Harvest Month (March)

 

March is Harvest Month in Nillumbik and Banyule. March is a great time to celebrate our local food culture, with an abundance of produce being harvested and generally good weather. The activities during the month are diverse, ranging from talks on food growing and processing, through open veggie gardens, to opportunities to connect with your local farmers. (And even the chance to do some grape stomping!) There is something for everyone who values the opportunity to eat local, fresh and healthy food.

Click here to view or download a flyer of the month’s activities (in pdf format).

Click on any of the events in the calendar below for more details about that event, including how to book.

Mar
4
Sat
Diamond Creek Food Swap @ Diamond Creek East Primary School
Mar 4 @ 10:00 – 11:30
Carome Homestead Produce Swap @ Community Garden at Carome Homestead
Mar 4 @ 10:30 – 12:00

Bring your excess garden produce along and swap for other wonderful produce. A great way to meet others with similar garden interests. Great meals, coffee and cakes next door at Two Beans and a Farm.

Also, contact them to register your interest in leasing a plot at the community garden.

Mar
5
Sun
Hurstbridge Farmers’ Market @ Hurstbridge Farmers Market
Mar 5 @ 08:30 – 13:00

Entry is $2 and all proceeds go to the CFA, the market’s community partner.

Stallholder enquiries: 0414 703186
General enquiries: 9433 3315

Robin and Paul’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 10:00 – 11:00

This tour will take place three times, at 10am, 11.30am and 1pm.

Robin and Paul’s garden is a highly productive back and front yard fruit, berry and vegetable garden designed on permaculture principles. It features raised bed, wicking beds, chooks running in the orchard, a 3 bay compost system and a mudbrick potting shed.

Well-behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Montmorency Food Swap @ Were Street Food Store
Mar 5 @ 10:30 – 11:30

From April to September, the Monty Food Swap is held at Montmorency Primary School. From October to March, it is held near the Were Street Food Store.

In all the months except January, the swap is held on the first Sunday of the month. In January, it is held on the second Sunday.

Guy and Susan’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place twice, at 11am and again at 1pm.

Guy and Susan bought their property in 2012, with the garden being their main reason for choosing it. Their first move was to turn the tennis court into a veggie patch: a regular and flat area, with no trees, and easily irrigated. The veggie patch now comprises 24 raised beds. 9 of these are in crop rotations (a 5-year rotation of legumes-brassicas-roots-cucurbits-solanums and a 4-year rotation which excludes brassicas). 3 are for perennials (asparagus, globe artichoke and rhubarb), 3 are for herbs, 2 are for things that Guy wants to grow that Susan doesn’t(!), and the final 2 are overflows/spares.

Fruit trees are planted throughout the 1¼ acre garden, some in a purpose-built set of terraces. There are currently 47 fruit trees, 34 berries, and 11 vines. Collectively they cover most of the types of fruit that are commonly grown in Melbourne. All the veggies and fruit are irrigated, mostly from tanks.

Other points of potential interest:

  • 15 different species of eucalypt.
  • A battery-based solar system which means they are effectively off grid for 8 months of the year.
  • Various artwork, mostly by local artists.
  • A fox-proof chook house and run.

This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit to this interesting and well laid out garden.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Stuart’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place twice, at 11am and again at midday.

Stuart’s garden is the result of 35 years of planting and soil improvement to grow fruit and vegetables for his own family’s use in a setting of trees and grassland on about 1 acre. The land was an orchard before subdivision so the soil had already been worked to some extent. Stuart started with permaculture ideas but up until he retired he didn’t have a lot of time to devote to the garden, so he is still trying out ideas and learning about things like companion planting and soil improvement (so essential in Eltham). He doesn’t like to use a lot of town water so he is trying to deepen the soil and use tanks, mulching and making water-holding amendments to make the most of rainfall and the little tap water he does use. He doesn’t use sprays or chemical fertilisers (any more) so, to boost fertility, he recycles, and brings in manures, lignite (brown coal), wood shavings, stone dust and, most recently, coffee grounds. He also plants green manure crops in autumn. When something does succeed, he usually ends up with surplus which is then preserved for his own use. Any further excess is distributed to family, friends, the localfood swap and through RipeNearMe, or it is given to people from whom he gets manures etc. His selection of fruit and vegetables is designed to maximise the harvesting season and provide many varieties.

Well behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Robin and Paul’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 11:30 – 12:30

This tour will take place three times, at 10am, 11.30am and 1pm.

Robin and Paul’s garden is a highly productive back and front yard fruit, berry and vegetable garden designed on permaculture principles. It features raised bed, wicking beds, chooks running in the orchard, a 3 bay compost system and a mudbrick potting shed.

Well-behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Stuart’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 12:00 – 13:00

This tour will take place twice, at 11am and again at midday.

Stuart’s garden is the result of 35 years of planting and soil improvement to grow fruit and vegetables for his own family’s use in a setting of trees and grassland on about 1 acre. The land was an orchard before subdivision so the soil had already been worked to some extent. Stuart started with permaculture ideas but up until he retired he didn’t have a lot of time to devote to the garden, so he is still trying out ideas and learning about things like companion planting and soil improvement (so essential in Eltham). He doesn’t like to use a lot of town water so he is trying to deepen the soil and use tanks, mulching and making water-holding amendments to make the most of rainfall and the little tap water he does use. He doesn’t use sprays or chemical fertilisers (any more) so, to boost fertility, he recycles, and brings in manures, lignite (brown coal), wood shavings, stone dust and, most recently, coffee grounds. He also plants green manure crops in autumn. When something does succeed, he usually ends up with surplus which is then preserved for his own use. Any further excess is distributed to family, friends, the local food swap and through RipeNearMe, or it is given to people from whom he gets manures etc. His selection of fruit and vegetables is designed to maximise the harvesting season and provide many varieties.

Well behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Guy and Susan’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 13:00 – 14:00

This tour will take place twice, at 11am and again at 1pm.

Guy and Susan bought their property in 2012, with the garden being their main reason for choosing it. Their first move was to turn the tennis court into a veggie patch: a regular and flat area, with no trees, and easily irrigated. The veggie patch now comprises 24 raised beds. 9 of these are in crop rotations (a 5-year rotation of legumes-brassicas-roots-cucurbits-solanums and a 4-year rotation which excludes brassicas). 3 are for perennials (asparagus, globe artichoke and rhubarb), 3 are for herbs, 2 are for things that Guy wants to grow that Susan doesn’t(!), and the final 2 are overflows/spares.

Fruit trees are planted throughout the 1¼ acre garden, some in a purpose-built set of terraces. There are currently 47 fruit trees, 34 berries, and 11 vines. Collectively they cover most of the types of fruit that are commonly grown in Melbourne. All the veggies and fruit are irrigated, mostly from tanks.

Other points of potential interest:

  • 15 different species of eucalypt.
  • A battery-based solar system which means they are effectively off grid for 8 months of the year.
  • Various artwork, mostly by local artists.
  • A fox-proof chook house and run.

This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit to this interesting and well laid out garden.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Robin and Paul’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 5 @ 13:00 – 14:00

This tour will take place three times, at 10am, 11.30am and 1pm.

Robin and Paul’s garden is a highly productive back and front yard fruit, berry and vegetable garden designed on permaculture principles. It features raised bed, wicking beds, chooks running in the orchard, a 3 bay compost system and a mudbrick potting shed.

Well-behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Mar
7
Tue
Cooking club @ Whittlesea Library
Mar 7 @ 10:30 – 11:30

Share recipes and conversation.

The theme for the February meeting is salads and that for the March meeting is desserts.

Mar
11
Sat
Greensborough Food Swap @ Diamond Valley Library - food garden
Mar 11 @ 10:00 – 11:00

Contact either of the co-organisers: Glenn Mansfield by phone (0488 192198) or email or Margot Meredith by phone (0415 926642) or email.

Mar
12
Sun
Eltham Farmers’ Market @ Eltham Mall
Mar 12 @ 09:00 – 13:00
Mar
14
Tue
Success with a dehydrator @ Diamond Valley Library
Mar 14 @ 19:00 – 20:00

This workshop will take place three times: on 14th March at 7pm at Diamond Valley Library; on 16th March at 10.30am at Eltham Library; and on 23rd March at 11am at Watsonia Library.

Learn the basics of how to dehydrate foods easily and safely without preservatives. Bountiful summer crops of fruit and vegetables can be home-dried for use all year and to provide healthy snacks for the family.

No need to book but you can view the listing on EventBrite.

Mar
16
Thu
Success with a dehydrator @ Eltham Library
Mar 16 @ 10:30 – 11:30

This workshop will take place three times: on 14th March at 7pm at Diamond Valley Library; on 16th March at 10.30am at Eltham Library; and on 23rd March at 11am at Watsonia Library.

Learn the basics of how to dehydrate foods easily and safely without preservatives. Bountiful summer crops of fruit and vegetables can be home-dried for use all year and to provide healthy snacks for the family.

No need to book but you can view the listing on EventBrite.

Mar
18
Sat
Macleod Veggie Swap @ Rotunda in Macleod Park
Mar 18 @ 11:00 – 12:00

For the latest updates, see their facebook page.

Macleod Organic Community Garden tour @ Macleod Organic Community Garden
Mar 18 @ 14:00 – 15:00

This tour will take place twice, at 2pm and again at 3pm.

Macleod Organic Community Garden was established in 2015, making productive use of two disused tennis courts at Macleod College. It is gardened communally by members of Sustainable Macleod. It is a water conservation garden with an emphasis on water efficiency and (eventually) self-sufficiency. There are a numerous garden areas including 8 wicking beds, a citrus orchard, a ston fruit and apple orchard and an orchard of miscellaneous fruit trees plus kiwifruit and passionfruit trellises. There is also an extensive bank of crate tanks, a 6 bay compost system and a 7 metre polytunnel.

Macleod Organic Community Garden tour @ Macleod Organic Community Garden
Mar 18 @ 15:00 – 16:00

This tour will take place twice, at 2pm and again at 3pm.

Macleod Organic Community Garden was established in 2015, making productive use of two disused tennis courts at Macleod College. It is gardened communally by members of Sustainable Macleod. It is a water conservation garden with an emphasis on water efficiency and (eventually) self-sufficiency. There are a numerous garden areas including 8 wicking beds, a citrus orchard, a ston fruit and apple orchard and an orchard of miscellaneous fruit trees plus kiwifruit and passionfruit trellises. There is also an extensive bank of crate tanks, a 6 bay compost system and a 7 metre polytunnel.

Mar
19
Sun
Duang and Rob’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 19 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Situated on an 18-acre bush block, Duang and Rob compost horse manure for their garden soil and use only rainwater from the dam to irrigate their productive garden. The compost heap is about 150 metres from the vegetable garden on the tennis court, while the dam is about 100 metres away. There are around 40 fruit trees and 40 apple crates containing a large variety of seasonal vegetables. The produce supports Real Food Catering, with any surplus going to a local cafe.

Please wear toe covered footwear and a hat. This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit to this interesting and well laid out garden.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Monsalvat garden tour @ Monsalvat
Mar 19 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Enjoy a guided tour of this extensive and productive garden including the orchard, lower garden and nursery areas.

Note that, while there is no charge for the tour, Montsalvat will charge an entrance fee of $10 ($8 concession)

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Duang and Rob’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 19 @ 12:30 – 13:30

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Situated on an 18-acre bush block, Duang and Rob compost horse manure for their garden soil and use only rainwater from the dam to irrigate their productive garden. The compost heap is about 150 metres from the vegetable garden on the tennis court, while the dam is about 100 metres away. There are around 40 fruit trees and 40 apple crates containing a large variety of seasonal vegetables. The produce supports Real Food Catering, with any surplus going to a local cafe.

Please wear toe covered footwear and a hat. This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit to this interesting and well laid out garden.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Monsalvat garden tour @ Monsalvat
Mar 19 @ 12:30 – 13:30

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Enjoy a guided tour of this extensive and productive garden including the orchard, lower garden and nursery areas.

Note that, while there is no charge for the tour, Montsalvat will charge an entrance fee of $10 ($8 concession)

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Duang and Rob’s garden @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 19 @ 14:00 – 15:00

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Situated on an 18-acre bush block, Duang and Rob compost horse manure for their garden soil and use only rainwater from the dam to irrigate their productive garden. The compost heap is about 150 metres from the vegetable garden on the tennis court, while the dam is about 100 metres away. There are around 40 fruit trees and 40 apple crates containing a large variety of seasonal vegetables. The produce supports Real Food Catering, with any surplus going to a local cafe.

Please wear toe covered footwear and a hat. This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit to this interesting and well laid out garden.

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Monsalvat garden tour @ Monsalvat
Mar 19 @ 14:00 – 15:00

This tour will take place three times, at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Enjoy a guided tour of this extensive and productive garden including the orchard, lower garden and nursery areas.

Note that, while there is no charge for the tour, Montsalvat will charge an entrance fee of $10 ($8 concession)

This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Mar
20
Mon
Beales Road Farm @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 20 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place twice, on 20th and 27th of March, both at 11am.

Beales Road Farm is a privately operated community food system conducted under a landshare arrangement. They grow a range of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs that are sold via a basket scheme at a local office and via farmgate sales.

This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit.

Book via email.

Mar
21
Tue
Growing garlic @ Eltham Library
Mar 21 @ 19:00 – 20:00

Learn how to successfully grow your own big, juicy organic garlic with this talk from Helen Simpson, local horticulturist.

No need to book but you can view the listing on EventBrite.

Mar
23
Thu
Success with a dehydrator @ Watsonia Library
Mar 23 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This workshop will take place three times: on 14th March at 7pm at Diamond Valley Library; on 16th March at 10.30am at Eltham Library; and on 23rd March at 11am at Watsonia Library.

Learn the basics of how to dehydrate foods easily and safely without preservatives. Bountiful summer crops of fruit and vegetables can be home-dried for use all year and to provide healthy snacks for the family.

No need to book but you can view the listing on EventBrite.

Just Eat It (film) @ Edendale
Mar 23 @ 18:30 – 20:00

We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?

Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant, dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that have been discarded.

Mar
26
Sun
Eltham Farmers’ Market @ Eltham Mall
Mar 26 @ 09:00 – 13:00
Eltham Food Swap @ Car park, top of the Eltham Town Mall
Mar 26 @ 10:00 – 11:00

The Eltham Food Swap has moved from Edendale and is now at the Eltham Farmers’ Market.

Look for the large white ‘Local Food Connect’ marquee at the Farmers’ Market. Come along with your homegrown fruit and veggies, favourite seasonal recipes, spare jam jars, homemade labelled preserves, etc, and share and network with other local backyard growers.

Thrive Community Garden open day @ Thrive Community Garden
Mar 26 @ 10:00 – 15:00

Thrive community garden is situated on disused flat land quite close to the Diamond Creek. The first planting of fruit trees was in winter 2015 and other beds of berries, seasonal vegetables and a native area have followed.

The community working in the garden consists of a dedicated group of keen gardeners, environmentalists and community minded people who want to see Diamond Creek respond to a changing world and thrive in it. They have been working to create a communal space producing fruit, vegetables and gardens for people to enjoy. In addition, a core goal of the garden is to provide an opportunity for people to meet and discuss something they love, namely gardening.

Please park across the road (on the eastern side). There is also additional parking at the netball courts.

No need to book – just turn up when you want.

This is 1 of 4 associated events on the same day, the other 3 being:

Chute Street planter boxes open day
Mar 26 @ 13:00 – 14:00

Take a walk along Chute Street and see how their 9 wicking beds are surviving the summer. These wicking beds were established in 2014 by the Diamond Creek Traders with support from Nillumbik Shire Council, the NICE fund, Local Food Connect and Thrive Community Garden. The aim is for the community of Diamond Creek to be able to grow, pick, share and eat fresh, locally grown herbs, vegetables and small fruits from the boxes as well as to add some colour to the otherwise urban looking street scape.

The beds are looked after in a sustainable manner by a small group of volunteers (with occasional assistance from the students at Diamond Creek Primary School) utilising permaculture principles where possible.

No need to book – just turn up when you want.

This is 1 of 4 associated events on the same day, the other 3 being:

Creating and maintaining a wicking bed @ Degani Cafe Function Room
Mar 26 @ 14:00 – 15:00

In an area of poor shallow soil, low rainfall, wind and thirsty native trees, wicking beds can be the answer for people wishing to have a productive and beautiful garden. Wicking beds have lower water requirements and potentially less maintenance as they include a reservoir of water which wicks up to hydrate the roots of the plants above. Join Pam Jenkins to learn more about creating and maintaining these potentially useful additions to your garden.

This is 1 of 4 associated events on the same day, the other 3 being:

Preparing your garden for winter and improving your soil @ Thrive Community Garden
Mar 26 @ 15:00 – 16:00

Learn the best ways to prepare your garden for winter using tried and proven organic gardening techniques. Angelo Eliades, from Deep Green Permaculture, will explain how to prepare your garden to maximise its productivity over winter, and the various strategies you can use to improve your soil over the winter period for better productivity in the following warm season.

This is 1 of 4 associated events on the same day, the other 3 being:

Mar
27
Mon
Beales Road Farm @ Private garden (address provided on booking)
Mar 27 @ 11:00 – 12:00

This tour will take place twice, on 20th and 27th of March, both at 11am.

Beales Road Farm is a privately operated community food system conducted under a landshare arrangement. They grow a range of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs that are sold via a basket scheme at a local office and via farmgate sales.

This is not a child-friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit.

Book via email.

Mar
29
Wed
Love food, hate waste @ Edendale
Mar 29 @ 18:30 – 20:30

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!

The Sugarloaf story @ Eltham Library
Mar 29 @ 19:00 – 20:00

Isabella Amouzandeh, and her partner Warren McKimmie, from Sugarloaf Produce, are building a new horticulture enterprise on organic principles in Strathewen. The farm is on the site of the stonefruit orchard which was in the family for four generations until it was burnt out on Black Saturday.

No need to book but you can view the listing on EventBrite.

Apr
1
Sat
Diamond Creek Food Swap @ Diamond Creek East Primary School
Apr 1 @ 10:00 – 11:30
Carome Homestead Produce Swap @ Community Garden at Carome Homestead
Apr 1 @ 10:30 – 12:00

Bring your excess garden produce along and swap for other wonderful produce. A great way to meet others with similar garden interests. Great meals, coffee and cakes next door at Two Beans and a Farm.

Also, contact them to register your interest in leasing a plot at the community garden.

Apr
2
Sun
Hurstbridge Farmers’ Market @ Hurstbridge Farmers Market
Apr 2 @ 08:30 – 13:00

Entry is $2 and all proceeds go to the CFA, the market’s community partner.

Stallholder enquiries: 0414 703186
General enquiries: 9433 3315

Apr
8
Sat
Greensborough Food Swap @ Diamond Valley Library - food garden
Apr 8 @ 10:00 – 11:00

Contact either of the co-organisers: Glenn Mansfield by phone (0488 192198) or email or Margot Meredith by phone (0415 926642) or email.


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