Building a Community Garden


In June 2018, a Permablitz event rebuilt the Farnham Street Community Garden. The full description of the first day ( by Helene Fox ) is here. Please read it, and also explore more of the Permablitz activities.

Only Some of the Day One Permablitz team

Background :

The original Community Garden was looking tired. It had been built by the Farnham Street Neighbourhood Learning Centre, maintained by their gardening group, and supported their cooking groups. The wooden frames were in poor condition, and the shade gum tree had grown tall and was taking too much ground water.

MINTI members, Joanne Nataprawira and Dylan Newell, of the Desert Echo, and designers of the adjoining Food Forest, worked with Permablitz to design a complete rebuild of the garden using a modular wicking bed system from ModBox

Wicking Bed Principles – Courtesy ModBox

Sample Design – Courtesy ModBox








How It Was Done:

Start with some-one who knows gardens ( and ideally permaculture ) and draw up your plans. Talk to Permablitz or your local garden materials supplier – draw up a budget and quantities list of the soil, gravel or screening, sand, lining materials, and frames – a small raised wicking bed needs many, many, wheelbarrows of materials!

Spend the money, and go with some-one like ModBox who will deliver all the parts, pre-cut, and sized with assembly instructions. But don’t ignore the other commercial kits from major retailers, and talk to your local Men’s Shed ( re-purposed pallets make excellent frames ).

Re-purposed pallets in the Upfield Urban Forest

On The Day:

Day One – have a blitz. There is nothing like a group to get work done. Those that know teach the others. The physical jobs are shared, and everyone gets a break when needed. The tools are shared, and there are always jobs for kids.


Aim to get the structure in place. If is is clear what still needs to be done, then people will come back when they can, to finish off things. And that first big day gives everyone ownership of the project.

Day Whatever – another blitz if it is a big garden, or sets of mini blitzes to complete key projects. In our case it was a few evenings screwing in the edges and seating, mulching the paths, topping up the garden beds, and finishing off the watering lines.