Serving the permaculture network in Austin, Texas

Permablitz Standard Operating Procedure

I: PRE-PERMABLITZ

 

  1. Screening and selection of site. An application and an approval process by event organizers ” to help the group gauge the potential stakeholders and the scale of the projects for Permablitz projects.

 

  1. Confirmation of scope and budget for the Permablitz. Clear designation of costs and who is financially supporting what. A clear design and estimated materials needed should be a prerequisite for hosting a blitz. Financial costs generally include:

 

  • plants · irrigation · soil amendments · mulch equipment & fuel
  • cover crop seeds & inoculant · meals

 

  1. A completed draft site plan and site visit and assessment to determine if the design is feasible to install with available resources. This could perhaps be organized as a community event of a potluck as a tour of a Permablitz area.

 

  1. Create a flier, an e-mailing list for organizers, and FB event page for volunteers at least 30 days before the event. The invite should have an itinerary posted to show what days might be better for families or what days will include dangerous tasks. Having alternative tasks/entertainment scheduled for families with kids should help keep children out of the way of heavy equipment and hand tools. Hand fliers with information about the event should be posted in local coffee shops and markets.

 

  1. Crew leaders and stakeholders should meet at least month before to plan. A drafted or marked design and an estimated project materials list really help out with planning. This is a chance to rally the troops to prepare and get the wheels turning on procuring materials. Plan to bring extra materials and scraps that may be helpful.

 

  1. Potentially sell “presale” meal tickets to help estimate food and material costs. As a group we discussed selling food tickets to estimate how many people plan on being there and how long they plan on being there. We should have a discounted rate for folks that commit to the whole weekend or day and definitely do annual memberships for our core members. Maybe trade for needed materials in exchange for meal tickets. Our food is 5 star thanks to our hospitality crew. Otherwise use RSVP system to help identify who is going to be there for food and to assign crew leaders.

 

  1. Take before pictures and video.

 

  1. Remove unwanted existing vegetation and clean site.

 

  1. Lay Out – Measure and Flag Structures (Berms, Basins, Trails, Structures). Mark with strings, flags, or paint for edges.

 

II: BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

  1. Have a designated helper for parking, if site requires it. Unload and stage tools and materials by work group. Define working areas to keep paths and material handling areas clear.

 

  1. Group Orientation. Have a person in charge of greeting, this gives us a chance to distribute name tags, collect donations, contact information and get waivers signed. Another person at the welcome booth could be there to direct folks to sites by pointing or providing a map of larger sites. We should have an estimated itinerary available to keep a schedule for the for the day of. Make an itinerary available on a whiteboard or poster.

 

  1. One folks have settled in, introduce the concept of Permablitz to the group- the history and people involved, introduce key people and crew leaders. This would be a good time to have a workshop for intro level folks of being a consumer that supports Permaculture by directing folks on where to get local products and services that reflect a regenerative mindset- the whole “vote with your dollar” thing. A educational class in the morning is a good reward for those who show up on time to the event.

 

  1. Crew leaders need a tee-shirt or hat that identifies them to the group. Explain the skill and strength requirements of each project and the number of folks needed to perform the task. Break into groups.

 

  1. Explain to the group the design- show by drawing out structures on whiteboard or printing a few designs.

 

  1. Tool Explanation- Once every one has broken up into groups we can have the group leaders give a short demonstration for the tools used by each group project. This could also be a great time to explain the project and give a short lesson on why we are doing this project.

 

  1. Meals are a great opportunity to schedule short classes and the group picture.

Hospitality crew should prepare take home meals for other crew leaders if there are leftovers.

 

  1. Project Implementation plans of action(at to do list) should be made available for crew leaders- Earthworks Excavation for example…

 

  1. Dig central ditches for swales.

 

  1. Dig swales and berms, detention basins, and diversion ditches.

 

  1. Earthworks Fine Tuning- Do fine raking of structures. Check final levels of structures.

 

  1. Tree Preparation. Dig holes for large trees. At the same time, cages can be prepared or fence posts set.

 

  1. Soil Preparation- Weigh and then apply soil amendments, compost, minerals, and organic fertilizers.

 

  1. Planting- Plant fruit, shade, and farmer’s trees or anything in a 3 gallon pot or bigger . Root prune, divide plants as needed. Plant anything outside of main structures.

 

  1. Install Drip Irrigation-Unwind and stretch out pipe to relax it.

If needed, position pipe and pin with 6″-8″ staple pins. Install back-flow prevention, timer valve, pressure regulator, filter, and hose adapter. Build manifolds, flush before closing. Program timer and test for leaks and valve function.

 

  1. Plant and spread seeds- cover crops, vegetable seeds. Lightly rake or disk into the soil.

 

  1. Top Dressing. Mulch berms and other planted areas.

 

  1. Additional Planting. Plant small herbs, perennials, seedlings, slips, tubers, and bulbs.

 

  1. Pruning- Prune plantings for ideal shape.

 

  1. Plant Protection- Install Trellis, Cages, Thermal masses. Build Fence if required.

 

  1. Soak structures with hose end sprayer. Run drip for a few hours.

 

III: POST BLITZ

 

  1. Using the emails collected during the sign in and the FB event page, send a thank-you to the group including the before and after pictures and the group picture if you can remember to take one.

 

  1. Post updates, ideally with pictures- the first yield (crop, energy, water), any problems with the system, pretty pics, etc…

 

  1. Schedule return visits to show off and maintain.