This community-led garden transformation shows it is possible for renters to create a productive and beautiful backyard.
The Ballarat Permaculture Guild held a 'permablitz' at Elise Sullivan and Gary Brown's Lake Wendouree rental home on Sunday.
It was a day of conversation, connection and learning where a group of 12 volunteers worked together to help one environmentally-conscious family achieve their backyard goals.
The Ballarat Permaculture Guild holds 'permablitzes' almost every month, but this was the first time a working bee was held at a rental home.
Most of us live in suburbia so it is about as much as possible retrofitting our urban lives so they better fit with nature and reducing our impact on the planet.Elise Sullivan
Renter and Ballarat Permaculture Guild member Elise Sullivan said her backyard transformation showed it was possible for renters to consider sustainable options for their backyards.
"The whole idea is working with what we have. Most of us live in suburbia so it is about as much as possible retrofitting our urban lives so they better fit with nature and reducing our impact on the planet," she said.
The team of volunteers created seven wicking beds using industrial grade containers known as IBCs and planted a fruit tree surrounded by vegetables and herbs in each one.
They also tidied and mulched garden beds, converted a cubby house into a garden shed and pruned existing trees.
The community effort means the family can produce their own food while living in a rental property and can take the wicking beds with them when they leave.
Ms Sullivan said the experience, knowledge and advice of Permaculture Guild members helped her family create a garden that would reduce their impact on the planet.
"We have set up our gardens so they are not water hungry as wicking beds don't use as much water, and we set up a worm farm so we can use the worms to convert our food into compost and build beautiful soil," she said.
"There is only three of us in our family, but we intend to produce a whole lot of fruit and vegetables we can share with our neighbours. I hope there will be a bit of that share economy and more people than us will benefit."
Ms Sullivan shared her tips for other renters to transform their gardens; first get permission from your landlord, consider the weather and sunlight in your garden when deciding what to grow, wicking beds are great to be able to take with you when you leave, and recycle as much as you can, for example pick up wood pallets from industrial estates and cardboard from your local supermarket.
"This is all about community, creating a place where people can live more sustainably and reducing our impact on the planet," she said.
Ballarat Permaculture Guild members must volunteer at least three times before they can host their own permablitz.
The next permablitz will be held in May.
Visit ballaratpermacultureguild.org/ for more information.