Earthbags are a great idea for building raised garden bed surrounds because of their simplicity and their strength.
Recently Nick led a community workshop to transform a townhouse patio into an edible landscape, with earthbag surrounds for a set of bathtub wicking beds…
Following on from this workshop, Monique will be hard at it in the coming weeks installing the innards of her bathtub wicking beds, and planting up her garden! She’ll also need to render the outside of the bags to protect them long term, using some sort of waterproof render. Options for this include:
Hessian-crete – hessian bags dipped in a rapid-set cement slurry and then draped over the walls- we’ve never tried this, but we rekon it would work well, and use the least cement! > link to Burlap-crete project
Hempcrete – with a stiff mix, this might be a possibility… Hempcrete Australia website
Many thanks to everyone who contributed their time and efforts towards a great day, from all across Sydney – it was great to have you all there! Thanks particularly to those stalwarts who stayed on past 4pm to finish the job… you all rock!
This workshop was held as part of the celebrations for International Permaculture Day, which is all about getting involved in community resilience, whether by touring a garden, attending a picnic or getting grubby whacking great long bags of earth…
Lastly a note from Monique, whose patio this all occurred in: Thanks to Nick Ritar from Milkwood Permaculture for facilitating this amazing Earthbag building workshop; Charlie Bacon from Ecolicious (aquaponics systems, ponds and organic gardens) for helping me move over a tonne of clay; Peter Wright from Gaia Gardens for picking up and delivering 3 bathtubs from Kimbriki for me at very short notice + Kirsten Bradley for co-creating the idea of having a workshop on National Permaculture Day (and volunteering her husband to run it).
And thanks to all the fabulous volunteers / participants throughout the day : Adriana, Andre A., Andrea C., Andrea Pape, Craig Duckmanton, Daniel C., Diana E., Diana Watson, Dianne M., Ian H, Joy J., Julio B., Kat T., Linda S., Marcelo B., Margo C., Martha M (in Sydney for a wedding for a few days, and who’s partner demanded that she pop in to see what was going on so she could tell him all about it when she got back to Turkey… love it!), Michael C., Mike M., Misa Z., Monika B., Monique Unger, Nathan C., Peter W., Phillip E., Robin S., Sarah B. & Stu R. Awesome job everyone! Thank you!