Nov 302013
 

Join a vibrant food culture, growing and eating local

Covering all matters food in North East Melbourne

Whether you are a local food producer, want to eat local food, grow veggies in your garden or just want to meet like-minded folks, Local Food Connect is for you. Join now.

Eltham Farmers’ Market, a Local Food Connect initiative, is held every Sunday.

May 162018
 

News about local food producers

PoppySmack, from Warrandyte, sell Asian sauces. You can now buy their products from Farmer Joe’s Market, Eltham and FoodWorks Research as well as the 20 or so other local places listed on our website.

You might have noticed that Poppysmack get mentioned quite a lot in this newsletter. The reason is that Hanh Truong, its owner, emails me whenever she has news. If you are a local food producer (or community garden participant, or whatever), you can also get your organisation mentioned if you email me with your news.

Listen to an hour long interview with Sim Hanscamp, from Heidelberg West’s Spoke & Spade.

Every newsletter needs a good picture

Click here for some more fancy, fresh fruit salad images.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

For the second week running, the most popular link was the picture of the naked female gardeners. Furthermore, the majority of the people who clicked the link were men even though only 20% of the total newsletter readership is male!

It is not often that the same link is the most popular for two weeks in a row. Indeed, it has only happened once(!) before: two years ago when the Eltham Farmers’ Market dog gallery was being created.

Permablitz’s ‘hero of the month’ – garlic

It is the season for colds and flu so what better way to make it through than chewing down on what you grew: garlic!” Read the full article.

Read all Permablitz’s heroes.

Joke of the week

Customer: “Do you have spaghetti on the menu today?”
Waiter: “No, I cleaned it off.”

Read all the jokes.

Corrections and clarifications

Last week’s description of the Mexican spice for beginners workshop was wrong. Here is what it should have said:

Mexican spice for beginners

What: Ana and Gaby are Mexican Aussies with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in cooking Mexican dishes. This workshop will cover Mexican pickles (with or without chilies), 2 salsas and guacamole. Enjoy and learn more as part of a discussion on Mexican food culture, chilies and eating customs.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Living & Learning, Panton Hill.
Cost: $63.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

New events

Beekeeping workshop

What: If you are new to keeping bees, this information session will help answer some of the most important questions before you start.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 10-11am.
Where: Kerrimuir Neighbourhood House, Box Hill North.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: by phone (9899 7660).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fish farm walkabout at Finns

What: Take a tour of one of Manningham’s little known Aboriginal aquaculture areas on the Yarra, with local historian Jim Poulter and a local Wurundjeri man, Dale. Because Aboriginal technology was often invisible to European eyes, extensive aquaculture areas, like the ones at Finns Reserve and the Warrandyte Township, tended not to be recognised. Jim and Dale will lead a brief excursion along the riverfront at Finns, so that people will be able to see the area with new eyes and a new understanding. Hear about, and see for yourselves, this historic 200 metre long fish trap, eel trap, yabbie nursery and freshwater mussel farm area. Join Reconciliation Manningham for this event in National Reconciliation Week.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 10-11.30am.
Where: Finns Reserve, Templestowe.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beeswax wraps workshop

What: If you want to stop using plastic cling wrap, then homemade beeswax wraps are a great alternative. Use them to cover food and keep it fresh, plus they’re reusable and can easily be refreshed if the wax starts to wear.
When: Tuesday, 5th June, 1-2pm.
Where: Box Hill South Neighbourhood House.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: by phone (9898 8270) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Herb basket workshop

What: Recycle an old basket into a herb garden. All materials supplied.
When: Thursday, 7th June, 1-3pm.
Where: Box Hill South Neighbourhood House.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: by phone (9898 8270) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Open Cellars of the Artisan Hills

What: Visit any or all of the 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 participating wineries include: Buttermans Track, Easthill Estate, Giammarino Wines, Hildebrand Ridge Organic Vineyard, Kings of Kangaroo Ground, Nillumbik Estate, Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery, Punch, Shaws Road Winery, Wedgetail Estate and Yarrambat Estate Vineyard.
When: Saturday, 16th June and Sunday, 17th June, both 11am-5pm.
Where: various around Nillumbik.
Cost: purchase wine and food as you want.
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, 17th June, 11am-1pm.
Where: Merri Creek Trail.
Cost: $25 ($20 concession).
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Gut health with Lindy Cook

What: Most of us have heard about gut health and maybe know the basics … but what’s all the fuss about? Gut health is not just about digestion; how happy our belly is affects everything, from our mood, brain function, sleep and weight to our allergies and immune system. Making sure we have a thriving gut is important for health. Run by Linda Cook, this session offers practical dietary and lifestyle tips to nourish and support your gut microbiome, thus supporting good health, well being and productivity.
When: Thursday, 21st June, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Doncaster Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mouth watering sweet and savoury preserves

What: What you will learn: how to bottle fruits and vegetables for future use; how to make jams and pickles; and how to select and re-use suitable jars, and how to sterilise them. What you will get: recipes all of the preserves made; small jars of all the preserves prepared on the day; and tastings. Presented by Maria Ciavarella. Learn how to preserve fruit and veggies safely, using a variety of techniques. No preserving background is assumed as you go through techniques on how to prevent food spoilage using bottling, jam making, pickling and dehydrating. As well, there will be a hands-on component which will include making jam with frozen berries, a Middle-Eastern inspired vegetable pickle, and bottled seasonal fruit.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green at Kathleen: thrifty gardening

What: This workshop will demonstrate how you can get away with not spending a fortune on your garden by utilising things you may already have and by learning some clever techniques to save money.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 12.30-1.30pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Blogger Cat Woods explores resources around plant-based living

What: Cat Woods will discuss blogs, websites and library resources dealing with plant-based diets and health.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 2-3pm.
Where: Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit tree pruning

What: Facilitated by Justin Calverley. Learn the why, when and how of deciduous fruit tree pruning. As well as the theory around pruning, some of this workshop will be spent in the Edendale orchard where there will be hands-on pruning practice. So bring along your secateurs and wear some suitable outdoor boots, clothes and gloves.
When: Sunday, 24th June, 9am-1pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Amazake making and cooking

What: Amazake (aka ama koji) is a traditional Japaense fermented energy drink. Rich in digestive enzymes and nutrition, amazake is also a seasoning for cooking. Learn about amazake and enjoy the flavour, beauty and health benefits.
When: 2 times on Friday, 29th June, 10am-12.30pm and again at 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Winter kid’s gardening – insect hotels

What: What you will learn: how to make an ‘insect hotel’; how ‘good bugs’ can help you to look after your veggie patch and garden; and how to encourage good bugs in your garden. What you will get: your own insect hotel garden feature. Many insects actually act as ‘garden assistants’, helping to pollinate crops and control pest populations. By nurturing and encouraging these ‘good bugs’, you can make your job as a gardener that much easier and also reduce your use of pesticides and other chemical sprays. In this hands-on class, you will meet some commonly found garden bugs and learn how to make your garden more welcoming to the helpful ones. You and your child will work together to create an ‘insect hotel’ – a piece of wooden garden art that doubles as a hibernation and nesting place for beneficial insects.
When: Tuesday, 3rd July, 10-11.30am.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Bare-rooted trees

What: Hurstbridge Garden Club. Titch – Flemings on bare-rooted trees
When: Tuesday, 3rd July, 7.15-9.15pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Community Hub.
Cost: $4.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The environmental chef

What: What you will learn: about the food industry; making environmentally sustainable food choices; and how to prepare your own low-impact lunch. What you will get: lunch; and sustainable recipes. In a world full of amazing indulgent recipes and glossy cooking television programs, Ryan DeCoite, ‘the environmental chef’, will encourage participants to understand where their food comes from as well as creating awareness of what effects food industries have on the ecological environment that sustains us. Learn about the food industry with practical and interactive examples, create your own environmentally friendly lunch and take home ecologically sustainable recipes and information.
When: Wednesday, 4th July, 10am-3pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry. Continue reading »

May 092018
 

Do you know of any olive trees?

On the 16th and 17th of June, 3000acres are teaming up with Barfold Olives and the community for an olive harvesting and pressing extravaganza. There are so many olive trees in streets, backyards and gardens around Melbourne that just aren’t getting the love that they deserve – 3000acres want to change that. To make the most of this opportunity, they want to gather as many olives as possible to press into locally-produced olive oil for the community to enjoy. If you have a tree that is producing more olives than you can brine, or if you know of any olive trees in community gardens, streets, wherever, 3000 acres wants to hear from you. Contact them via either email or their online registration page. Read more on their Facebook event page.

Alphington Farmers’ Market

I went to the first of the weekly Alphington Farmers’ Markets last Sunday. Compact site. 35 stallholders. Gold coin donation. I renewed my acquaintance with Harper & Blohm’s wonderful melted raclette on steamed potatoes.

The Community Grocer Mernda

The Community Grocer Mernda have just released a video. They are a not-for-profit fresh fruit and vegetable market stall that takes place every Thursday, 9am-midday, during school terms.

The annual Feed Melbourne appeal

The annual Feed Melbourne appeal has now started. Read about it either in the picture right or on the Feed Melbourne Appeal website. There are four ways to donate:

  • Via the Feed Melbourne Appeal website.
  • By phone (9428 0044), Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, using your credit card.
  • At the checkout at Woolworths stores.
  • By cheque (Feed Melbourne Appeal, FareShare Foundation, 1-7 South Audley Street, Abbotsford, 3067).

New free range egg labelling laws

New free range egg laws have just come into effect. From now on, eggs labelled free range must come from chooks that: have regular and meaningful access to an outdoor range; are able to roam and forage on an outdoor range; and are subject to a maximum stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare. The bad news is that hens with a stocking density of 10,000 per hectare can be described as ‘free range’. The good news, however, is that the new rules require eggs labelled ‘free range’ to display the stocking density on pack, so you can easily distinguish eggs that come from hens with lots of room to move from those that don’t. Received wisdom is that you should be looking for a stocking density of 1,500 hens per hectare or less.

New kilojoule labelling laws

Dana Thomson, Health Promotion at healthAbility, has written in to say that new kilojoule labelling laws came into force at the start of May. The Department of Health and Human Services has also launched a complementary consumer education campaign entitled Kilojoules on the menu: check before you choose. Find out more by reading the picture right or by going to the Better Health website.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

It was a close run thing, but in the end the most popular link was the picture of the naked female gardeners, with the naked male gardeners relegated to second place.

Joke of the week

How much does a pirate pay for corn? A buccaneer!

Read all the jokes.

New events

Big Vegan Market

What: Shop from the huge variety of 100% vegan products, with more than 200 stalls. The stallholders will include AVS Organic Foods (Watsonia North), Billy van Creamy (Fitzroy North), Curry Favour (Hawthorn), and PoppySmack (Warrandyte).
When: Saturday, 12th May and Sunday, 13th May, both 10am-6pm.
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
Cost: $2.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food know how sustainability sessions – food gardens in small spaces

What: The average household in Australia throws away $2,000 worth of food every year. That means that one out of five bags of shopping that is purchased is never eaten. Join Karen Sutherland, from Edible Eden Design, to learn how to create a food garden in small spaces.
When: Monday, 14th May, midday-1pm.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Miso cooking

What: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae). This is a class for people who have no idea what to do with miso. You will make several miso dishes together as well as learning the benefits of having miso daily.
When: 4 times on: Friday, 18th May, and Saturday, 23rd June, each both 10am-12.30pm and 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Ramadan Iftar dinner

What: Break the fast together and learn more about Victoria’s diverse cultural and faith traditions. Buffet halal meal at sundown (vegetarian options also provided).
When: Friday, 18th May, starting 4.45pm.
Where: Heidelberg West.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

How to grow bananas in Brunswick

What: Banana grower, Siffa, will lead you into the art of growing bananas in a cold climate as you help plant out a banana orchard. Siffa has grown bananas his whole life in Tonga and, when he moved to Melbourne, he started growing them in Edinburgh Castle car park.
When: Saturday, 19th May, 10-11am.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Minimising food waste workshop

What: Learn about how to reduce your household food waste. Learn skills and ideas around menu and pantry planning, how to get the most of the food you purchase, and what to do with leftovers and kitchen scraps. Facilitated by Lisa Moore.
When: Saturday, 19th May, 10am-midday.
Where: Murundaka, Heidelberg Heights.
Cost: $5.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Miso paste making

What: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae). You will make your own miso paste using all Australian organic ingredients and following traditional Japanese methods. It will be a fun, hands-on workshop which even kids can enjoy. You will take home around 1kg of miso to ferment.
When: 8 times on: Saturday, 19th May, Saturday, 26th May, Friday, 15th June, and Saturday, 16th June, each both 10am-12.30pm and 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Nuka duke – rice bran pickling

What: Nuka duke is a famous Japanese fermented pickling using rice bran. In this workshop, you will make your own Nuka bedding so that you can keep pickling at home (for years and years!) and share the knowledge how to maintain it.
When: 4 times on: Sunday, 20th May and Friday, 22nd June, each both 10am-midday and 2-4pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Shio koji making and cooking

What: Shio koji is a Japanese fermented seasoning made with rice koji (cooked rice that has been inoculated with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae). It is called ‘miracle seasoning’. You will make your own shio koji and also prepare some more to ferment at home. You will also cook some dishes using shio koji.
When: 4 times on: Friday, 25th May and Saturday, 30th June, each both 10am-12.30pm and 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Composting 101 with Audrey

What: Audrey will be delving deep into the world of compost, looking at how we can use our kitchen and garden waste and other easily found organic materials to make hot compost that kills weed seeds and can transform a pile of ‘waste’ into nutrient-rich compost thriving with biological life to enrich our soils, in as little as a month. By balancing your materials just right, you can encourage the fast decomposition of our wastes and provide the best possible habitat for the microbes that make all the magic happen. During the workshop, you will be making a hot compost pile from scratch while discussing the theory and practice behind different composting methods.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 10-11am.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mexican spice for beginners

What: Ana and Gaby are Mexican Aussies with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in cooking Mexican dishes. This workshop will cover Mexican pickles (with or without chilies), 2 salsas and guacamole. Enjoy and learn more as part of a discussion on Mexican food culture, chilies and eating customs.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Living & Learning, Panton Hill.
Cost: $63.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Lygon Street Community Garden open garden

What: 10-11am: gardening, watering, get your gardening questions answered by Morgan from 3000acres. 11am-midday: Winter veggie education session- Morgan will talk through what plants grow in the cold, common problems and pests, perennials vs annuals, etc. Midday-1pm: Induction for new garden members.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 10am-1pm.
Where: Lygon Street Community Garden, Brunswick East.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Melbourne Italian Wine & Food Festival

What: Journey through Italy with 200 wines to taste, meet winemakers and importers, or attend an Italian wine masterclass. Feast on pizza, pasta and Italian snacks, while Melbourne’s top Italian chefs share their joy for cooking on the main stage. Taste your way through the Italian market, sip on an Italian cocktail from the Negroni Bar and relax in the festival wine gardens. The festival is all about celebrating wine, food and culture together in Italian style.
When: Sunday, 27th May, 10am-6.30pm.
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
Cost: various.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: Indian dhal soup; Moroccan chicken; and banana & coconut tart.
When: Thursday, 31st May, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Winter fruit tree maintenance

What: What you will learn: pruning – formative and maintenance of new and established fruit trees; selection and planting of new fruit trees; winter fruit tree maintenance practices for pest and disease prevention, control and treatment; and pruning tool maintenance. Presented by Angelo Eliades. The aim of this demonstration class is that you will leave it feeling confident to maintain your fruit trees. Learn all of the pruning techniques and needs of individual fruit trees from apples and plums to persimmons and pomegranates. And hear about what not to do. Discover how to reduce and prevent pest and diseases that compromise your fruit production. Learn how to treat problems with different methods – organic/permaculture and conventional. They will also cover buying new fruit trees and will demonstrate how to clean and sharpen your pruning tools and other edged garden tools (spades etc). You have the option to bring one of your own pruning tools along and learn how to sharpen it.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Thermomix cooking master class

What: Whether you have a Thermomix or not, this class is full of recipe ideas and meals to indulge in. Join them for an evening of demonstrations using a Thermomix to make the following: lassi; coriander & chilli chutney; garam masala; tandoori paste; dhal; durban naan; creamy coconut chicken curry with cauliflower rice; indian pilau rice; and mango & turmeric sorbet with scoop of coconut ice cream.
When: Thursday, 7th June, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

DIY water-wise wicking beds

What: Wicking beds are a ‘fail safe’, low maintenance, water saving garden bed. Not only practical and sustainable, they can be used as a great teaching and learning tool. Join Richard Rowe from Worm Lovers for this practical workshop where you will help set up and plant a wicking bed in front of the Camberwell Library. Learn all about wicking beds, how they work, the best materials to use and how to make your own.
When: Sunday, 9th June, 10am-midday.
Where: Camberwell Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food know how sustainability sessions – Winter warming soups

What: The average household in Australia throws away $2,000 worth of food every year. That means that one out of five bags of shopping that is purchased is never eaten. Join Gaby and Jen from Plan Buy Cook to learn how to make tasty winter warming soups that won’t break the budget or produce food waste.
When: Monday, 18th June, midday-1pm.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Backyard chickens

What: Always wanted to have your own chickens for pets or to enjoy your own fresh eggs? Join Maria McCarter from Sunset Valley Chicks and learn all about how to keep chicks in your very own backyard.
When: Tuesday, 19th June, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Authentic Indian cooking

What: Each region of India has its own style of cooking and distinct flavours: the north is known for its tandoori and korma dishes; the south is famous for hot and spicy foods; the east specialises in chilli curries; the west uses coconut and seafood; and the central part of india is a blend of all. Join cook, Anitha, as she blends spices and ingredients to prepare authentic Indian dishes.
When: Tuesday, 19th June, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Hawthorn Community House.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry. Continue reading »

May 022018
 

Judy interviews Ian Hemming, President of Diamond Valley FoodShare

Most of you won’t know Ian but, in my view, he is one of the most important food people in North East Melbourne because he shows what is possible. Each year, the Diamond Valley FoodShare, of which Ian is President, gives away around 70,000 meals to Banyule residents, with most of the food being collected from the two major Melbourne-wide food relief organisations, namely Foodbank and SecondBite.

Judy Vizzari has visited the FoodShare and interviewed Ian. Here is how she starts her writeup: Every Monday to Friday between 1pm and 3pm, Diamond Valley FoodShare is providing Banyule residents in need of emergency assistance with free food. We are all enriched by their work. Guy Palmer and I are visiting Ian Hemming, the FoodShare’s President – Guy to gather information for their listing in the Local Food Directory and me on a mission to find out more about the organisation, of which I know only a little. We arrive at the Council-owned Senior Citizens’ Complex in Greensborough War Memorial Park and are welcomed by Ian, who leads us into a room which has been allocated to the FoodShare. It’s a large room featuring a wide bench down its length, walls lined with fridges, a freezer, many labelled drawers, and cupboards which fill every available space – even below the benchtop. The room is bright and well organised and has a sense of military precision – Ian’s influence? Whilst Guy busies himself taking photos of the copious stock of neatly stored fresh and packaged foods, I notice an array of Community Award certificates displayed on a large noticeboard. I’m curious for details – who are the ‘volunteers, where does the food come from, how is it distributed and who is judged to be eligible to receive it? I ask Ian, who enthusiastically recounts the story.” Read the full interview.

I plan to visit SecondBite’s headquarters in Heidelberg West to have a look round. If you would like to come with me, email me.

News about local food producers

Lachlan, the marmaladier at J.B. Shackleton’s, a local marmalade maker from Wonga Park, won a gold medal for Australia in the 2018 World’s Original Marmalade Competition in the UK! Their winning marmalade was ‘Luxury Lime Marmalade’. Their commendation said “A remarkable preserve where the punch and brilliance of lime was upfront and proud. You could imagine eating it well beyond the confines of the breakfast table and imagine it favouring evening from desserts to evening cocktails.” In addition, they won silver medals for their Tahiti Lime and Sweet Orange marmalades, and bronze medals for some of their other marmalades.

Read about Lachlan’s previous wins on our website. Read J.B. Shackleton’s Local Food Directory entry. I have tasted quite a lot of their marmalades and they really are yummy. If you would like to contact Lachlan, you can email him.

Reader contributions

A WEEly good idea

Greta Gillies has written in: “Urine can be used to fertilise food crops in a number of ways. At it simplest, it can be added undiluted to the base of fruit trees. The Veganic Agriculture Network has a sensible and comprehensive article on the uses of urine in the garden.

Kinglake Produce and Artisan Market

Justin Bumpstead has written in: “You might be interested in the Kinglake Produce and Artisan Market. It runs every 4th Sunday of the month, 10am-2pm, at Ellimatta Youth Space, 94 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, Kinglake. We’re always looking for new producers to offer their produce for sale too.“. Justin is the owner of Bumpstead Family Apiaries, who are based in Kinglake. They have a stall at the market.

It would be good if there were more reader contributions to this newsletter. If you have something that you think others might be interested in, or you just want to see your name in lights, email me.

Are you ready for World Naked Gardening Day?

World Naked Gardening Day is on next Saturday (5th May). Here are a couple of gender-themed pictures from one of our local community gardens from last year. A special prize to anyone who can identify the garden!
    

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Mary and Robert Stringer’s garden.

Joke of the week

Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny.

Read all the jokes.

New events – Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival

The Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival is taking place from Saturday, 26th May to Sunday, 3rd June. Each of the events is discussed below, with clickable links to book your place. Click here to view/download a brochure of the full program.

Homemade marketplace

What: This market will feature local craft beer brewers, wine and spirits hand selected by Thornbury’s Carwyn Cellars, a carefully selected range of locally made food and produce, information stalls, coffee and music.
When: Saturday, 26th May, midday-4pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Thai street food

What: Cassie Pitman, from Melbourne food truck Pok & Kok, is passionate about traditional Issan (north eastern) Thai street food. She will demonstrate phad kee mao (drunken noodles) – a staple of street food stalls in Thailand. She will also take you through one of Thailand’s most famous dishes – som tam thai, or green papaya salad.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 12.20-1.20pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Darebin Bake Off

What: Are you Darebin’s best baker? Enter your home-baked sponge cakes, slices, biscuits and scones to find out. Entries will be judged by Noela McLeod and Laurell Cockerell from the Country Women’s Association.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 1-2pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Meet the makers

What: Go along and celebrate Darebin’s local home wine makers. Sample wine from entrants in the wine competition and vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 1-4pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Salami demonstration

What: Learn the art of making your own homemade salami. This demonstration will cover mincing, mixing, filling and (most importantly) curing. Ask Home Make It’s master maker anything. Includes tastings.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 1.15-2.15pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Spätzle workshop

What: Angela Pradel’s parents migrated from the Tyrol region in the Italian Dolomites, close to the Austrian border, in 1961. She loves cooking traditional dishes for her family. Spätzle (‘primi piatti’) is a favourite. Angela will show you how to make spätzle with spinach. Once cooked, the spätzle will be tossed in a creamy sauce either made with speck and panna or burnt butter and sage.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 2.15-3.15pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Raspberry winemaking demonstration

What: Gary Campanella, Danny Cappellani and Mario Fantin from Eltham and District Winemakers Guild will introduce the basics of fermentation and demonstrate the steps to make raspberry wine with a tried-and-true recipe.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 3-4pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Gardening throughout the year and chilli pickling

What: The multicultural and intercultural group at Sylvester Hive are all about socialising, gardening, sharing food, food growing and preserving traditions. Enjoy a tour of the community garden, a talk exploring what they plant throughout the year, and a chilli pickling workshop. A lunch using fresh produce straight from the garden will be provided.
When: Sunday, 27th May, midday-3pm.
Where: Sylvester Hive Community Garden, Preston.
Cost: gold coin donation.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mushrooms are our future!

What: Ryan Creed and Julian Mitchell co-founded Life Cykel in 2015 after discovering how to grow gourmet mushrooms from waste coffee grounds. They now have 5 mushroom farms across the country promoting a circular economy in food production. Ryan will cover the mushroom production process, varieties, uses of mushrooms, and tips for growing mushrooms at home. The session will also include tasting samples and an opportunity to purchase Life Cykel home mushroom kits and products.
When: Sunday, 27th May, 2-3.30pm.
Where: Darebin Intercultural Centre, Preston.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Pizzaly woodfired pizza demonstration and tasting

What: Ever wanted to learn how to make your own classic pizza from start to finish? Join Pizzaly for a fun Italian afternoon learning techniques you can put into practice at home. Try your hand at topping and cooking your own pizza in a traditional wood fired pizza oven.
When: Sunday, 27th May, 3.30-5.30pm and again on Sunday, 3rd June, 3.30-5.30pm.
Where: Pizzaly, Preston.
Cost: $39.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Tibetan momo making

What: Learn the art of Tibetan momo making with Fiona and Samdup. Samdup grew up in Amdo, Tibet and will share a traditional family recipe handed down with love for generations. Using fresh organic ingredients, Samdup will teach participants how to make the dough, the fillings and demonstrate a variety of ways to cook these delicious dumplings. Kids welcome.
When: Sunday, 27th May, 4-5.30pm.
Where: Northern Soul Café, Thornbury.
Cost: $44.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

A vegan Mexican feast with Juanita

What: Popular for her monthly taco nights, Juanita from Juanita’s Kitchen will teach you how to make (and eat!) a Mexican meal, including perfect tortillas from scratch. Plus tips and ideas for creating quick and easy dips and salsas, recipes and a goodie bag to take home.
When: Sunday, 27th May, 4.45-6.30pm.
Where: Juanita’s Kitchen, Preston.
Cost: $63.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kimchi mania

What: Lentil as Anything’s catering chef Chase will show you how to make kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish made of fermented cabbage. A kimchi themed dinner is included. Notes and recipes will be provided. Bring a large jar.
When: Monday, 28th May, 6-9pm.
Where: Lentil as Anything, Thornbury.
Cost: $39.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to homemade winemaking

What: Stephan Logoida will guide you through the whole process of home winemaking, covering all the most important moments of the winemaking process including selecting good quality grapes, fermenting and maturity.
When: Tuesday, 29th May, 6-7pm.
Where: Home Make It, Reservoir.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Yoko Nakazawa – Zen cooking

What: Explore the beauty of traditional Japanese cooking. Yoko Nakazawa, from Cooking with Koji, will show you how she uses the suribachi, an ancient Japanese cooking tool, in her meditative approach that uses all five senses and has an emphasis on being in the moment. Learn to make miso soup and seasonal vegetables with sesame miso sauce from scratch. Yoko will also demonstrate nukazuke, a pickling technique that uses rice bran. Vegan and gluten-free.
When: Tuesday, 29th May, 6.30-8pm.
Where: Melbourne Polytechnic, Preston.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Pulp fiction – what to do with leftover pulp?

What: Do you make your own nut milk or juices? Ever wondered what you can do with your left over pulp? Join Yoko Inoue, owner of raw food cafe Shoku Iku for this workshop which will cover a simple nut milk recipe and creative ways to use leftover pulp such as croquettes, chocolate cake, granola crackers and almond pulp cheese. A raw vegan workshop.
When: Tuesday, 29th May, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Shoku Iku, Northcote.
Cost: $84.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to homebrewing

What: Dean Smith will guide you through a simple home brew. He will demystify the process and talk about the many ways that you can produce your own beer at home. The workshop will cover the basic processes, ingredients and the hardware needed.
When: Wednesday, 30th May, 6-7pm.
Where: Home Make It, Reservoir.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kaye Roberts-Palmer – save our citrus

What: Kaye Roberts-Palmer, the founder of Save Our Citrus Melbourne, will show you how to take care of your citrus trees including basic botany, tackling the citrus gall wasp and other pests, pruning, watering and fertilising.
When: Wednesday, 30th May, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Darebin Intercultural Centre, Preston.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Modern Scottish masterclass

What: Head Chef and owner of Wee Man’s Kitchen, Chris Orr, will take you through a crash course on traditional Scottish cooking. The ticket includes a three course meal.
When: Wednesday, 30th May, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Tallboy & Moose, Preston.
Cost: $93.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Paul West – whole cookery

What: Paul West is a Thornbury-based cook and food grower best known as host of River Cottage Australia (SBS, Lifestyle Channel). At this demonstration and tasting, Paul will explore nose-to-tail and root-to-stem cookery. Learn how to create dishes and minimise waste using offal and other underutilised cuts of meat and by using all parts of the vegetables that you buy or grow.
When: Thursday, 31st May, 6.30-8pm.
Where: Melbourne Polytechnic, Preston.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Tasting traditional beer styles brewed local

What: Tour the Tallboy & Moose brewhouse before settling in to enjoy a curated tasting paddle of locally-produced beer styles. You will learn about beer history, how beer was traditionally, and how it is made today. You will also explore how beer styles and flavour have changed as a result.
When: Friday, 1st June, 6-6.45pm, again at 7-7.45pm, and again at 8-8.45pm.
Where: Tallboy & Moose, Preston.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

RetroSuburbia – Aussie Street with David Holmgren

What: David Holmgren’s new book, Retrosuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future elevates the importance of household food growing into an empowering vision for the future of Australian suburbs. It uses permaculture thinking to create home-based solutions by retrofitting our homes, gardens and behaviours. This event will see David in conversation with Darebin permaculture designer Kat Lavers – bringing his ideas to life.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 10-11.30am.
Where: Reservoir Community and Learning Centre.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Olive preserving mediterranean style

What: Jessica Ridout (winner of the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival’s 2015 best preserved olives) and Martin O’Callaghan (from Darebin Fruit Squad) will show you how easy it is to preserve your home-grown olives. You will also take home a jar of preserved olives that you make on the day.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 2-4pm.
Where: Darebin Intercultural Centre, Preston.
Cost: $34.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The art of vegan momos

What: Join Dechen as she shows you how to make traditional Tibetan momos and spicy sauces at this hands on vegan workshop. Afterwards, sit down together and enjoy all-you-can-eat momos.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 3-6pm.
Where: Lentil as Anything, Thornbury.
Cost: $44.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Alphington Farmers’ Market tour and cooking demonstration

What: Take a guided tour through the Alphington Farmers’ Market. Along the way, you will collect seasonal Victorian produce to use in the Love Food Hate Waste cooking demonstration to follow. Learn how to shop waste free and make the most of your winter produce through storing tips and tricks, recipe ideas and creative ways to prevent food waste. Includes a tasting and ‘boomerang’ reusable market bag to take home.
When: Sunday, 3rd June, 10-11.30am.
Where: Melbourne Innovation Centre, Alphington.
Cost: $54.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Plummery – garden tour and tasting

What: Kat Lavers’ small-scale permaculture house and food garden, The Plummery, is featured in David Holmgren’s new book RetroSuburbia. In this tour, Kat will demonstrate how almost all the veggies, herbs, fruit and eggs consumed by the household are produced on a 280m2 block. She will also show how she recycles all organic waste, captures water and generates a large proportion of the household’s power on site. Includes produce tastings and a handout on growing winter veggies.
When: Sunday, 3rd June, 10-11.30am.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: $14.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Flavours and Stories from Iran, Iraq and Syria

What: Enjoy a sizzling Persian BBQ, a diverse range of Middle Eastern mezze, and an array of authentic Iraqi dishes. Listen to live traditional music and learn about the rich and colourful cultures of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Free to Feed’s chefs will also share stories of their individual journeys to Australia.
When: Sunday, 3rd June, 4-8pm.
Where: Free to Feed HQ, Thornbury.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Market on Kulin Nation (indigenous market)

What: Market on Kulin Nation is all about bringing the community together and celebrating what’s great about Indigenous culture through food, art and music. This free event will feature food stalls, art stalls and live entertainment as well as a cooking demonstration by Chef Zach Green over an open fire. Attendees can purchase food tokens to indulge in the food that will be available for sale.
When: Sunday, 3rd June, 4-8pm.
Where: Darebin Arts Centre, Preston.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry. Continue reading »