Greta Gillies visits Tuan Pham’s garden
Greta Gillies, together with neighbour Stevie Chy, has visited the garden of Tuan Pham, from Heidelberg West. Here is how the write up starts: “Tuan Pham has lived in his current home in Heidelberg West with his partner and 3 children for the past 3 years. He moved to Australia from Vietnam in the mid 80s and has lived most of the time in this area. He tends to his food garden most days. He is also a member of the local trading group Rough Trade 3081 and previously worked with the local exodus community. Walking into his garden, the first thing you spot is his impressive hanging garden of gravity-defying winter melons. A nylon lattice covers a large metal frame which forms the support structure for his gourd crop which hang freely through the frame like enormous droplets of rain. This ‘winter melon house’ is big enough for someone to walk under and sit to escape the heat, plus it is a place to grow shade enjoying plants underneath. Tuan grows an impressive amount of food for his family in this space.” Read the full write up.
Greta is one of our new interviewers, joining Judy Vizzari and Marina Bistrin. She lives in Heidelberg Heights with her partner and young son. She is a geneticist, a community rallier and an environmental and social activist. She also loves working on making her garden a productive and enjoyable space. She runs the local money-free trading group Rough Trade 3081.
Greta’s interviewing approach is somewhat different than the others. Where possible, gardeners write their own bios and answer some set questions before having photos taken. This ensures that their story is represented exactly how they want it to be. She only interviews people in her immediate area, partly because she loves getting to know people in her community more and partly because she doesn’t have a car. Additionally, 3081 is a community-orientated postcode with a hive of food gardens and people happy to share them.
Mac’s tip of the week
With continued summer weather ahead, and minimal rain, your watering duties are not yet over. Where there is still growth and flowering, there is more produce to come so keep the water coming. But for those plants which do seem to be coming to their end (e.g. tomatoes?), you can now reduce the amounts of water so that the plant begins to focus on producing fruit rather than on growing new foliage. When you reduce/stop watering such plants, the fruit will ripen quicker too.
Homemade lemonade by Homemade Lemonade
Homemade Lemonade, who are based in Hawthorn East, are a new maker and seller of lemonade. Their range of homemade lemonades includes traditional old fashioned lemonade, cherry pink fizz, and lemon & ginger. The lemonades are made in small batches, with an emphasis on interesting flavours while maintaining the health benefits of the fruit. Currently, the only place and time that you can buy their lemonade is on the 3rd Sunday of the month at Eltham Farmers’ Market. Read their Local Food Directory page. Welcome Ingrid and Margot!
News about local food producers
Stir Crazy (who sell crackers, shortbreads, oatcakes and cordials) have moved out of the area.
Blue Pear Pantry, from North Warrandyte, have changed direction: “Due to the increased popularity and demand of our savoury rolls, we have made the decision to shift our focus solely to our savoury roll varieties (sausage rolls, Thai chicken rolls and vegan rolls).”
PoppySmack, from Warrandyte, will be making a surprise appearance as a stallholder at Eltham Farmers’ Market on 25th February.
A new community food hub is being planned at Alphington (at the Melbourne Innovation Centre). As per a recent article in The Leader (pictured right), it will include a weekly farmers’ market, a commercial kitchen and an urban agriculture growing space. As soon as I know more, I’ll tell you more.
Bulleen Art & Garden (BAAG) is the favourite nursery of many newsletter readers. Its future existence is now under threat from the proposed construction of the North East Link. They are organising a petition calling on the North East Link Authority to ensure that the path the new road takes does not impact BAAG. Click here to read and then sign the petition.
Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival – the preparations begin
The festival will take place between Saturday, 26th May and Sunday, 3rd June. They have asked people to contact them about three aspects:
- ‘Meet the Makers’: this is a competition to judge Darebin’s best makers of passata, pickled vegetables, preserved olives, etc. If you are interested in entering, contact Amanda Palmer by phone (8470 8306) or email.
- ‘Homemade Marketplace’: this market will take place on Saturday, 26th May. Click here to read more and apply to be a stallholder.
- ‘Homemade Umbrella Program’: there will be workshops, demonstrations, seminars and special events throughout the week around the theme of ‘food traditions and sustainable practice’. Click here to read more and register your interest in organising an event.
Do you have a project concept that you would like support with?
Doing Something Good, in partnership with City of Melbourne and Open Food Network, are running their third Local Food Launchpad Accelerator program from April to June this year. Their initial meeting, called a Concept Development Workshop, is being held in the CBD on Wednesday, 14th March. Click here to read more and register.
Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?
Joke of the week
Why couldn’t the teddy bear eat his lunch? Because he was stuffed!