What an inspirational permablitz we had last weekend! Permaculture Sydney West descended upon the Bidwill Campus of Chifley College in their droves to work at the school farm. The farm is a credit to teacher David Giblin who has built it up from nothing into a thriving and productive learning arena. It boasts chickens, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl, cows, sheep, goats, and a pig. Members of the local community drop off green waste and grass clippings and the unsold produce from the local supermarket is also brought to the site – all of which is used to feed the livestock and to add organic matter to the soil. What a great use of local resources which might have otherwise gone to landfill.
We arrived half an hour early to have a tour of the farm and truly appreciate what David has achieved. From the vegetable gardens to the aquaponics set up (including one that uses guinea pigs in the system), the chicken breeding, and the Chrysanthemum project, a nursery, hot house, shade house and fruit trees. There was so much to see.
Straight after the tour we got to work. We split into 5 teams. One team cleaning and tidying the nursery; another was cleaning up, replanting and re-mulching the ornamental school garden and clearing dead plants out of the pond; a third team worked in the vegetable gardens building and filling raised garden beds and planting Chrysanthemums; we had a team on weed patrol and the final team shoveled tirelessly all day moving and spreading mulch piles. Of course there was also that important volunteer who kept us all fed – making sure morning tea was ready, cooking the BBQ and making a salad with produce sourced from the vegetable garden.
It was a day I will not soon forget. Thank you David for your dedication and hard work which has created this little farm for the school kids, and thank you to all the PSW volunteers who, without you, there would be no blitz at all.