How Our Tribe Turned A Neglected Car Park Into A Garden Paradise
THE GARDENS OF JB
8 months ago, Jungle Brothers moved to a new location. Much larger than our previous residence, we had to work tirelessly on making this space as accommodating as we could for our members whilst on a tight budget. Our gym is now operating well and even though the space will never be finished, it is clean, accommodating and functioning like a finely tuned machine
Along with our warehouse space we also inherited a 100sqm concrete car park filled with a combination of 30 years worth of our previous tenants junk and our leftover building materials from our gym build
OUR NEED FOR A THIRD SPACE (1st space=home, 2nd space= work)
Ever since we started together, we’ve always recognized the importance of space, design and our members interaction with them. Relationships with the space around us, our environment and the people in it can dictate whether or not we live a healthy existence. Being in the business of “health” the subject is extremely important to us
One can have the cleanest diet, great sleep and quality training, but if your relationship with your habitat and the people within it are sterile, have little connection or a negative impact on you as an individual, it goes without saying, you will severely struggle to live a happy, healthy existence
A space that can give you exposure to art and nature a space that exposes you to quality like minded humans, a space where you can rest your mind from the toils of work, family and social pressures, in the age of information and overstimulation, a third space is vital for mental health.
Since the move, our shop-front/rubbish-storage area had become quite popular with members adventurous enough to brave the dirt and mess. It had organically become that third space
We bolted a few bars to the wall and layed some mats to form a rudimentary training space, but soon realized it wasn’t enough
It needed more love. A lot more. We decided to transform our car park into a beautiful sanctuary.
The plan –
Fill it with native plants, fruit trees, a vegetable patch, an aqua-ponics system with crayfish and frogs, an outdoor training area, even a small converted shipping container cafe come nutrition station selling seasonal nutritious meals, smoothies and coffees
A space to move, talk nutrition, reconnect with the seasons, with the soil our food comes from, where we can enjoy eating, meditating, stretching, and soaking up some sun, chat or just chilling together. A space dedicated to all the areas of health that are so easily overlooked. A space where our bodies could recharge and recover
In short, we decided to build a Permaculture garden
WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?
Permaculture is an integrated system of ecological and environmental design. The idea is to work with the natural environment, whatever that may be and not against it
Below are the 12 principles of Permaculture
A Permaculture garden is best constructed out of what would usually be used as waste, with little to no expense spent on new or disposable products. Best results are achieved through a collaborative effort of a community. This suited us, because as a start up business moving to a larger location, we had blown our budget on the gym, our amazing coaches and it’s contents
It was time for our Garden Blitz!
OUR FIRST STEP WAS TO APPROACH ANY SPECIALISTS IN THE GYM WILLING TO GIVE US SOME GUIDANCE..
My first point of contact was with a man called Aidan. I have been training him for quite some time. He’s a Landscape Architect and spent a month working and training in MilkWood – a permaculture education centre and functioning permaculture farm. I have also participated in their weekend workshop “ An Introduction to Permaculture” They’re amazing. If you have an interest in gardening, look them up
We devised a plan
Aidan took some measurements, drew them up with a loose brief. Now for the next step. To reach out to our members, share the vision of our garden paradise and ask them firstly, for any unwanted building materials lying around the house, and then, for their muscle to come and help us build the garden
Our aim was not only to “produce no waste” but to also “use and value renewable resources and services.”
We wanted to source every piece of material from a second hand source and give it a new life.
The tricky part of building like this is that you have no idea what building materials you’ll end up with.
Our members responded…
And the junk started to flow in. From period concrete laundry basins, pastel coloured 44 gallon drums, Australian hard-wood floor boards, 500kgs of unused bull-nosed clay-paved bricks, conditioned organic soils, brand spanking new Ute boot liners, beautiful brass pieces, litres and litres of premium grade paint to heirloom seed varieties and fruit trees of all kinds, the list goes on and on
We realized we were not receiving Junk. We were receiving jewels!
From our members we assembled a small team of specialists. Our heads of department.
Aidan – Landscape Architect
Anna – Set designer. Film and Television
Dianne – Interior designer
Chris – Landscaper
We bounced around some ideas then proceeded to work together to use what we had gathered and devise a plan of execution for our two day blitz
The weekend had finally come!
What happened next, literally blew me off my feet. A wave of tradesmen, foodies, green thumbs and an array of keen amateur’s flooded the gym. Every single one of them, members of our JB community. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. They bought food, tools, beer, family members, focused motivation, MUSCLE and an endless abundance of positive energy
And it didn’t stop there. For two whole days, from dawn till dusk, we worked. The faces changing throughout the day kept the motivation high and the numbers never dropped off
Getting junk out, removing contaminated soil and replacing it with organic matter, cutting, bricklaying, concreting, painting, laying floor, hardwood bordering, the list goes on and on
By Sunday afternoon, our car park was transformed into a beautiful, clean blank canvas. Ready for nature’s display to take centre stage
Our soil has now been sitting long enough for the biome to do its thing and our seeds have been planted in their seedling capsules (egg crates). Last Saturday, the weekend of the Spring Equinox we held our gardens planting day –
It was a day dedicated to the arts. The epic tribe returned once more to help create a couple of beautiful mosaics using ceramics created by one of our most skilled members – Bec… The garden bed was planted up with numerous veges and natives… An irrigation system was installed to keep our garden hydrated using recycled rain water… We enjoyed delicious Pimms cocktails, beers and a BBQ… It was so cool to see the space transform once more into something even more special
All thanks to the passion of our Tribe…
Looking back at the project now, I asked myself why so many of our tribe contributed time out of their day to come into our gym and work. In a day and age where time is so precious. The answer was clear –
I’ve always looked at Jungle Brothers as mine, Paul’s and Joe’s business. But it’s more than that. Jungle Brothers belongs to the people. Our people took ownership and left their mark on our gym during the garden blitz. It’s always been theirs. The garden blitz was just a way of making it official
I am excited for the future, and proud of what our little tribe has accomplished thus far