Understanding compost

“Seasons of Soil” Permablitz with the Quadrangle June 2014

Back in June, in conjunction with The Quadrangle Trust, we put on our first permablitz, we had 16 people join in the fun and it was a great success.

Enjoyed hands on making compost and hands on digging up microbes, stocking and feeding microbes to tree. Very valuable experiences which I’ll remember for years!– student quote


Enjoying a plate of lunch

Enjoying a plate of lunch

The focus of the day were some of the all important themes of forest gardening, understanding soil and building fertility. People witnessed the ever evolving forest garden, we shared a delicious lunch time spread and rounded off the day with a summer evening dip in the river.

As the designer in residence in the forest garden, Natural Flow will continue to bring more permaculture design thinking to this wonderful ex working dairy farm only an hour from London and organise future events.


What is a Permablitz?

Permablitz is a coming together of people with a focused intention to get something done using the art and design science that is permaculture. “Blitz” means lightning strike, so yes, we like to make these events:

  • focused and intensive
  • learn about permaculture through skill sharing and mini workshops
  • a group sharing of ideas, food and FUN

Find out more about the growing movement in London here.

Actions of the Day

Outline of the day's event

Outline of the day’s event

To create an inclusive atmosphere in our workshops we collaborated with our team on the day to co-create the event and intersperse work with learning and some relaxation time too to allow people to get to know each other.– student quote

“Creating the structure of the day at the beginning was great. Moving between activities and ‘learning on the job’ rather than being ‘taught’. Seeing it in all in action, in real life! Oh, and of course the beautiful sunshine helped too.”

Encouraging observation

Encouraging observation




I encourage people getting stuck in and using their own senses to make observations. Here, one of our French contingent made the observation that “the aroma is exactly like the last pressing of the grape harvest when wine making!” Thus using the sense of smell is an indicator that this congealed mass has a healthy population of friendly microbes present.

Turning compost

Turning compost







Turning compost can be back breaking however many hands make light work and it was a great opportunity to learn about the composition of good compost and make observations about what we can see in the pile.

I enjoyed the ‘re-enlivening’ of the compost heap! It was interesting to learn a bit about the microbes. Overall, the day felt relaxed.– student quote




Competing with grass and developing a fungally dominated soil is an on going process. Here we are feeding our tree with microbes we bred ourselves, clovers to fix nitrogen and cardboard to arrest the growth of the grass.

group effort

group effort


It was a relaxed and easy going atmosphere. Kevin welcomed questions and participation from all of us. I learnt new techniques that I will hope to use for my own garden.– student quote

Finally, after a solid day of getting stuff done, sharing and enjoying good company, we ended the day enjoying the good vibes of The Quadrangle before packing up.


TIme for some relaxation

TIme for some relaxation


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply