggesting an aspirational enterprise.

Photo of Joaquin

Economically sustainable, is the key to any revitalization project. Altruism is good, but is difficult to keep in the long term.
I see it as a seed, where the donor plants the investment, but needs to see it germinate, grow and flourish, or he/she will move that altruism to a different venue where the results will be more tangible.

View all comments