Nov 302013
 

Join a vibrant food culture, growing and eating local

Covering all matters food North East Melbourne

Whether you just want to eat healthier, reduce your food mileage, grow veggies in your garden or are simply interested in enjoying your community life, Local Food Connect is for you!

Eltham Farmers’ Market, a Local Food Connect initiative, takes place every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

Jul 272016
 

Helen Simpson writes about how to grow brassicas

Helen’s article for the month of August is on how to grow brassicas. As she says in her introduction “Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, kohlrabi, turnip, collard greens, mizuna, tatsoi, pak choy, bok choi, wong bok – the list goes on – these are all part of the brassica genus. Described by one website as the ‘powerhouses of the vegetable kingdom’ because of their nutritional properties, they are diverse in both their range and in the way that they are eaten – either as roots, leaves, flowers or stems. Generally brassicas are cold-hardy vegetables and are grown over Autumn, Winter and Spring.” Particular brassicas which you can plant during August include kale, mustard greens, mizuna, tatsoi, pak choy and bok choi. Read her full article.

broccolibrussels sproutcabbagecauliflowerkalepak choy

Local people who give away coffee husks, manure, wood shavings, etc

Thanks to both Pollyn Chan and Garrett Addison, there is now an additional organisation on the list: Charles Sandford Woodturning in Preston provide free sawdust in bales; bring your trailer and they will load it for you.

But, thanks to both Mala Plymin and Lee Tozzi, two of the listings have been taken off the list: Bundoora Park Visitor Centre has temporarily stopped giving away either coffee husks or wood shavings.

Mala has also provided the following two handy hints: “I recently agreed with one of the handymen who was mowing my neighbour’s lawn that he would give me the grass clippings for my compost. He used to take the clippings to landfill so he is now saving time and I am getting to make great compost with the extra grass clippings. Also, one less thing going to landfill.

I now plant my seeds in egg shells, so I no longer have to get small plastic pots. When ready, the seedlings in their egg shells can be planted straight in the garden. The shells biodegrade and provide the soil with calcium. When I crack the eggs, I make sure I do it close to the top.

How do coffee husks and grounds actually help your compost?

Marina Bistrin gets free coffee husks from a roaster and coffee grounds from a cafe. Read her experiences thus far. But she can’t do proper trials in her small backyard space so she is interested in other people’s experience of using coffee grounds and husks as compost additions. How does this compost work for growing vegetables? Is it any better than normal compost? Does it hold water better? Is it more nutritious? How is the texture/tilth of it in soil? Do you feel it helps the composting process itself? Email us with your thoughts.

Fancy some Persian desserts?

behi cakesRead the Leader’s article about a new shop – Behi Cakes – in Greensborough.

Edible weeds

Read this article on edible weeds by Doris Pozzi, author of Edible Weeds of Melbourne & Surrounds. Another great blog post from Going Green Solutions.

Read Doris's recipe for potato and onion weed soup. Our next door neighbours are currently growing a whole field of onion weed and are more than happy for people to pick it for free!

The Common’s latest Facebook post

Is about bread.

Which brands do the big food and beverage companies own?

10 companiesKaren Olsen has suggested readers might be interested in this graphic (pictured right) which shows which brands the big food and beverage companies own. The graphic is from a 2013 Oxfam briefing paper entitled Behind the brands: food justice and the ‘big 10’ food and beverage companies. In support of this paper, Oxfam has also set up a behind the brands website which, inter alia, allows you to select a brand and see how it rates against a variety of criteria.

New events

Fruit tree pruning workshop

What: Practical demonstration on the fruit trees in Robert’s back yard. Bring sharp secateurs if you have them. Limit of 10 people. Bookings required.
When: Saturday, 30th July, 10am-midday.
Where: Heidelberg.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Robert Stringer by phone (0418 419742) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

How to use citrus in the kitchen

What: Join Kate, from The Urban Pear, to find out how to use citrus in the kitchen and around the home. Together you will transform this zesty delight into marmalade and then discover how to make an amazing orange cleaning vinegar. Bring along two clean jars to take home some citrus goodness.
When: Sunday, 31st July, 2-4pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $15.
Enquiries/Bookings: Tiffany by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Grafting and apple tree sales day

What: Learn techniques for grafting or budding fruit trees. Select suitable rootstocks. Have new trees grafted or budded by Heritage Fruits Society members. Buy heritage fruit tree scion wood for home grafting. Buy one-year-old grafted trees. Discuss your fruit tree needs.
When: Sunday, 7th August, 10am-midday.
Where: Templestowe.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Heritage Fruit Society by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

All Nations Kitchen Garden second birthday celebrations

What: activities include: a fruit tree pruning workshop by the Darebin Fruit Squad, 10–11.30am; birthday cake, 11.45am; and free tool sharpening.
When: Sunday, 7th August, 10am-1pm.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit tree grafting

What: John Pinniger of the Heritage Fruits Society will run a ‘masterclass’ in grafting for those who would like to improve their skills – or learn the basics. It will involve learning the reasons for, and the science of, grafting, and then having plenty of time to practice. Budding will also be discussed (although winter is not the best time to do it). This will be a hands-on workshop, so bring a sharp knife if you have one. They will concentrate on apples but will also discuss a wide range of plants. There is no cost, but the third hour of the three-hour session will be assistance with the grafting of Heritage Fruits Society’s trees, including potting, labelling, etc (part learning, part application).
When: Wednesday 10th August 9am-midday and again at Sunday 14th August 1-4pm.
Where: Fairfield.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: John Pinniger by email with your preferred date and the subject line GRAFTING.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Heritage Fruit Society: orchard maintenance workshop

What: Work with their experienced volunteers and learn some new skills. They will be checking the watering system, pruning trees and performing various other maintenance tasks. Possibly grass cutting by mower and whipper-snipper. Some weeding in the nursery. They may lift some nursery trees for planting in the orchard. Newly grafted trees will need to be heeled in at their nursery. Wear sturdy boots and clothing, as well as a hat and sunscreen. If you wish, you can bring a pair of gardening gloves and your own secateurs. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.
When: Sunday, 4th September, 9am-midday.
Where: Templestowe.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Heritage Fruit Society by phone (0449 508318).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Lebanese feast

What: Learn how to make some well known and popular Lebanese dishes with culinary teacher, Bernadette Cheet, owner of My Lebanese Kitchen Cooking School. Bernadette has developed a strong passion and love for Lebanese food, its aroma, unique flavours and earthy colours from growing up with three generations of experienced Lebanese cooks. Presented in conjunction with the Coburg Traders Association.
When: Thursday, 22nd September, 1-2pm.
Where: Coburg.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland City Libraries by phone (9389 8600) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Jul 202016
 

Tell us about local people who give away coffee husks, food scraps, manure or wood shavings

The fundamental idea behind both this newsletter and our website is that we are trying to provide a one-stop shop of information about food happenings in North East Melbourne. Whilst we might arguably have achieved this re the calendar of events, we certainly haven’t with respect to local resources. Over the coming weeks, with your help, I would like to rectify this situation by making the lists of local resources more complete.

manure

This week I want to focus on local people who give away coffee husks, food scraps, manure or wood shavings. There are ten organisations on the current list. So, it really would be appreciated if you could email me with the details of anyone else that you know who gives away any of:

  • Coffee husks.
  • Food scraps.
  • Manure.
  • Wood shavings.
  • Other related.

Shout-outs to everyone who replies.

2 local breweries in the Weekly Review’s top 10 Melbourne pubs and breweries

3 Ravens from Thornbury and The Public Brewery from Croydon. Here is the full list of 10.

The Common’s latest Facebook post

Is about rice.

Our Canadian correspondent reports in

Carol Woolcock writes in from Nova Scotia: “I just wanted to tell you all about the fantastic waste management system here. It is the law that everyone sorts their garbage and places it in the correct bins. Random inspections are made and people are fined for incorrect sorting. Interestingly, every household is provided with a bench bin for food scraps and a larger outside bin to empty this in to. When collected, the food scraps are turned into compost and residents can pick this up free. There is also a recycle bin (with clear instructions of what materials can be recycled) and another bin for non recyclable/non compostable garbage. There does not seem to be a bin for garden waste.

New events

Winter wellness

What: Libby Shaw, Naturopath, Herbalist & Nutritionist, will discuss using food as medicine and tips to help keep you and your family well over winter. Places are limited to 8, so contact Libby directly to secure your space.
When: Saturday, 30th July, 3.30-4.30pm.
Where: Hurstbridge.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Libby Shaw by phone (0407 338647) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course

What: This 9-week hands-on course will introduce you to a range of topics in the field of horticulture. The course runs at Edendale in Eltham, and places in the course are government-subsidised, so it is a great starting point for people thinking about turning their passion into a career in horticulture, or simply for home food growers who want to learn more – only $130 for a 9-session course! No prior experience is necessary. The course will be run by Justin Calverley, a horticultural expert with over twenty years’ experience. Inter alia, Justin is a lead trainer in adult education at CERES, where he has presented workshops on topics ranging from fruit and vegetable production to bush foods, and from garden design to sustainable gardening.
When: Saturday, 30th July to Saturday, 24th September, 9.30am-3pm. (There will be another course from Monday, 5th September to Monday, 28th November, 9.30am-3pm.)
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $130 for all 9 sessions ($73 concession).
Enquiries/Bookings: Living & Learning Nillumbik’s website.
Further information: Living & Learning Nillumbik’s website.

Swipers Gully Restaurant guest chef Stephen Mercer

What: Swipers Gully Restaurant welcomes back the annual guest chef Stephen Mercer, of Mercer’s Restaurant, for an evening of delicious food matched to their Swipers Gully wines. Five courses! Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 25th August, 6.30pm onwards.
Where: Kangaroo Ground.
Cost: $90.
Enquiries/Bookings: Swipers Gully Restaurant by phone (9437 2222).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Moving feast

What: Celebrating cultural diversity in the Whittlesea community, your libraries will bring the flavours of the world to you with progressive cooking demonstrations and tastings.
When: Saturday, 17th September, 1.30-3pm.
Where: Mill Park.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Jack Chan by phone (9437 8189) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Library website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Jul 132016
 

A new food swap in Balwyn

Surrey Hills / Balwyn Produce Swap. 9-10am, 3rd Sunday of the month. Balwyn Community Centre, 412 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn, 3103. 3rd Sunday of the month, 9-10am. Facebook page. Contact Bill Oldham by email. Click here for the interactive map of all 22 swaps in North East Melbourne.

A few minor timing changes at other swaps: the Diamond Creek Food Swap is now 10-11.30am rather than 10am-midday; and the Greensborough Food Swap is now 10-11am rather than 10-11.30am.

Darebin Community Leaders in Sustainability are now open for applications

Applications are open until 12th September for Darebin Community Leaders in Sustainability at www.sustainablecommunities.vic.gov.au. They invite you to apply for a free 8 week course, starting October, on running a community environmental project.

An interesting Facebook page: The Common

Many Facebook pages are, shall we say, not worth the paper they are written on. But, as the Shovel’s page demonstrates, there are exceptions. One such exception is The Common in Eltham. Here are some of their posts over the last year:

New events

Planting indigenous cultural food, fibre and medicine plants in Bunjil

What: Wurundjeri’s ‘Narrap’ (land management) team and friends of Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System invite you to help re-vegetate the entrance to Bunjil Reserve with traditional indigenous food, fibre and medicine plants for use in an interpretation trail. Uncle Dave Wandin will welcome you to the country and discuss the importance and use of some local indigenous plants. You will need: gloves, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, water.
When: Sunday, 17th July, 10am-1pm.
Where: Panton Hill.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Environmental Events Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: Nillumbik Council website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wicking bed workshop

What: The Hurstbridge Sow and Grow Garden Club are hosting a free wicking bed workshop at the Hurstbridge Community Hub. Felipe and Michelle, from Food Garden Solutions in Hurstbridge, will demonstrate how to build and use wicking beds, as well as how they work. 6 wicking beds, to be completed on site on the day, will launch the first stage of the Hub’s ‘Edible Garden Project’. These beds will serve as an ongoing resource for the community. Please bring gloves.
When: Sunday, 24th July, 1-4pm.
Where: Hurstbridge.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Arja Toivanen by phone (0427 325576) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Winter herbal pantry – using food as medicine

What: Using food as medicine is an excellent way to keep you and your family well. Join Libby Shaw, Naturopath, Herbalist & Nutritionist, in exploring simple, traditional methods using herbs and spices to enrich and enliven your dishes. Notes and recipes included.
When: Saturday, 6th August, 3.30-4.30pm.
Where: Hurstbridge.
Cost: $24.
Enquiries/Bookings: Libby Shaw by phone (0407 338647) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough workshop

sourdoughWhat: Yvonne Ashby hopes that her passion for sourdough will inspire others to enjoy a good quality homemade bread and a great way to re-live a past time. This will be a hands-on workshop on how to make traditional sourdough bread with the 3 basic ingredients of flour, water and salt. The class will be limited to 6-8 people with a hands-on approach to all aspects of making sourdough, including the tasting for lunch from different variations of sourdough bread that use the basic sourdough recipe being learnt in the workshop (e.g. spelt, fruit & nut, seeded, wholemeal). The cost is inclusive of Yvonne’s continued support whilst the participant is making their own bread at home. The workshop is suitable for beginners who want to expand their bread making repertoire. You will: learn about the required ingredients and tools of the trade; discover the fermentation techniques to optimise the open crumb texture; and learn about the Baker’s Percentage and hydration. During the workshop, you will: mix, knead and fold the dough; learn shaping techniques; learn to score and bake; and learn how to maintain a starter.
When: Saturday, 20th August, 10am-1pm.
Where: Yallambie.
Cost: $85.
Enquiries: Yvonne Ashby by phone (0409 225774) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Feastival – moving feast entree demonstration

What: Join in the FEASTival! Your local libraries are bringing the flavours of the world to you with a two course progressive lunch. Join in for cooking demonstrations and tastings. 11am entree at Thomastown Library. 12:45pm main at Lalor Library. Bookings required.
When: Saturday, 10th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Thomastown.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Thomastown Library by phone (9464 1864) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Regional Library.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Feastival – moving feast main meal demonstration

What: Join in the FEASTival! Your local libraries are bringing the flavours of the world to you with a two course progressive lunch. Join in for cooking demonstrations and tastings. 11am entree at Thomastown Library. 12:45pm main at Lalor Library. Bookings required.
When: Saturday, 10th September, 12.45-2pm.
Where: Lalor.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Lalor Library by phone (9465 2353) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Regional Library.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking for blokes

What: Men, brush up on your cooking skills and learn how to make delicious easy and nourishing dinners.
When: Sunday, 11th September, 10am-1pm.
Where: Alphington.
Cost: $25 (includes lunch).
Enquiries/Bookings: Alphington Community Centre by phone (9499 7227) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Jul 062016
 

A new monthly food swap in Alphington

10am-midday, 1st Friday of the month. Alphington Community Centre, 2 Kelvin Road, Alphington, 3078. Contact: Becca Smith by phone (9499 7227) or email. This used to be an occasional swap which has now become a regular, monthly swap. Click here for the interactive map of all 21 swaps in North East Melbourne.

Eltham Farmers’ Market is now plastic bag free

bagTo coincide with Plastic Free July, Eltham Farmers’ Market has decided to become plastic bag free. As a substitute for plastic bags, market visitors will be offered two sustainable alternatives:

  • A re-usable hessian bag. Quality lined hessian bags will be available at the LFC information marquee for $5 each.
  • A ‘boomerang bag’. Boomerang bags are cloth bags made by volunteers from recycled materials. They will be available at the LFC information marquee for visitors to borrow at no cost and returned back to the market at a future visit for someone else to use. Hence the word boomerang, as the bags (hopefully) keep coming back.

We currently have two groups of sewers working 24/7 to create the boomerang bags!

Middle Kinglake Primary School garden

See the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation website for the story:

kinglake1 kinglake2

From this

To this

‘Your indigenous garden’ booklet

your indigenous gardenWhittlesea’s latest edition of its ‘Your indigenous garden‘ booklet is now available. Here’s the blurb – “with information and advice on local plants, animals, climate and soil conditions, it also includes: garden design tips; how to grow gardens that children will love; planting techniques and maintenance; plants and garden features that attract wildlife such as butterflies, frogs, lizards and birds; and tips for managing common weeds and pest animals.” Click here to download it as a pdf or, for a hard copy, contact the Council by phone (9217 2042) or email.

New events

Bees and beekeeping

What: Everything you want to know about bees and beekeeping (with Steve’s bees). Steve McGrath is a member of the Victorian Apiarists Association and will present this talk. Find out about: the amazing range of gadgets built into bees and about a bee’s makeup; the different roles bees have within the hive; how beekeepers look after hives; and first steps in setting up as a beekeeper. Bookings essential.
When: Wednesday, 13th July, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Mitcham.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Gay Gallagher by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wicking garden bed workshop

What: Wicking garden beds can use up to 50% less water than normal gardens by holding a reservoir of water in the base that ‘wicks’ up through the soil to keep your veggie roots moist whilst reducing evaporation. Discover, with the help of Paul Gale-Baker from Urban Shepherd, how wicking garden beds work and help build the Whittlesea Community Garden’s first wicking garden bed! Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 14th July, 9am-1pm.
Where: Whittlesea.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Megan Smithwick by phone (0407 699775) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to fermenting foods – Kimchi workshop

What: Be immersed in the magical world of fermentation and wrap your tastebuds around the salty, sour and spicy delicacy of fermented cabbage. This workshop, which will be limited to 10 people, will cover: an introduction to fermented foods and how they support our diet; using and selecting key ingredients from the kitchen, garden and urban surrounds to use in making our Kimchi; working with our hands to prepare and make Kimchi to connect to ourselves and our bodies wisdom; exploring wild foods to enhance health properties in Kimchi; and methods of storage and eating Kimchi. You will go away with your own unique blend of Kimchi, lots of information, and a stronger confidence and appreciation of the tradition and practice of fermenting foods. Following the workshop, there will be lunch. Please bring a plate of food to share!
When: Saturday, 23rd July, 10am-midday.
Where: Maribyrnong.
Cost: $25.
Enquiries/Bookings: Gemma Macri by phone (0431 233420) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Eat healthy, seasonally and waste nothing: cooking masterclass with Arabella Forge

What: Take part in a cooking masterclass with the author of Nutrient-Dense Food on a Shoestring, Arabella Forge. You will learn different techniques to prepare healthy and sustainable meals on a low budget without waste. A Sustainability Outreach Whittlesea program event designed by the Women’s Luncheon Group at the Whittlesea Community House. Bookings essential for catering purposes.
When: Thursday, 25th August, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Whittlesea.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Mary-Lynn Griffith or Johanna by phone ( 9716 3361) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.