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.

Sep 282016
 

Eltham Farmers’ Market video stars competition

The farmer starring in this week's video is Ken King of Kings of Kangaroo Ground. Click here to watch the video and enter the competition. ken-king
The winner of the third week’s competition (Apted’s Orchards) has now been selected (by random draw). Congratulations, Kelly Aurelio. kelly-aurelio
And here is a photo of the second week’s winner, Heather Wakefield, together with a photo that she took of her winnings. heather-wakefieldheather-wakefield2

 

Some ideas are good, but others are less so. Some ideas are successful, but others are less so. Some ideas are both good and successful. For example, the boomerang bags at the market: people use them, (usually) appreciate them and (quite often) bring them back. And we also have people who replenish our stocks. Thanks Carol, Felicity and Sue!

Some ideas, whilst equally good, are less successful. The market’s Community Market Stall is an example: whilst everyone agrees that it is a good idea, we have recently had real difficulty finding people who want to sell their surplus produce at it. Now that Spring is coming, this situation will hopefully change. If you are a serious home grower, or you have some established fruit trees, read about the stall, have a think about whether you might have some substantive surpluses, and contact me if you are interested. Everyone who has sold their stuff at the stall thus far has enjoyed it!

Helen Simpson writes about how to grow cucurbits

It is now time to be planting the summer crops: cucumbers, sweetcorn, tomatoes, etc (and to be thanking God that we can soon be eating something other than kale!). Helen’s article for the month of October covers how to grow many of these crops, namely those in the cucurbitaceae (aka gourd) family. As she says in her introduction: “Have you ever had the experience of seeing a small zucchini on your zucchini plant one day, then coming back a few days later and finding something the size of a baseball bat? Or having so many zucchinis that your friends and neighbours look slightly frazzled when they see you coming with another armful to share? Zucchinis belong to the cucurbitaceae family, which consists of a wide variety of plants – the most well known being cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins, rockmelons and watermelons.” For each of these, she then goes on to discuss when to plant, where to plant, different varieties, hand pollination and harvesting. Read the full article.

cucumbergourdpumpkinrockmelonwatermelonzucchini

Mac McVeigh’s tip of the week

Ok, so you’ve now weeded, fertilised and mulched … well done!

If your peaches and nectarines have curly leaf (and you didn’t read my earlier tip on August 3rd!), pull off all the affected leaves and bin them. It’s too late to spray now but, even if you almost defoliate your trees, they should start to grow uninfected leaves as the season progresses.

“It is pretty much spring planting time so look at which of your winter crops are coming to their end and can make room for your summer harvest. For those of you that have already planted tomatoes, well done! For those of you that haven’t, don’t worry as the temperatures aren’t warm enough yet for real growth, but best to start soon. [Editor’s note: would you support a petition to change the aphorism from ‘plant your tomatoes on Cup Day’ to ‘plant your tomatoes on Grand Final Day’?]

“Dirty hands are good hands.

Another builder of planter boxes, wicking beds and raised garden beds

Paul Morland, aka morLandscapes, from Bellfield. Contact Paul by phone (0413 998900 or 9440 9247) or email.

For the full, updated list, see the local resources page of the website.

A new farmers’ market in Mooroolbark

4th Saturday of every month, 8am-1pm. At Mooroolbark College, 186 Manchester Road. Run by the same people (Regional Farmers’ Markets) as the Bundoora Park, Croydon and Heathmont Farmers’ Markets.

A 10% discount at selected shops

Here is a neat, little scheme: you go into local shop X, quote local business Y, and get a discount of Z. So, you get a discount, shop X gets a sale and business Y gets some publicity. More specifically, the discount is 10%, the business is Blue Pear Pantry, and the participating shops are: Dynamic Vegies, Eltham; Yarra Valley Poultry, Eltham; Webbs Butchery, Research; Mountainview Select Meats, Nunawading; Organic Origins, Warrandyte; and Blue Pear Pantry, North Warrandyte. But each shop only offers the discount on particular days so you will have to go to Blue Pear Pantry’s Facebook page for the latest details.

Time Out Food Awards 2016

Several North East Melbourne places featured in the Time Out Food Awards 2016. Most notably, the Second Home cafe in Eltham won best cafe (i.e. the best cafe in the whole of Melbourne!). Jo Barrett, from Oakridge Winery in Coldstream, won the hot talent award. And three places in Fitzroy won awards (Mukka, Smith & Daughters and Jimmy Grants).

Food Forage website

Food Forage is a relatively new (started March 2016) website designed to allow people to sell their surplus produce locally. It is similar in concept to the RipeNearMe website, which has now been going for around 3 years.

A quick analysis of the two websites shows that there are currently around 50 sellers from North East Melbourne on RipeNearMe and only 3 on Food Forage.

New events

Gardening on a shoestring

What: Maria Ciavarella, an experienced presenter from My Green Garden, will lead this session on seed sowing, which includes a hands-on activity.
When: Tuesday, 4th October, 7.17-9.15pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Community Hub.
Cost: $4.
Enquiries: Cheryl Lowe by phone (0481 362242) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Local food launchpad: pitch night

What: City of Melbourne has partnered with Doing Something Good and Open Food Network to offer the ‘Local Food Launchpad’ program to organisations, individuals and communities interested in improving our food system and growing our local food economy. Go along to this event to hear participants’ ideas for a healthier, sustainable, resilient and socially inclusive food future. These will include social enterprises, mini-documentaries, workshops, campaigns, growing projects and small-scale farming opportunities. Many address key issues facing the most vulnerable, including the long term unemployed, refugees and homeless people.
When: Thursday, 13th October, 6-9pm.
Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne.
Cost: free.
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Macleod big veggie swap plus green & local auction

MOCG - Green Auction - printWhat: Occasionally the Macleod Veggie Swap is transformed into a mega swap, including an auction of green and local products. This is the next such mega swap. So, if you ever go to any of the food swaps, go to this one. The veggie swap will be at 11am, there will be a silent auction from 11-11.30am (for items with a value of less than $50), and a live auction (led by auctioneer, Robert Stringer) starting at 11.45am (for items above $50). The event aims to support Macleod shops and services, bring people to the Macleod shopping strip, and raise money for the Macleod Organic Community Garden. Go and join in the fun, buy some interesting items and support three worthy causes. All items need to be paid for in cash and collected on the day. Items to be auctioned include donations from local shops and businesses and members of Sustainable Macleod. Most items are new and include: 2 cases of beer from Kooinda Boutique Brewery; a 2 week voucher from Salts of the Earth in Rosanna; 2 x $80 vouchers for classes from Bulleen Art and Garden; 2 garden assessments and garden plans from Urban Shepherd; vouchers for gardening and decluttering from our members; plants; crockery; art supplies; a Christmas ham; and vouchers for a number of cafes.
When: Saturday, 15th October, 11am-1pm.
Where: Macleod.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Robin by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Edible weeds walk

What: What if many of the weeds in our garden were just as edible as the vegetables we tend beside them? What if some of these these free, all-too-easy-to-grow uninvited guests were so nutritionally dense that they are just about the healthiest things you could possibly eat? What if many of them also had medical traditions dating back centuries? Well it’s all true! And if you know what to choose, they also taste great. Join Adam Grubb, co-author of The Weed Forager’s Handbook, for a fascinating walk on the wild side.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 11am-1pm.
Where: Merri Creek, Brunswick East.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: Very Edible Gardens website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Bellfield Community Garden open day

bellfieldWhat: They are having an Open Day so that you can see their mosaics, mural, kids play area and enjoy this space reclaimed by the local community. It is on the same day that Ivanhoe Garden Club are having their FESTA (plants, seedlings, children’s activities, Devonshire teas and sausage sizzle).
When: Sunday, 23rd October, midday-4pm.
Where: Bellfield Community Garden.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Paul Morland by phone (9440 9247) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wild food foraging workshop

What: Forage, prepare, cook and eat from nature’s abundance! Discover the wild urban parklands along Maribyrnong River and learn to identify a variety of edible plants, get to know their characteristics and culinary uses. You will learn to harvest wild edible plants safely and appropriately (with respect for the land around us). You will find nutritious wild plants and use them to create a unique wholesome spring menu. You will also learn to make traditional Italian ricotta gnudi featuring nettles; herb burnt butter sauce, wild greens spring salad and enjoy refreshing herbal infused drinks. Includes gluten-free options. Limited to 10 people.
When: Saturday, 29th October, 9.30am-3.30pm.
Where: Maribyrnong.
Cost: $90.
Enquiries: Gemma Macri by phone (0431 233420) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Garden tour and workshop – successful start from seeds

What: The hour-long session is a combination of 30-minute guided tour and 30-minute interactive workshop. You will see one of the first community gardens established in Australia (1977). The Nunawading Community Garden provides a space for the local community to grow food in a friendly environment and promote long-term sustainable living by sharing knowledge and skills. The garden practices organic gardening and encourages seed saving and start from seeds. You will learn about: ways to ensure raising plants from seeds successfully; the organic ways to prepare soil in the seedling trays, pots and in the garden; and how to transplant seedlings.
When: Saturday, 5th November, 10-11am.
Where: Nunawading Community Garden.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries: Sustainable Gardening Australia by phone (8850 3050) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme.

Garden tour and workshop – setting up a community garden

What: The hour-long session is a combination of 30-minute guided tour and 30-minute interactive workshop. You will see one of the first community gardens established in Australia (1977). The Nunawading Community Garden provides a space for the local community to grow food in a friendly environment and promote long-term sustainable living by sharing knowledge and skills. You will learn about: why and how to set up a community garden; what to include in a community garden; and how to overcome some of the challenges.
When: Saturday, 5th November, 11am-midday.
Where: Nunawading Community Garden.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries: Sustainable Gardening Australia by phone (8850 3050) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme.

Garden tour and workshop – compost making

What: The hour-long session is a combination of 30-minute guided tour and 30-minute interactive workshop. You will see one of the first community gardens established in Australia (1977). The Nunawading Community Garden provides a space for the local community to grow food in a friendly environment and promote long-term sustainable living by sharing knowledge and skills. The garden practices organic gardening and encourages turning green waste to organic fertiliser that feeds your garden soil with nutrients and microorganisms that will improve plant growth. You will learn about: different ways that gardeners make compost; using compost to improve soil conditions; and the ‘hot composting’ process in short timeframes.
When: Saturday, 5th November, 2-3pm.
Where: Nunawading Community Garden.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries: Sustainable Gardening Australia by phone (8850 3050) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme.

Italian cooking workshop

What: Discover the authentic taste of Mediterranean cuisine, using the freshest ingredients. A tasty three-course menu (antipasto with a difference; salmon lasagne; roasted chicken alla siciliano (deboned and filled) with contour of vegetables; and festive panettone with ice cream and meringue) will be prepared and enjoyed for lunch afterwards.
When: Saturday, 19th November, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $72.
Enquiries: Living & Learning Nillumbik by phone (9433 3744) or email.
Bookings: Living & Learning website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Urban Agriculture Forum (two day)

What: Join them in bringing together practitioners and policy-makers from across the urban and peri-urban food landscape to build a shared understanding of what urban agriculture is, and the benefits and opportunities that it can offer in the Australian context. For more information on the schedule, speakers etc, go to the event website. Jointly organised by Sustain, 3000 acres, Cultivating Community, Moreland Food Gardens Network, Port Phillip EcoCentre, the University of Melbourne and the City of Yarra.
When: Sunday, 20th November and Monday, 21st November, both 8.30am-4.30pm.
Where: Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne.
Cost: $100-280 (depending on who you are).
Enquiries: Nick Rose by phone (0414 497819) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: Event website.

Preserving with Marie

What: Learn all about preserving lemons and how to prepare berry jam in this workshop with Marie Vasallo from Rie’s Kitchen.
When: Tuesday, 22nd November, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Diamond Valley Library .
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Dione Fisher by phone (9434 3809) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cultural tea tasting

What: Journey through the world of tea with Sarah Cowell from Teasense. Listen to stories from the tea fields as Sarah brews teas from around the world and talks about their origins.
When: Thursday, 24th November, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Doncaster Library .
Cost: free.
Bookings: Doncaster 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. Click here for help in how to view the calendar effectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

Sep 212016
 

Eltham Farmers’ Market video stars competition

liz-tullohThe farmer starring in this week's video is Liz Tulloh from Arthurs Creek Garlic. Click here to watch the video and enter the competition.

The winner of the second week’s competition (Just Picked) has now been selected (by random draw). Congratulations, Heather Wakefield. A photo of Heather with her winnings will hopefully be available in due course.

Another person who can build planter boxes for you

Frances Grech (ReBoxCo), Thornbury, www.reboxco.com.au. Contact by phone (0439 368018) or email (enquiries@reboxco.com.au). Click here for the full, updated list (7 people in total).

Do you know of anyone else who can build planter boxes, wicking beds or raised garden beds? If so, email me and I’ll add their details to the list.

A farmers’ market in Whittlesea?

The City of Whittlesea is keen to support its local food producers and to increase its residents’ access to fresh, local food. To further these goals, the Council is researching the feasibility of a farmers’ market in the City of Whittlesea area. If you live or shop anywhere in the City of Whittlesea OR grow, produce or make food products locally, please help by completing one of the surveys below:

Nee’s High Apple Pies

neeshighapplepies1Nee’s High Apple Pies are a new addition to the Local Food Directory. Click here to read their entry. In summary, Anita Gottwalt, who is based in Kinglake West, makes multi award winning apple pies and baked cheesecakes. Order by phone (0419 339320 ) or email (neeshighapplepies@southernphone.com.au). Or go to the Kinglake Produce & Artisan Market or Whittlesea Monday Market.

Want some cheap fruit trees?

Pete the Permie from Telopea Mtn Permaculture & Nursery writes: “This year, rather than potting up our leftover trees, we have reduced them to bare roots and will be having a three-day sale at just $25 per tree: onsite at Monbulk (Invermay Road) on Friday, 23rd September, 10am-4pm; then at Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market in Abbotsford on Saturday, 24th September, 8am-1pm; and finally Eltham Farmers’ Market on Sunday, 25th September, 9am-1pm.

Any shops selling certified organic produce around Donnybrook?

Someone has written in asking. If you know of anywhere, email me.

Home Harvest FEASTival

The Nillumbik and Banyule annual Home Harvest Festival has been re-badged as a ‘FEASTival’ and will be held at Edendale Farm on Sunday, 26th February. It will include workshops, entertainment and music, as well as the shared harvest meal. Click here to read about it. Click here to register as a grower.

Newsletter reader Yuki Cameron in the news

yuki-cameronNewsletter reader Yuki Cameron in the 21st September edition of The Weekly Review.

Mac McVeigh’s tip of the week

No rest for the wicked – it’s now weed and mulch time! Lock in that moisture in the soil by applying a good layer of mulch. 5cm min to 10cm max. Larger mulch particles (10mm plus) insulate the soil and still allow summer rain to get to the soil, whereas finer particles may lock in your moisture but block rainfall. When mulching, take care to clear mulch from stems/base of plants to prevent collar rot. For veggies, you can, if you want, wait until you plant your summer crops and then apply short term, but soil building, mulches such as pea straw or lucerne.

Not food, but still tasty

For those of you who fancy a trip to Nillumbik during Spring, two of the best non-food events of the year are coming up. If you have never been to them, you should.

Help to reduce food waste

Australian food service businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, produce around 250,000 tonnes of food waste every year that ends up in landfill. This generates around 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2 equivalents) a year. RMIT University’s nationwide Watch My Waste research into food waste is helping to create a previously little known picture of food waste in the food service sector. So far around 200 individual food waste audits have been completed, with 8,900kgs (8.9 tonnes) of food waste generated from 70,000 customers. On average, 120g of food waste was disposed of for every person served – equivalent to a whole large muffin or half a steak per person thrown in the bin.

Watch My Waste wants to hear from anyone who eats out. Anyone who has eaten out, grabbed takeaway or been served a meal by any food business in the last week is invited to complete a 10 minute survey, helping to uncover the secret life of food waste. Let restaurants, cafes and other food businesses know what you want, while at the same time contributing to the reduction of food waste.

Watch My Waste also wants to help more food businesses measure and reduce their waste. Most food service businesses do not know how much food they throw away each week. Businesses who participate in the Watch My Waste research measure their food waste over time and fill in a business operations survey that helps to identify the potential influential factors behind food waste creation. The good news is that participating businesses saw their food waste decrease by around 40% during the research period, which means significant savings. Food service businesses interested in participating can register online until December 2016.

New events – at the Practically Green Festival

The Practically Green Festival itself

What: This festival celebrates sustainable living and all things green with activities for the entire family. It will include: sustainable building and lifestyle exhibitors; market stalls; workshops; live music; children’s activities and entertainment; Edendale nursery and gardens; local food and wine; presentation of the Practically Green Sustainability Awards; not-for-profit and community groups; and sustainability art project. The stalls will include KABUU and The Veggie Empire Seedlings.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 10am-4.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Love food, hate waste cooking demo

What: Did you know Victorians waste 25% of the food they buy? Learn how to avoid food waste and use leftovers more creatively. Local chef Duang Tengtrirat from Real Food Catering will provide a cooking demonstration and tips’ session. Get creative, make the most of your leftovers and show them the love they deserve!
When: Sunday, 16th October, 11-11.45am.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3316) or online.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Rogue Ginger – zero waste living

What: Learn the basics of backyard chicken keeping with their farmer Stephen. This workshop will cover the characteristics of different breeds (in order to make a selection that suits your setting and needs) as well as the housing and care of chickens.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 12.30-1.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3316) or online.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Backyard chooks

What: Learn the basics of backyard chicken keeping with their farmer Stephen. This workshop will cover the characteristics of different breeds (in order to make a selection that suits your setting and needs) as well as the housing and care of chickens.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 1.45-2.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3316) or online.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Veggie seedling propagation

What: Go along and learn how easy it can be to grow your own vegetables from seed. Participants will learn the theory behind propagating from seed and plant a variety of seeds to take home.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 2-2.45pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3316) or online.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Worm farming

What: A worm farm can be one of the best ways to dispose of food scraps and at the same time produce vermi-juice (worm tea) and vermicast (worm castings) for use on the garden. Learn how to set up a worm farm and the easiest methods to manage and care for these most hard working of creatures. This workshop will cover both the theory and practice of worm farming in a household setting and would be useful for those wishing to recycle household food waste in order to produce worm products for use in the improvement of soil in gardens and pot plants.
When: Sunday, 16th October, 2.45-3.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Sustainability and Environment Team by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3316) or online.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

New events – other

Wellbeing not weight

What: Jacinta Sherlock is a practicing dietitian and nutrition consultant. She will introduce you to the concept of mindful eating.
When: Tuesday, 27th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Rosanna Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Artisan pasta – fettuccini

What: Learn how to make pasta like an Italian! What you will learn: how to make and knead egg-based pasta dough; use traditional pasta machines to roll and cut pasta; and how to use selected vegetables to make colourful fettuccini, including vegan options. What you get: fettuccini to take home to cook on the day or dry or freeze for future use; and a handout covering the techniques covered in the workshop.
When: Saturday, 8th October, 10am-midday.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme website.

Fermenting workshop

What: Local chef Duang Tengtrirat from Real Food Catering will show you her methods for fermenting and pickling seasonal vegetables.
Bookings essential.
When: Tuesday, 11th October, 7-9pm.
Where: Going Green Solutions, Hurstbridge.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Facebook event.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving basics: make your own jams, pickles and relishes

What: What you will learn: how to bottle fruit and make jams, pickles and relishes; select and re-use suitable jars and how to sterilise them; and how to use a standard kitchen to make preserves, without needing to buy specialist items. What you get: recipes all of the preserves made; small (new) jars of the 4 preserves made on the day; preserving basics booklet, authored by Maria; and tastings of preserves.
When: Wednesday, 12th October, 10am-1.15pm and then again at Tuesday, 8th November, 10am-1.15pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $70.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information (12th October): Weteachme website.
Bookings / Further information (8th November): Weteachme website.

Wild food and medicine walk

What: Join The Perma Pixie on an outdoor adventure that will focus on identifying edible and medicinal weeds and wild food. Discover the properties and actions these plants have to nourish and heal, and discuss recipes and ways to prepare these plants for palatability and practicality.
When: Saturday, 15th October, midday.
Where: Merri Creek, Northcote.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries: Taj Scicluna by phone (0450 375528) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Eltham & District Wine Show

What: Australia’s largest amateur wine show. Will includes: many award-winning wines on tasting; artisan olive oil sampling and sales; artisan cheese sampling and sales; free tasting glass; and award presentation (at midday).
When: Sunday, 13th November, 10.30am-2.30pm.
Where: Veneto Sports and Entertainment Centre, Bulleen.
Cost: $15.
Enquiries: Eltham & District Winemakers Guild by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving basics: making preserves for Christmas

What: What you will learn: how to use different preserving techniques; select and re-use suitable jars and how to sterilise them; and how to pretty up jars of preserves to make them suitable to give away. What you get: recipes all of the preserves made; tastings of preserves; preserving basics booklet, authored by Maria; jars of the preserves made on the day; and the opportunity to dress up the preserves to make them suitable for giving as gifts, including tags.
When: Wednesday, 23rd November, 10am-1pm and then again at Saturday, 10th December, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $80.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information (23rd November): Weteachme website.
Bookings / Further information (10th December): Weteachme website.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events. Click here for help on how to view the calendar effectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

Sep 142016
 

Eltham Farmers’ Market video stars competition

The farmer starring in this week's video is Peter Apted from Apted’s Orchards. Click here to watch the video and enter the competition. peter-apted
The winner of the first week’s competition (The Mushroom Shed) has now been selected (by random draw). Congratulations, Jane Glynn. jane-glynn

Another new source of free coffee grounds

Nourish Me Cafe, 131 Burnley Street, Richmond, tel: 9429 4477. Thanks, Adrian O’Hagan! Click here for the full, updated list of sources.

So, are coffee grounds actually helpful to growing veggies? Marina Bistrin thinks that the answer is “yes” and has submitted into evidence a paper evaluating a trial in Vietnam which concludes that coffee husks are a good addition to compost. In an article published by Sustainable Gardening Australia, Sarah Hardgrove agrees re compost but warns against adding uncomposted coffee to the garden.

Marina is rapidly becoming a regular contributor to this newsletter. This week, she has also reviewed a book entitled The Intelligent Gardener – Growing Nutrient Dense Food, which is particularly relevant for those with clay soils. Read her review on our website.

Rock dust

Stuart Rodda writes in: “An ‘organic’ source of many minerals, including potassium, is finely ground rock dust, particularly basalt rock. There are various suppliers of rock dust-based soil additives, such as Munash, but most of them have other additives to enhance the overall effect and are thus quite expensive (upwards of $2/Kg). If one just wants basalt rock dust, it can be bought at some local garden suppliers, but it is often quite coarse and would take a long time (decades) for the larger grit to break down in the soil and release its nutrients. Thus it is quite important that it is finely ground. I have one source of quite fine basalt rock dust and, while it is dearer (per cubic metre) than a lot of other garden soil additives, it is much cheaper than specially manufactured and packaged ‘rock dusts’. It is from Mercuri Garden and Building Supplies at 2, The Concord, Bundoora, and costs about $105 per cubic metre. This equates to around 10 cents per litre and, because it is quite dense (heavy), this is less than 5 cents per Kg, or thus a tiny fraction of the cost of packaged rock dusts. I am not sure what they would charge for small quantities but, for people like me with larger gardens who buy loose materials by the trailerload, it is a bargain.

Do you, or can you, hatch chickens?

Sherborne Primary School in Briar Hill is looking for help to hatch some chickens. They have a budget for outside assistance. If you are potentially interested, email me and I’ll put you in contact with the relevant person.

Mac McVeigh’s tip of the week

After good winter and early spring rainfall, it is now time to spread a bit of fertiliser. I prefer organic, pelletised for slow release or powder for a quicker supply of nutrients if your plants are crying out. Organic not only feeds your plants, but also your soil micro-organisms which then, in turn, help your plants.

Yes, it depends on what you are feeding. Natives may need nothing … or a light sprinkle of blood and bone. Yellowing native leaves might call for a shot of Iron chelate. For fruit trees, perhaps ample slow release pellets. Vacant veggie beds could have cow manure and/or mushroom compost/pellets dug through for future spring plantings.

A Local Baker St Andrews with some news

A Local Baker St Andrews is now a cafe as well as a bakery.

Some local food organisations in the news

Old Evropa in the 14th September edition of The Weekly Review. old-evropa
Nature’s Harvest Hurstbridge in the 7th September edition of The Weekly Review. They sell products from a number of local food producers: Hildebrand Grove (olive oil), Organic Times (chocolate) and Under The Pickle Tree (relishes, sauces and pastes). natures-harvest
Blue Pear Pantry in the September edition of The Warrandyte Diary. blue-pear-pantry

 

New events

Special information session for Victorian schools and centres with Stephanie Alexander

What: Stephanie Alexander and Foundation CEO Ange Barry will be delivering groundbreaking news on the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation’s (SAKGF’s) collaboration with the Victorian State Government, aimed at giving more schools and learning centres access to pleasurable food education. Learn about the Foundation’s new Pleasurable Food Education Package, subsidised by funding from the Victorian Department of Education and available to Victorian schools and early learning centres from mid-September. The Package is a heavily subsidised complete kitchen garden toolkit of educational resources, professional development and support that gives you all the information you need to start growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal, delicious produce, and delivering a range of health, learning and wellbeing benefits to children and communities. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether you are an early years educator, teacher, principal, school administrator, volunteer or interested family member.
When: Wednesday, 14th September, 5.30-6.30pm.
Where: Collingwood College, Collingwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: SAKGF by phone (8415 1993) or email.
Bookings / Further information: SAKGF website.

Burnley bees and Backyard Honey

What: The Friends of Burnley Gardens invite you to join them for a talk with Peter Dyer, from Backyard Honey. Go along and learn how to cultivate your own hive. Peter has developed an innovative apiary service to provide local city dwellers with the skills and equipment necessary to host bee hives and obtain pure local honey from their own backyards. Their own ‘Burnley honey’ will be for sale.
When: Wednesday, 14th September, 7.30-8.30pm.
Where: University of Melbourne, Richmond.
Cost: $15.
Enquiries/Bookings: Friends of Burnley Gardens by phone (9035 6815) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Moving feast – entree

What: Celebrating the cultural diversity in the Whittlesea community, your libraries are bringing the flavors of the world to you, with progressive cooking demonstrations and tastings. Enjoy tasty treats at Whittlesea Library at 11am and/or delicious dishes at Mill Park Library at 1.30pm.
When: Saturday, 17th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Whittlesea Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Jack Chan by phone (9437 8189) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Library website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Moving feast – main meal

What: Celebrating the cultural diversity in the Whittlesea community, your libraries are bringing the flavors of the world to you, with progressive cooking demonstrations and tastings. Enjoy tasty treats at Whittlesea Library at 11am and/or delicious dishes at Mill Park Library at 1.30pm.
When: Saturday, 17th September, 1.30-3pm.
Where: Mill Park Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Jack Chan by phone (9437 8189) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Library website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Edible weeds walk

What: What if many of the weeds in our garden were just as edible as the vegetables we tend beside them? What if some of these these free, all-too-easy-to-grow uninvited guests were so nutritionally dense that they are just about the healthiest things you could possibly eat? What if many of them also had medical traditions dating back centuries? Well it’s all true! And if you know what to choose, they also taste great. Join Adam Grubb, co-author of The Weed Forager’s Handbook, for a fascinating walk on the wild side.
When: Saturday, 24th September, 2-4pm.
Where: Merri Creek, Brunswick East.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: Very Edible Gardens website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Backyard Honey apiarists

What: Display hive, apiary information and bee nutrition plus raw unheated mutlifloral Melbourne honey and Victorian varietals honey tastings.
When: Saturday, 8th October, 10am-2pm.
Where: Bunnings, Brunswick.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Jane Dyer by phone (0425 727987) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough bread making workshop

What: This workshop will cover basic theory as well as the tactile pleasure of all the steps of making bread from milled flour. Suitable for both novices and those who want to expand their bread making repertoire. Topics covered: the essential ingredients and tools of the trade; the principal steps of bread making; and Baker’s percentage and hydration. During the workshop you will be hands on: mix, knead and fold the dough; shape loaves; score and bake; and maintain a starter.
When: Saturday, 8th October, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $45.
Enquiries: Living & Learning Nillumbik Panton Hill by phone (9433 3799) or email.
Bookings: Living & Learning website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permablitz turns ten!

What: Join them for an afternoon in the sun as they thank the founders, the designers, the former hosts, the Collective members from both then and now, those that inspired them and, of course, the volunteers that make it all possible. There will be food, drinks, music and games. And it wouldn’t be a Permablitz event if they didn’t have some workshops.
When: Sunday, 23rd October, 11am-4pm.
Where: PepperTree Place, Coburg.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Permablitz Melbourne by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Open Cellars of Nillumbik Wineries

open-cellars-1What: Visit any or all of 16 small family-owned wineries in Nillumbik, each with an individual style, where the grapes are hand-picked and hand-crushed by family and friends in the traditional style, with wines developed on site. This is a chance to sample exquisite wines from the artisan wine-makers of the western Yarra Valley, at wineries not always open to the public. You will also find excellent food to complement the wine, as well as live music and artworks from local artists at some venues. There is no entry fee, or tasting fee, at any of the venues. The 16 wineries participating in 2016 are: Buttermans Track, Diamond Valley Vineyards, Hildebrand Ridge Organic Vineyard, Kings of Kangaroo Ground, Lovegrove Vineyard & Winery, Massaros, Naked Range Wines, Nillumbik Estate, Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery, Punch – Yarra Valley, Shaws Road Winery, Stockman Wines, Swipers Gully Vineyard, Watson’s Creek Wines, Wedgetail Estate and Yarrambat Estate Vineyard.
When: Saturday, 15th October and Sunday, 16th October, both 11am-5pm.
Where: various around Nillumbik.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Tourism Association by phone (1300 660072).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to permaculture (two day)

What: Developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture (permanent agriculture) is a whole system approach to ecological planning and design for sustainable living. This workshop will be beneficial to those new to the concept of permaculture or for those thinking of undertaking a permaculture design course (PDC).
When: Saturday, 19th November and Saturday, 26th November, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $85 for the two days.
Enquiries: Edendale by phone (9433 3711) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Edendale website.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events. Click here for help in how to view the calendar effectively (e.g. how to search for events in a given suburb).

Sep 072016
 

Eltham Farmers’ Market video stars competition

hans hoffmanThe farmer starring in this week’s video is Hans Hoffman from Just Picked. Click here to watch the video and enter the competition.

New sources of free coffee grounds

Two new sources of free coffee grounds have been added to the list of local resources: Tasties Cafe, 356 High Street, Preston, tel: 9470 2260 and The Kiln Cafe, 85C Clyde Street, Thornbury, tel: 0403 089408. Call to check first then bring your own container and let staff know before helping yourself.

On a related subject, new environmental startup Reground collects coffee grounds from cafes and restaurants in Darebin at a competitive rate and delivers them free to community and home gardens. Reground also provides advice to users on getting the most out of their coffee grounds and supports community gardens to become a coffee ground distribution and education centre for local gardeners. Founder Ninna Larsen finds customers as close to businesses as possible, helping build a sense of community connection. Darebin residents and businesses can contact Reground by email to organise a collection service or free delivery.

Warrandyte food swap’s first birthday celebration

warrandyte-4I was lucky enough to be at the Warrandyte food swap on Saturday, at which they celebrated their first birthday (including yummy cake). As part of their celebration, Liz Cronin has written a brief review of the year, which you can read at the bottom of their Local Food Directory entry. As Liz says: “In 2015, two intrepid food and garden enthusiasts – Carol (Woolcock) and Tess (Gardiner) – decided that Warrandyte was the perfect location for a food swap. In September 2015, they embarked on the inaugural swap in the beautiful setting of Warrandyte’s community garden … In our first year, we have celebrated vibrant new foods and ideas, eclectic contributions from all who visit, along with the shared friendship and celebration of all things food, garden and community. Thank you to our monthly regulars, as well as to new friends; without you there is no swap and no joy!” It is a lively food swap, in a lovely location, and next to a great market – why not pay a visit?

A new community garden for East Preston

east prestonDarebin Council has joined with the Pavilion School in Sylvester Grove, Preston to create a new shared public space for the community to enjoy, grow food and connect with their neighbours. Located on the Pavilion School grounds at the corner of Dean and Gray Streets, the garden is in the final stages of construction. With a border of fruit trees, 15 raised wicking beds for vegetables and herbs, storage container and shelter, seating, composting bays and a children’s sand pit, the garden has been designed as a welcoming space to meet with friends and neighbours. A group of local residents has formed to take care of the garden, which they have named ‘Sylvester Hive’ (‘Sylvester’ is derived from the Latin for woodland and ‘Hive’ denotes a place where people meet and connect). The group meets regularly to discuss and agree on how the garden is to be managed, used, planted and harvested. Among the first orders of business is to purchase plants for the first Spring planting which will take place on Sunday 11 September from midday. All welcome (bring a plate for a potluck lunch). If you are interested in being involved with the garden, please contact Hendrik Falk at by phone (0420 353572) or email.

Sabi Buehler’s contribution for the week

Can’t decide which of the many local food events to go to? Well, Sabi Buehler thinks you should go to the Love food, hate waste workshop at Edendale on Saturday, 24th September, 1.30-3.30pm. Here is what she says: “I attended Duang Tengtrirat’s Love Food, Hate Waste workshop in Hurstbridge on 30th August and it was brilliant. Duang gave us many useful tips and suggestions on how to use most of a veggie plant as food and we had some delicious food to sample during the workshop. Some comprehensive notes and recipes to take home were a bonus and made it easier to concentrate on what was being demonstrated rather than having to take notes. Duang has a real passion for food and it is catching. I would urge anyone interested in making the most of their veggies to attend the workshop.

Jill Fleming’s contribution for the week

To any one interested in buying a bee keeping setup: consider farmer Rob at Seville Farm. He will have hives and bees ready in late spring after the pollination of the apple orchards up north. I have recently bought some things from him and am very happy with them.

Karyn Knight’s contribution for the week

Here is an interesting book, albeit American: ‘Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs and Hope on the Urban Frontier‘. Here is what someone said about it: ‘Ableman was asked to start urban farms in the toughest areas of downtown Vancouver. His book is a series of thoughtful, personal, and remarkably frank essays about how he turned vacant lots and parking lots into vegetables while engaging with the locals, coping with the city bureaucracy, dealing with landlords desperate for more parking space, and managing the hazards of trying to make this work among people beset by poverty, alcohol, and drugs. But he did make it work and this book explains how you too can do this. Street Farm is an elegant how-to manual on using farming to do real community work with populations classically hard to reach but thriving on such initiatives.’

Newsletter readers in the news

going greenLucinda and Sean Flynn in the 31st August edition of The Weekly Review.

New events

STREAT open door for gardeners

What: STREAT, a social enterprise aimed at tackling youth homelessness, wants to develop a food garden at their Cromwell site. They will then use the produce to provide food to the homeless youth. This is an open door session for gardeners who might want to donate some time, or herbs, veggies or even a dwarf fruit tree.
When: Sunday, 11th September, 10am-4pm.
Where: Collingwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Cath Lyons by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Make your idea a reality in Box Hill

What: The Neighbourhood Project is championing community projects in Box Hill. Three community-led projects that could bring Box Hill to life (gardens, festivals, etc) will receive support and resources to get off the ground between November 2016 and February 2017 in Box Hill. This event is a workshop to help choose the three projects. To get involved before the workship, add an idea or vote on others’ ideas, go to The Neighbourhood Project website.
When: Wednesday, 14th September, 6.30-8.30pm.
Where: Platform 3 cafe, Box Hill Central.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Whitehorse Council by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Weed control: know your enemy

What: Learn the secrets of weed control, from species identification to appropriate eradication measures in this tour with a Heide gardener.
When: Thursday, 15th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Heide, Bulleen.
Cost: free with Museum Pass ($18).
Enquiries: Heide Museum of Modern Art by phone (9850 1500) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Garden tour: orchard garden at the Eltham South Fine Art Gallery

What: Join the Eltham SGA POD (a gardening group) when they visit Jenni Mitchell and Mervyn Hannan’s orchard garden at the Eltham South Fine Art Gallery. The orchard garden was first established in 1948 by Arthur and Grace Mitchell to produce food and produce for their own use and their pastry shop business. Today it is maintained by Jenni and Mervyn for food, beauty and a pleasant way of life. They use the abundance of fruit and vegetables to make their conserves, cakes and relishes. It surrounds the Eltham South Fine Art Gallery and painting and drawing workshops are often held in the garden. Jenni will show you around.
When: Sunday, 18th September, 2-4pm.
Where: Eltham.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Jenni Mitchell by phone (0417 585102) or email.
Bookings: Meredith Plain by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natures zone organic truffles and chocolate

What: One of a series of workshops that teach cooking to children. Age group: 4 to 11 years. A Sibelleus Chefittles Express event. Bookings essential. The cost covers: a certificate of workshop completion, uniforms and gift packages.
When: Sunday, 2nd October, 11am-4pm.
Where: Third Place Cafe, Wollert.
Cost: $50 per child.
Enquiries/Bookings: Sibel Divaroren by phone (0406 653430) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

FareShare kitchen garden: open day

What: Includes tours of the garden, workshops and tastings. FareShare is Australia’s largest charity kitchen.
When: Saturday, 15th October, 11am-2pm.
Where: FareShare kitchen garden, Abbotsford.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

East Reservoir Community Food Sharing Festival

What: This festival is about celebrating and sharing our food and garden skills to make food fair in East Reservoir. Please bring your own home grown extra food and seedlings to share. Find out about home food growing and cooking on a budget and connect with people who have been working to make healthy, cheap food available for themselves and their neighbours. Activities include cooking demonstrations, composting & gardening workshops, and information about many local services (including food assistance services).
When: Sunday, 23rd October, 1-4pm.
Where: TW Andrews Park, Reservoir.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Sara Kitchener by phone (8470 8567).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green space health benefits

What: Tour the Heide I kitchen garden with gardener Katie Nettelbeck and learn more about the many health benefits of working outside in the garden.
When: Thursday, 27th October, 11am-midday.
Where: Heide, Bulleen.
Cost: free with Museum Pass ($18).
Enquiries: Heide Museum of Modern Art by phone (9850 1500) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Heide’s kitchen garden

What: Wander through the picturesque Heide II kitchen gardens with Heide head gardener Dugald Noyes as he discusses the various plant species on show and the evolution of the kitchen gardens at Heide.
When: Thursday, 3rd November, 11am-midday.
Where: Heide, Bulleen.
Cost: free with Museum Pass ($18).
Enquiries: Heide Museum of Modern Art by phone (9850 1500) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kildonan’s annual garden fiesta

What: The festivities will include: plant nursery with spring seedlings and local plants; market stalls; family entertainment with free kids outdoor activities; live music and storytelling; garden workshops and talks; Sit In, Knit In space – BYO knitting, crochet or stitching projects; and locally grown, organic, tasty food and handmade treats available all day.
When: Saturday, 5th November, 10am-4pm.
Where: PepperTree Place, Coburg.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Natasha van Velzen by phone (0431 494773) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
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.