This Ballan backyard has undergone a makeover.
The construction of a greenhouse is well underway, the garden is now free from weeds and the veggie patch is planted for winter vegetables thanks to the help of a group of 20 Ballarat Permaculture Guild volunteers.
It was a transformational effort of community to promote sustainability and self-sufficiency that is a regular effort at the guild's 'permablitzes' - a day of conversation, connection and learning where volunteers work together to help a member achieve their backyard projects.
Ballarat Permaculture Guild committee member Liz O'Dwyer said the permablitz on Saturday brought her one step closer to her garden goals that she could not have achieved on her own.
"It is all about community," she said.
Becoming sustainable is also about being involved in a like-minded community that understands what your bigger dreams and goals and projections are.- Liz O'Dwyer, Ballarat Permaculture Guild
"The cooking was taken care of, someone was inside chopping and prepping, others were outside cooking, there were people making tea and coffee and helping with sign ins while others were in the garden.
"If you want to run a business it is about the business networks you are in, if you want to go through a weight loss program it is about tapping into a community that is doing exercise or if you go to a weight loss centre it is about community, becoming sustainable is also about being involved in a like-minded community that understands what your bigger dreams and goals and projections are."
For all involved it was a day of conversations, connections, sharing knowledge, home-grown produce and home-made food.
Many volunteers left feeling empowered to further their own journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle and encouraged to think about the potential productivity for their backyards, no matter what size.
"When I have gone to other people's places doing blitzes, no matter how hard I have worked during the day and how tired I feel I always cannot wait to get home and either implement what I have learnt or research more on conversations I have had during the day," Ms O'Dwyer said.
"I think gardens could be better used than for growing roses. As much as I love ornamental plants, we need to be getting a better return for investment on the watering, mulching and time spent in the garden.
"There is a lot more people could be doing in their gardens by incorporating edible plants in with ornamental plants."
The April permablitz will focus on backyard garden options for renters to encourage those who are renting to also consider sustainable options for their backyard.
Ms O'Dwyer said renters could install wicking beds, grow vertical gardens and trees in pots they can take with them when they move to their next space.
"It is about maximising that space," she said.
"When we talk about sustainability people automatically think we have a five acre backyard that we have hundred rows of different vegetables. That is not the case. Even people with a relatively big space are looking to maximise that."
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Volunteer spaces for permablitzes quickly fill up, with a cut off number relevant to the blitz project. Volunteer spaces for the next blitz on April 14 are already full. Dates for blitzes in May and June have not yet been finalised.
Permaculture Guild members must volunteer at least three times before they can host their own blitz.
Visit ballaratpermacultureguild.org/ for more information.