It feels good making change in the real world. Permablitz Rotterdam has undergone its first permablitz transformation event, turning a bit of lawn into something that has more food growing potential. About 9 people showed up and it was a great group to work with. Here’s what it looked like before:
Here’s what the process looked like:
As you might notice, people are wearing beekeeper suits in that last picture. The garden owner is a beekeeper, and the bees weren’t all too happy about all the activity going on near their hive. At first they were just being annoying, by getting in people’s hair and doing things like trying to extract nectar from my hair bun… Then they started getting aggressive and several people got stung so measures had to be taken. There was also a bee that crawled into someone’s ear and stayed there for quite a bit before deciding to crawl out.
But all the blood, sweat and tears paid off and we ended up with a pretty nifty result. Here’s what the end result looked like:
The shape of the beds and the paths were designed by myself in advance, although many adjustments were made on the ground when working with the shape of the land. There’s a significant difference between the actual plan and the end result, although I’m quite happy about how it worked out.
Organizing the whole thing gives me a bit of pressure because of the responsibility I have towards the garden and the people joining but there’s also a lot of opportunity for growth… literally and metaphorically.
I feel more confident about asking a consultancy fee now with future hosts. This would include doing an initial needs assessment, making a design and organizing a permablitz event. It also depends who’s asking, as I’ll actively partake in price discrimination to include as many people and maximize returns. I also feel more confident about hosting a workshop about permaculture and permablitzing now that I’ve got the experience of permablitzing my first ‘client’. This is one for the portfolio anyway 🙂
My marketing channels are mostly based around word-of-mouth and asking around, but meetup.com has given me a very easy step up to accessing people interested in these kind of things and it has become a pretty significant marketing channel for me. Permablitz Rotterdam currently has almost 30 members via the site and that’s where most of my volunteers came from for that day. I could’ve also done more promotion via other channels but I felt like I had enough people via this one. Maybe when there’s an actual return on investment to be made (such as hosting a workshop), I’ll amp up marketing efforts and perhaps get some people to help me. STEK, which is a garden shop on my street, hosts workshops every now and then so I could perhaps collaborate with them to host my first workshop. They’ve asked me about it anyway since I’ve talked to them about it before.
It’s pretty cool to see the direction this path is taking me. It really is the road less traveled, and I notice I’m very young compared to many of the people in my field. I feel like I have a bit of a first-mover advantage here because this trend of homesteading and people growing their own food is catching on and is only going to get bigger and more important I imagine. Improving ecology whilst harvesting a yield is the up spiral that’s going to create more abundance in this world. When people can rely less on a centralized food system, they free themselves from the risks of shocks in such a system and create more independence for themselves, therefore opening possibilities for greater interdependent outcomes (‘7 Habits’ speak if you know what I mean). There’s only upsides to this.
I’ll be giving a workshop to some school kids as well next week. It’s going to be a bit of an introduction to permaculture where my emphasis will be on soil and composting as that’s where it all begins. Hopefully I won’t bore these kids with too long of a lecture and get them to think for themselves in the form of a game or other activity. Speaking of which, I need to return an email about this…
I’m excited to be part of such a positive movement. I feel like its something worth fighting for and I would gladly dedicate my life to rehabilitating the earth and its people. I think Permablitz Rotterdam is the snowball that’s going to pick up more snow with its increasing momentum and has the potential to create a business and a life that I love.
Let’s see where it takes me 🙂