Nov 302013
 

Join a vibrant food culture, growing and eating local

Covering all matters food in North East Melbourne

Whether you want to eat local food, grow veggies in your garden or enjoying your local 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.

Mar 292017
 

A new farmers’ market at Wonga Park

The first Wonga Park Farmers’ Market will be held on Saturday April 22nd, 9am-1pm. It will then take place monthly on the 4th Saturday of each month. It will be at Wonga Park Primary School (41 Dudley Road, Wonga Park) and is effectively being run by the school. If you go to the market, you can also visit the school’s Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden. For further information, contact Jenny Kelly by phone (0410 526867) or email. Thanks for the info, Jenny and Kim.

More news about the organic provedore (aka shop) at Monsalvat

In last week’s newsletter, I talked about a new pop-up food and seedling shop at Monsalvat. Well, it now has a name (The Vat), a website page and a Facebook page. They have also added Stir Crazy to the list of local food producers whose produce they sell.

To celebrate such developments, The VAT is offering 20% off all KABUU seedlings and microgreens this upcoming weekend (Friday, 31st March to Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-4pm). You can also use their soil blockers for free. And there will be three workshops, two of them free:

  • Seed-raising for beginners (free): Saturday 1st April, 11am-midday, by Richard Lee from KABUU.
  • How to grow microgreens basics (free): Saturday 1st April, 1.30-2.30pm, by Richard Lee from KABUU.
  • How to grow microgreens successfully year round ($40): Sunday, 2nd April, 1.30–2.30pm, by Farmer Ted from KABUU.

A new cake maker – Blake + Fables, from Lower Templestowe

Read their Local Food Directory entry. They are an online cake, pie + treat delivery service. Offering a selection of flavours each week, and free delivery to your door, they make it easy for you to enjoy cake every day or to brighten someone else’s day with one. Welcome Celeste!

There are now 12 makers of sweet treats in the Local Food Directory, but only two who make cakes.

Just to clarify: when I say ‘new’ I mean new to our website, not (necessarily) new to the world. And people only ever get listed on the website if they have a) agreed to be listed and b) agreed their listing.

Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services, from Hawthorn East

Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services have been added to our list of people who build planter boxes, wicking beds or raised garden beds. Contact Duncan Cotting by phone (0423 003764) or email. Incidently, they have a really speccy website. Welcome Duncan!

I came across Leaf, Root & Fruit because, as discussed later, Duncan is running two edible gardening workshops in the near future in Box Hill, one on 1st April and the other on 8th April.

Want to see a compost house as art?

Newsletter reader and artist Felicity Gordon featured in the Leader this week for her compost house made up of 61 plants, 50 of them edible. The house is part of a new exhibition in Ivanhoe on water and climate change.

Mac’s tip of the week

From the weather forecasts, it looks like, from tomorrow (Thursday), the late Summer will truly be over and the Autumn will at last begin. It is now time to replenish your soil with composts and manures if needed in readiness for your autumn plantings. Also, keep an eye on your automatic irrigation if you have it as you will soon be able to substantially reduce, or even stop, your watering. Until next time, remember: whatever your partner thinks, dirty hands are good hands.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.

What to plant in April (click here for more details)

Here is a list:

Beetroot
Broad beans
Broccoli
Brussel sprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Fennel
Garlic
Kale
Lettuce
Mizuna
Mustard greens
Pak choy
Peas
Radish
Rocket
Shallot
Silverbeet
Spinach

 
This is a pretty similar list to that of March, with the notable additions of garlic and peas.

The following 2016 articles by Helen Simpson are relevant:

Everything you ever wanted to know about wicking beds

Earlier this week, Pam Jenkins gave a presentation on wicking beds. I have added her notes to our wicking bed page.

Eucalypt Community Garden at Wollert

As envisaged in the 8th March newsletter, work has now begun on the development of the Eucalypt Community Garden at Wollert. They have built the first lot of beds, with a plan to complete a herbarium, an orchard and (maybe) a restored well. The garden beds will be shared beds and open to members of The Friends of Eucalypt Community Association. They are being assisted by a $5,000 grant from Whittlesea Council to consult with the community to plan and develop the garden and a $1,000 grant from Stockland. Simon Marshall Horticulture and Design are helping them. Thanks for the info, Alicia.

Vegetarian Victoria

Vegetarian Victoria promotes the benefits of vegetarianism and provides support and information to vegetarians, vegans and the general community. They also organise social events and some workshops.

Joke of the week

First things first – Jenny Shaw has submitted an improvement to last week’s joke: Why can’t you tell secrets in a community garden? Because the sweetcorn has ears, the potatoes have eyes, and the beans stalk. In passing, note the all-important Oxford comma. Thanks, Jenny!

This week’s joke has been submitted by Sabi Buehler: What do Wikileaks staff have with their Christmas turkey? An anonymous sauce. Thanks, Sabi!

Someone said that they found the jokes too lowbrow. So, for my highbrow friend, I am thinking about introducing a ‘proverb of the month’. Here is the first: Fine words butter no parsnips. Meaning: nothing is achieved by empty words or flattery (cf. buttering someone up). For a discussion, see The Phrase Finder.

Carved food as art

I’ve talked about the amazing Colossal website before. Well, have a look at their recent article on carved food as art.

New events – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from Friday, 31st March to Sunday, 9th April. The events listed below are some of those which are both in North East Melbourne and which cost less than $70.

Mallow (khabizat) workshop

What: Learn all about the edible weed, mallow. Monique will talk about identification, ecological use, medicinal uses and some culinary uses of Mallow. After this, Amne, will share her culinary and cultural knowledge on all things mallow (khabizat in Arabic). She will show you how to pick khabizat and how to use it; this will include how to prepare sautéed khabizat with a simple pilaf and how to make zatar bread to go with it.
When: Saturday, 1st April, 10.30am-midday.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $15 (suggested donation).
Enquiries / Bookings: Monique by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The flowing bowl

What: A beautiful bowl of punch creates the mood for any celebration. Enoteca Sileno welcomes Shaun Byrne, cocktail consultant and co-founder of Maidenii vermouth, to show you how it’s done. Includes a glass of each of the punches demonstrated, a tasting of a wide selection of spirits, liqueurs and amaro by Italian brands Varnelli, Beppi Tosolini, Lucrezio R. and Rossa Sicily to help you plan your own creations, plus a selection of Italian antipasti. Held under the vines in their courtyard, this event will be part cocktail class, part product sampling, but mostly just pure enjoyment of excellent punch cocktails.
When: Saturday, 1st April, 5-8pm.
Where: Enoteca Sileno, Carlton North.
Cost: $65.
Enquiries: Enoteca Sileno by phone (9389 7009).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Smorgasburb by Sand Hill Road

What: Seven of Melbourne’s favourite suburban locals will serve up their signature pub offerings: kombu cured cobia with yuzu kosho and cucumber (Garden State Hotel); bossan pork belly, oyster mayo and kimchi taco (Terminus Hotel); Brazilian spiced sticky pork ribs with Westmont pickles (Richmond Club Hotel); sardine katsu sandwich on brioche (Prahran Hotel); toast’d toasties (Bridge Hotel); and classic Italian piadina (The Posty).
When: Sunday, 2nd April, midday-7pm.
Where: Bridge Hotel, Richmond.
Cost: $29 (includes $30 of food vouchers).
Enquiries: Sand Hill Road by phone (9428 5333).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Celebrating festivals of Spain

What: Explore the top five Spanish festivals with an exciting course to represent each one. Some may be familiar to you, others unknown. Añada’s chefs will start the journey in Sevilla with Feria de Abril, the April fair, before moving to Bunol, a little town near Valencia to celebrate La Tomatina, the tomato festival. After that, one of the lesser-known celebrations, La Fiesta de la Rosa del Azafrán, the saffron rose festival, celebrated in the Castilla La Mancha region. And what would be a celebration of Spanish festivals without the world-famous San Fermines, the running of the bulls in Pamploma? You will finish your journey in Spain’s third largest city (after Madrid and Barcelona) – Valencia – celebrating Las Fallas, the fire festival.
When: Wednesday, 5th April, 6-11pm.
Where: Añada, Fitzroy.
Cost: $65 (includes food).
Enquiries: Añada by phone (9415 6101).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Build your own coffee blend

What: Uncover the secrets of creating the perfect coffee blend in the roasting factory. Under the expert gaze of Knight Mattingly Coffee Roasters roasting team, step through different flavour profiles of single origin beans, crafting a balanced combination that suits your tastes. Leave with a kilo of your own personalised coffee blend and its recipe.
When: Thursday, 6th April, 2-5pm.
Where: Knight Mattingly Coffee Roasters, Coburg North.
Cost: $53.
Enquiries: Knight Mattingly Coffee Roasters by phone (9383 2100).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Orange is the new Blanc

What: Tyler Preston and Adam Trengrove will presenting a four-course ethical Asian barbecue, cooked and served in the beer garden of Dr Morse Bar & Eatery, with an option of matched natural wines, celebrating all things biodynamic, oxidative and artisan. Ticket includes four courses of asian inspired barbecued delights.
When: Thursday, 6th April, 5-9pm.
Where: Dr Morse Bar & Eatery, Abbotsford.
Cost: $38.
Enquiries: Dr Morse Bar & Eatery by phone (9416 1005).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Pizzini pop-up barrel room

What: Have you ever wanted to taste nebbiolo from the barrel? Wondered what Vin Santo is? Heard of the grape variety canaiolo? Join the Pizzini family to taste a selection of their wines, some straight from barrel, others that have been ageing in the cellar, and some new vintages. The event will feature a prosciutto bar where guests will be able to enjoy a plate of freshly sliced prosciutto.
When: Friday, 7th April, 4pm-midnight; also, Saturday, 8th April and Sunday, 9th April, both midday-midnight.
Where: Project 49, Collingwood.
Cost: $28 (includes wine tasting and prosciutto).
Enquiries: Pizzini Wines by phone (5729 8278).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Asian cuisine workshops

What: Six cooking demonstrations over the weekend that collectively take a culinary journey around Asia using produce from Box Hill Central Fresh Food Market. The Centre’s own chefs will be joined by some well-known celebrity chefs to present a series of cooking demonstrations exploring the exotic, and eclectic, flavours of Asia. You will learn key techniques and how to use interesting ingredients at home. You will also be able to taste the dishes demonstrated – and take home a gift bag full of product from Box Hill Central’s local retailers.
When: Dumplings – Saturday, 8th April, 10.30-11.15am.
Celebrity chefs – Saturday, 8th April, midday-12.45pm.
Japanese cuisine – Saturday, 8th April, 1.30pm-2.15pm.
Sushi – Sunday, 9th April, 10.30-11.15am.
Vegan cuisine – Sunday, 9th April, midday-12.45pm.
Taiwanese cuisine – Sunday, 9th April, 1.30pm-2.15pm.
Where: Box Hill Central.
Cost: $33 per demonstration.
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

South East Asia Festival

What: An annual celebration, the ASEAN Festival unites communities from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam by sharing their culinary and cultural heritage through food, music and dance. The festival will feature community projects involving ASEAN communities around Victoria, as well as authentic foods from Melbourne restaurants, traditional music contrasting with contemporary performances from ASEAN students currently studying in Melbourne, dance, games, social clubs and kids’ activities.
When: Saturday, 8th April and Sunday, 9th April, both 11am-5pm.
Where: Argyle Square, Carlton.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Coffee workshop

What: Hosted by The Craft and Co’s in-house master coffee roaster, you will develop your knowledge and palate, gaining an appreciation of aromas, flavours and tastes. Understand the coffee making process, finishing with our house-made ricotta and pistachio cannoli.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 10am-midday.
Where: The Craft and Co, Collingwood.
Cost: $33.
Enquiries: The Craft and Co by phone (9417 4755).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Food photography masterclass

What: Together with Hunter & Barrel, Canon Australia and food stylist Kim Jane, Ringwood Camera House invite you to a food photography workshop where they will show you how to style, light and photograph food. Bring your mirrorless or DSLR camera.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 10am-midday and again at 2-4pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Ringwood Camera House by phone (9725 3816).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Harveast

What: Harveast will be a one-day food and wine event showcasing chefs, producers and suppliers from the local region. Activities will include: a cellar door showcasing boutique wineries; a producers’ market offering the district’s freshest produce; chef masterclasses; and live entertainment. Trading time for stallholders and masterclasses will be from 10am-5pm. Live entertainment will kick-off from late afternoon into the evening.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 10am-9pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Chef masterclass with Dan Wilson (Huxtaburger)

What: Get up-close and personal with Dan Wilson (Huxtaburger).
When: Sunday, 9th April, 11-11.45am.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Chocolate connoisseur tasting experience

What: What you will learn: the process of bean to bar chocolate making. Where does chocolate come from? How is it made?; Define various flavour characteristics in single origin chocolates sourced from around the world; and see and smell fresh cacao pods. Take a chocolate tasting flight as we travel through 12 different countries. Learn where chocolate comes from and the bean to bar process of making chocolate. Let them take you through the tropical regions of Madagascar, Venezuela, Vietnam, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, and even Australia as you taste the single origin chocolates from these regions.
When: Sunday, 9th April at 11-11.45am, midday-12.45pm, 1-1.45pm, 2-2.45pm, 3.3.45pm and 4-4.45pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: $10.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

An hour with Stephanie Alexander

What: Watch as respected cookbook author and real food advocate, Stephanie Alexander goes ‘in conversation with food writer, Richard Cornish to reflect on her career; sharing
stories from her life as a chef, author and founder of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. During the session, Stephanie will bring to life recipes from The Cook’s Companion using fresh local bounty. The session concludes with a Q&A at 1pm and book signing at 2pm.
When: Sunday, 9th April, midday-1pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Chef masterclass with Frank Camora (MoVida, Paco’s Tacos)

What: Get up-close and personal with Frank Camora (MoVida and Paco’s Tacos).
When: Sunday, 9th April, 12.30-13.15pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Beer workshop

What: Take your passion for craft beers to another level with The Craft and Co’s specialists, as they discuss the beer making process. Includes a tour of their micro-brewery, tastings of their house-brewed beers and their specialty charcuterie and cheeses matched to beer.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 12.30-2.30pm.
Where: The Craft and Co, Collingwood.
Cost: $33.
Enquiries: The Craft and Co by phone (9417 4755).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Chef masterclass with Johnny Di Francesco (400 Gradi, Gradi East)

What: Get up-close and personal with Johnny Di Francesco (400 Gradi).
When: Sunday, 9th April, 2-2.45pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Meet the baker (Burnham Bakery)

What: Meet the Baker from Burnham Bakery.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 3.30-4.15pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Eastland Shopping Centre by phone (9823 6100).
Bookings / Further information: Eventbrite.

Prosciutto workshop

What: Join local artisan producers, including The Craft and Co’s own chef Dom Marzano, as they share their knowledge on everything from selecting your pig to processing and curing. Then enjoy the different styles of prosciutto with wines from their winery in Bangholme.
When: Sunday, 9th April, 3-5pm.
Where: The Craft and Co, Collingwood.
Cost: $33.
Enquiries: The Craft and Co by phone (9417 4755).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

New events – other

Edible gardening workshop

What: This workshop will focus on edible gardening in small spaces (courtyards, balconies, and backyards). Subjects to be covered include: site analysis – working out where in the garden is best to grow plants; vertical spaces and vertical gardens; raised garden beds – materials, design and wicking beds; soil and how to improve it; container gardening – common pitfalls for new gardeners; seeds vs seedlings and veggie patch layout; variety selection – heirloom vs hybrid vs GMO; organic fertilising regimes; mulch; and watering. Presented by Duncan Cocking, from Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services. Duncan has a
science degree, majoring in Botany, and a Permaculture Design Certificate.
When: Saturday, 1st April, 11am-12.30pm.
Where: Box Hill Mall.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Daniel Vincent Smith, Whitehorse Council by phone (9262 6269) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

How to grow veggies the Italian way!

What: What you will learn: what does it mean to grow Italian? What’s it like gardening in Italy? how to set up your veggie patch at home; and how to best address problems in your veggie patch; such as pests and disease. What you will get: open forum to ask your gardening questions; guided tour of the farm; and packet of saved seeds. Optional extra ($40): lunch.
When: Sunday, 2nd April, and Sunday, 7th May, both 10am-1pm.
Where: The Farm Yarra Valley, Warrandyte South.
Cost: $65.
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Edendale young farmers

What: A small group of children, 9- to 12-years-old, will have the opportunity to help Edendale’s farmers with the morning animal chores and experience what it is like to be a farmer. They will get up close to many of the farm animals and help in the daily care and feeding of these animals. The children will join in with a range of activities, including: letting out and feeding the poultry, collecting eggs and cleaning waterers; feeding the baby chicks; goat milking demonstration and feeding the goats; pony poo pickup and feeding the worm farms; hay feeding sheep, lambs, and Taffy the Jersey calf; and handling the guinea pigs and cleaning their cages. The children will need to come dressed in suitable clothing including long pants and solid footwear such as an old pair of joggers. A hat, raincoat, sunscreen and water bottle will also be required. A light morning tea will be provided. The children should understand that they are not here to play with the animals but are participating in important farm chores.
When: Thursday, 6th April, 9am-midday.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $30.
Enquiries: Edendale by phone (9433 3711) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Edendale website.

Passata demonstration with Jean Garita

What: Jean Garita, matriarch of Joe’s Market Garden, will talk about how to make passata the traditional way of the Garita family.
When: Saturday, 8th April, 10-11.30am.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: donation.
Enquiries / Bookings: Joe’s Market Garden by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

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, 8th April, 10am-midday.
Where: Merri Creek Trail, Northcote.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries: Taj Scicluna by phone (0450 375528) or email.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Edible gardening workshop

What: This workshop, which is the second in the series, will focus on edible gardening in small spaces (courtyards, balconies, and backyards). Subjects to be covered include: seasonality, a basic discussion around what to plant and when; planting and harvesting for year-round abundance; bugs – their importance to gardens and how to help to get the right balance; pest control; reducing waste in the garden; perennial food crop systems and small backyard orchards; and edible forest gardening. Presented by Duncan Cocking, from Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services. Duncan has a science degree, majoring in Botany, and a Permaculture Design Certificate.
When: Saturday, 8th April, 11am-12.30pm.
Where: Box Hill Mall.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Daniel Vincent Smith, Whitehorse Council by phone (9262 6269) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fundamentals of beekeeping (two-day)

What: This course is designed to provide new beekeepers with both the practical skills and the background knowledge to start beekeeping with confidence. The program encompasses both Langstroth and Flow hives and is suitable for all styles of beekeeping. No previous experience is required. The course runs over a full weekend with hive opening exercises each day. All sessions are highly interactive and include hands-on skill building. The course fee is $190. In addition, participants have to become members of The Beekeepers Club which, at a prorated cost, is around $17. Included in the course fee are a comprehensive handbook and a textbook (The Australian Beekeepers Manual). Lunches and light refreshments will be provided.
When: Saturday, 8th April and Sunday, 9th April, both 9.30am-4pm.
Where: Brunswick.
Cost: $207.
Enquiries: The Beekeepers Club by phone (0481 392798) or email.
Bookings / Further information: The Beekeepers Club website.

Weeds, plants and people

What: Why do some people spend so much effort trying to eradicate plants in certain circumstances, while other people nurture those very same species for food, medicine, or simple enjoyment of their beauty? Could there be a better way for us to live alongside the many wild plants we encounter in our gardens, farms and landscapes, than to wage war on them? A talk on the history of common plants by Dr John Dwyer.
When: Tuesday, 11th April, 7.30-8.30pm.
Where: University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus.
Cost: $15.
Enquiries: Friends of Burnley Gardens by phone (9035 6815) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Nettles with Monique Eve Miller

What: Nettles are an incredible plant, and you will walk away from this workshop with a new perspective on this plant. Monique will talk about ecological uses, identification, medicine uses and culinary uses of nettles. This workshop will include a tasting of prepared nettles. Take home some nettles and an information sheet about this plant.
When: Saturday, 29th April, 10.30am-midday.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $20.
Enquiries / Bookings: Monique by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natural pest control with companion planting

What: What you will learn: learn which plants to grow together, and which ones not to; learn how to solve many common garden problems naturally; and learn how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together). Presented by Angelo Eliades. With companion planting, by knowing which plants to grow together and which ones not to, you can grow stronger, healthier and more productive plants, improve soil quality, and reduce pests and diseases in your garden. Learn which companion plants to add to your garden to solve many common garden problems naturally, and find out how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together) for more abundant harvests.
When: Saturday, 13th May, 9.30am-midday.
Where: BAAG Nursery, Bulleen.
Cost: $45.
Enquiries: BAAG nursery by phone (8850 3030).
Bookings / Further information: We Teach Me.

GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest

What: Featuring more than 600 beers and ciders, up to 180 specially brewed Festival beers and ciders, the thriving Dan Murphy’s Marketplace, The Local Taphouse Craft College, Ariston Food & Drink Experience, plus the Little Creatures Live entertainment program.
When: Friday, 19th May, Saturday, 20th May and Sunday, 21st May, all midday-5pm; also Friday, 19th May and Saturday, 20th May, both 6.30-11.30pm.
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: Festival website.
Further information: Festival website.

Bush foods & herbs for courtyards & balconies

What: What you will learn: which native produce-plants are suitable for growing in pots and small spaces; what to harvest and when; and how to use bush foods and herbs to flavour your dishes. Presented by Karen Sutherland, of Edible Eden Design. Australian native plants have flavour and aroma profiles unlike any others, and can be easily incorporated into your kitchen. Also, a wide range of them can be grown in Melbourne in pots or small and difficult spaces. In this class, which is ideal for those with limited garden space or even just a courtyard or balcony, you will explore the world of edible native Australian plants that are easy to grow in such spaces, attractive to look at and can easily add flavour and interest to your home-cooked dishes.All plants covered are suitable for Melbourne’s climate, and will be discussed in terms of how best to use and grow them in your garden.
When: Thursday, 25th May, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: BAAG Nursery, Bulleen.
Cost: $45.
Enquiries: BAAG nursery by phone (8850 3030).
Bookings / Further information: We Teach Me.

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 selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

Mar 222017
 

Organic provedore (aka shop) and nursery at Monsalvat

This is a temporary pop-up shop selling a variety of food and plants, much of it locally grown. It is open Friday to Sunday each week, from 10am to 4pm, but only until end May. Featured local food producers include: KABUU, Koala Honey, Old Evropa, Sugarloaf Produce and Under The Pickle Tree. It is an initiative by newsletter reader Richard Lee (aka KABUU) and is run by volunteers. The picture features one such volunteer, newsletter reader Karin Motyer.

Achieving success with dehydrating

Last week, Pam Jenkins and Bev Robertson ran some workshops on how to use a dehydrator successfully. Someone told me that their notes were rather good so I asked for a copy. Click here to read their notes.

Click here to borrow our Fowlers Ultimate Dehydrator.

A new brewer – Barrow Boys Brewing Co., from Reservoir

Read their Local Food Directory entry. They are gypsy brewers, which means that they don’t have a brewery of their own, but create their beer in other brew houses around Melbourne. You can buy their beer at bottle shops throughout North East Melbourne. Welcome Dean and Ash!

There are now 7 beverage makers in the Local Food Directory, including 4 brewers.

Mac’s tip of the week

Ok, your pumpkins now look ready … but maybe don’t pick them just yet. The longer you leave them on the vine, the sweeter they will get, and the longer they can be stored. It is best to wait until the vine dies off and the stem to your pumpkin withers and goes brown. Don’t worry if frosts arrive – they will only kill the vines. Pick with as much stem as possible – some people keep up to 1m of vine attached if they plan to store the pumpkin for months. Many growers also keep the pumpkins in a sheltered outdoor spot for up to a week to mature before storing in a cool, dark well ventilated area. Hanging in a bird net sack in a dark shed works well … and it also keeps the rats at bay. Finally, note that most pumpkins are best kept for at least a week or so before eating, although Japs can be eaten as soon as picked. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.

Zucchini pickles

Yes, folks, it’s another zucchini recipe. Maria Ciavarella, from My Green Garden, will be demonstrating how to make zucchini pickles at Eltham Farmers’ Market on 26th March. Click here to read her recipe.

Click here for all 21 of our newsletter readers’ zucchini recipes.

Incidently, Maria was interviewed by Clare Bowditch on ABC Melbourne earlier this week on the subject of compost. Click here to listen to the interview (13 minutes). Earlier this month, she was also interviewed on 3WBC on on a variety of subjects (chickens, growing veggies, etc) – click here to listen (36 minutes).

Want some free soil?

According to newsletter reader Adrian O’Hagen, of Permablitz Melbourne fame, you can pick up free soil from Northcote so long as you take at least a cubic metre. Dan from CERES apparently has a lot of certified organic seed raising mix from Grow Better which he only uses once before discarding. Click here to arrange your pickup.

A local entry at The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is taking place from Wednesday, 29th March to Sunday, 2nd April. Newsletter reader Paul Morland will be displaying his Four R’s designed and built garden in the Achievable Garden category. If you are going to the show, he invites you to introduce yourself and say hello.

Paul is a qualified landscaper and designer. He is one of 8 such listed on the resources page on our website.

A picture of some newsletter readers

Some newsletter readers were spotted in Duang and Rob’s garden in Research. What should they be called? A gaggle (cf. geese)? A rhumba (cf. rattlesnakes)? An implausibility (cf. wildebeest aka gnus)?

Sustainable Table

Sustainable Table is a Melbourne-based organisation that aims to provide Australians with the tools and information to make ethical eating easy. Their website has recently had a facelift.

Melbourne’s best pizza 2017

Good Food have announced their 10 best pizza restaurants of 2017. Half are from North East Melbourne: A Boy Named Sue (St Andrews), Kaprica (Carlton), Lazerpig (Collingwood), Lievita (Northcote) and Postino (Balwyn).

10 benefits of DIY food

10 benefits of DIY food is the latest blog entry by newsletter reader Lucinda Flynn of Hurstbridge-based Going Green Solutions.

How to make free seed packets (no scissors or glue needed)


Thanks to Cath Lyons for pointing it out; as she said “really cool – so simple!Click here for a (printable) template that you can use.

The bloke who made this video has actually made a whole bunch of interesting videos about growing food. Click here for his Youtube page.

The Wild Pollinator Count

The next Wild Pollinator Count is from 9th to 16th April. Why not take part? As they say, “You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes.

Joke of the week

Martin O’Callaghan has submitted the following: What did the papa potato say to the baby potato? “I’m keeping an eye on you.”

Martin also suggested I try and improve upon his joke. Inspired by a recent visit, I’ve come up with: Why can’t you tell secrets in a community garden? Because the sweetcorn has ears and the potatoes have eyes.

New events

On The Bend / On The Mend – Coffee and Beer Festival

What: There’s not much else that Melbournites love more than great coffee and great beer. The event will feature six local breweries and six local coffee roasters collaborating on beers that feature coffee as a key ingredient. The day will also feature live music, coffee and beer workshops, and a raclette cheese bar. Your ticket includes as much beer, coffee and cheese as you can consume within 5 hours! The breweries: 3 Ravens Brewery; Tallboy & Moose; Sailors Grave Brewing; Hop Nation Brewing Co; Blackman’s Brewery; and Temple Brewing. The roasters: Aviary Coffee; Small Batch; Cartel Coffee Roasters; DC Specialty Coffee Roasters; Red Bean Coffee; and Wide Open Road.
When: Sunday, 2nd April, midday-5pm.
Where: 3 Ravens Brewery, Thornbury.
Cost: $64.
Enquiries: Nathan Liascos by phone (9495 1026 or 0433 955106) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Organic gardening for beginners (two day)

What: Want to grow your own healthy vegetables, herbs and fruits but don’t know where to start? Would you like to improve your family’s food security and increase your skills and garden productivity? Part theory and part hands-on, this workshop will help the beginner organic gardener develop the skills and knowledge to start a thriving edible oasis at home.
When: Saturday, 20th May and Saturday, 27th May, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $115 for the two days.
Enquiries: Edendale by phone (9433 3711) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Edendale website.

Summary of upcoming events

Corrections and clarifications

Olive magic – preserving olives at Massaros is on Saturday, 22nd April and Friday, 28th April, not 1st May.

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 selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

Mar 142017
 

A new, local mushroom grower – Wyldblooms

A new and local food producer, Wyldblooms (from Rosanna), has started selling Asian mushrooms at Eltham Farmers’ Market. Their mushrooms include pearl oyster, blue oyster, king trumpet, shiitake and reishi. All are grown on a diet of biodynamic rye, organic pea straw and sustainably-sourced sawdust supplied by local businesses. They also sell grow-at-home kits. Your can buy their stuff at Eltham Farmers’ Market and thery are also setting up an online shop. Welcome Phuong!

Although (for staffing reasons) The Mushroom Co (from Ringwood) no longer have a stall at Eltham Farmers’ Market, you can still buy their produce at any of the following farmers’ markets: Boroondara, Collingwood Childrens Farm, Flemington, Gasworks and Slow Food Melbourne.

A map of Eltham’s restaurants

After spending January drinking my way round Eltham (coffee only!) for the Eltham cafes map, I have now spent February and March eating my way round Eltham in order to create an Eltham restaurants map. The map shows where all the 20 restaurants are, their contact details and their menus. Menus are available for every single restaurant (although some suffer from my poor photographic skills).

Note that, of the 20 restaurants, 4 specialise in Italian food, 2 Indian, 2 Thai, 1 Chinese and 1 Lebanese. 7 of the 20 are also cafes (i.e. they are open during the day), whilst 13 are open in the evening only. In passing, 12 of the 20 also do takeaway, but that will be the subject for a future newsletter.

News about Eltham cafes

Eltham now has 31 cafes rather than 30! Platform 3095 has just opened and is next to the railway station. They are currently only open during the day and only serving a limited amount of food but Jennifer and Jean Francois have plans to build a kitchen in the near future, at which time they will also open in the evening. They also plan to serve, or use, a variety of local food. Welcome Jennifer and Jean Francois!

Eltham Glasshouse has re-opened with a changed menu after renovations by its new management. Its new owner, Peter, also owns the Dunyazad Lebanese Restaurant in Balwyn North. Welcome Peter!

Eira has a new menu, which you can download.

All three changes above have been included in the Eltham cafes map.

Community Grocer comes to Mernda

The Community Grocer aims to improve access for people living on a low-income to fresh, affordable food. They do this by operating fruit and vegetable stalls in three locations:

  • Carlton: every Friday, from 9am-midday at the public housing estate, 510 Lygon Street.
  • Fawkner: every Wednesday, from 9am-12.30pm at the Community Hub, 79-83 Jukes Road.
  • Mernda: every Thursday, from 9am-midday at Mernda Central P-12 College, 70 Breadalbane Avenue.

Mernda is launching on Thursday, 16th March. As Annemaree Docking, Agribusiness Officer at Whittlesea Council, says: “All are welcome, so get behind this wonderful new initiative and grab yourself some fresh seasonal fruit and veg!”

Jane Edmanson visits FareShare at Abbotsford

FareShare cooks 5,000(!), free nutritious meals for Victorians for free every day. Watch this video from this week’s Gardening Australia, where Jane Edmanson visits them to see what they do and how they do it. It is both watchable and reasonably short (5 minutes).

Community gardens news

St Johns Riverside Community Garden, Heidelberg, officially opened on 4th March. More than 50 people turned up, including two Councillors.

The Eltham Living & Learning Centre has a communal veggie garden comprising several, large, raised beds. They meet every Thursday, 9.30-11am. Some of their longstanding gardeners are moving from the area and they are looking for new members. If interested, or for further information, phone either Trevor Roberts (0401 710997) or Karyn Kamminga (9433 3744).

The Northcote Library Food Garden is a communal food garden. Working bees take place on the second Sunday of the month at 10am, except long weekends (so 19th March, 9th April, 14th May, etc). They are looking for more members to share the satisfying experience of growing and sharing healthy organic food. If interested, or for further information, email them.

Mac’s tip of the week

When to pick a pear … well, about now actually. Pears are best picked before they are fully ripe. Picking about 2 weeks before full maturity is best, just when the skin color is starting to change and, if cut, the seeds are turning black. Here’s how to test: if the stem breaks off with the fruit when you lift them upwards to be horizontal, then they are ready. If kept at room temperature, they will then (like tomatoes) continue to ripen. If you press your thumb into the neck of the pear and it yields a little then your pear is ready to eat. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

Fruits that ripens after being picked are called ‘climacteric’. Banana and tomato are the classic examples. Other climacteric fruits include apricot, avocado, custard apple, peach, pear and plum. Fruits that don’t ripen at all after being picked are called ‘non-climacteric’ and they include all citrus, cherry, grape, pineapple and strawberry. Full lists are included in the fruiting schedule on the website.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.

The Cider & Ale Trail

The Cider & Ale Trail comprises 11 breweries etc from roughly Wonga Park to roughly Healesville. Read this article by Zoe Powell as she travels the trail.

Do you like Helen Mirren’s films?

Winchester is a film currently being shot in Victoria. It stars Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke and is scheduled to be released in either late 2017 or 2018. But the current shooting on location has apparently only been made possible because our local bee man, Frankie, from Bee Rescue, has been hard at work removing a swarm of bees.

Do you want to be on the television?

Channel Nine rang up (yes, really!) to ask if any newsletter readers would like to be on their upcoming cooking show called Family Food Fight. They are looking for families who share a passion for cooking together as a family. The show will be all about celebrating multi cultural families who love to cook traditional cultural recipes that have been in their families for generations. Your ‘family’ must be made up of 4 people, but they can be any type of relations. Click here to register. To talk to someone, contact James Chadney (Associate Producer) by phone (02 8587 1364) or email.

Two chicken songs and some knee socks

Both Fay Loveland and PIP Magazine suggest that you watch this song by someone called Loren Kate about a chicken called Cloudy Jane.

Neither Fay nor PIP Magazine suggest that you watch this chicken yodelling by someone called Takeo Ischi.

Maybe these videos will inspire you to buy some of these chicken knee socks. Only $10 a pair.

Joke of the week

What did the apple say to the orange? Nothing, stupid … apples don’t talk!

New events

A taste of harmony – food demonstrations and community lunch

What: Learn to cook food celebrated throughout the world and enjoy a community lunch. Hosted by five local residents from different cultural backgrounds, this event will celebrate the stories, memories and new connections to people and the food they love. Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 23rd March, 10am-2pm.
Where: Heidelberg West.
Cost: $5.
Enquiries / Bookings: by phone (8582 9501).
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Open Farm Day

What: Open Farm Day is your chance to visit working farms and meet local farmers. This year’s participating farms come from Nillumbik, Whittlesea and the Kinglake Ranges. The activities will include: farm tours; live demonstrations; farm animals; and product tastings. The farms participating in 2017 are: Apted Farm Services; Apteds Pear and Apple Orchard; Edendale Community Environment Farm; Giverny Estate; Kings of Kangaroo Ground; Northern Lodge Training Centre (Melbourne Polytechnic); Omaru Alpaca; Philip Lobley Wines; Shaws Road Winery and Cider; Sugarloaf Produce; Turners Bakehouse; Wedgetail Estate; Weeping Grevillea Nursery; Yan Yean Farm (Melbourne Polytechnic); Yarrambat Estate Vineyard; and Yarra Valley Custom Meats.
When: Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-4pm.
Where: various.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Council by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Easter cupcake decorating (Brunswick)

What: Get creative with Easter cupcake decorating. During the session, you’ll be able to learn new techniques for icing and decorating cupcakes with a delightful Easter theme. Not suitable for children. All materials provided.
When: Wednesday, 5th April, 2-3pm.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland City Libraries by phone (9389 8600) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Easter cupcake decorating (Coburg)

What: Get creative with Easter cupcake decorating. During the session, you’ll be able to learn new techniques for icing and decorating cupcakes with a delightful Easter theme. Not suitable for children. All materials provided.
When: Thursday, 6th April, 2-3pm.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland City Libraries by phone (9389 8600) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Mediterranean cooking with Angela

What: Angela will demonstrate how to make simple, healthy, seasonal dishes inspired by the Mediterranean diet. Angela is a passionate cook and teacher at her own cooking school, Angela’s Kitchen, in Northcote.
When: Saturday, 6th May, 10-11am.
Where: Montrose Library.
Cost: $5.
Enquiries: Montrose Library by phone (9800 6490).
Bookings: Eastern Regional Libraries’ website.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Italian cooking workshop (flavours of Naples)

What: A tasty three-course menu, including pasta, will be prepared in this hands-on workshop and enjoyed afterwards. Tutor Janice Mariani. Janice spent 30 years cooking for the locals and celebrities in a restaurant amidst the hills of Umbria, Italy. Bring an apron and a container to take home any leftovers.
When: Saturday, 6th May, 10-1pm.
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 calender 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 selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

Mar 082017
 

Joke of the week

One day, you’re the best thing since sliced bread. The next, you’re toast.

Mac’s tip of the week

Although our official European calendar says that summer ended at the end of February, we are definitely not yet in Autumn, so don’t rush to plant ‘Autumn’ seedlings just yet. No doubt, (I hope), you have all heard that Melbourne in fact has 6-8 seasons, and we are still in late summer. Our true locals, the Wurundjeri, knew that there were 6-8 seasons, and they signalled these by when certain plants would flower, animals would breed, eggs would hatch, etc. Even today, some fisherman apparently use the flowering of the Coastal Tea Tree in early November to mark the entry of snapper into Port Phillip Bay. So keep watering, probably until April, and don’t plant your autumn/winter crops too early. Until next time, remember to wash your hands after gardening.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.

Want some free coffee grounds? Try Reground

If you want lots of coffee grounds at zero cost and you live in Melbourne, then Reground may well be the organisation for you. They will deliver to your door(!) and as often as you want. As far as I can make out, the only potential issue is their (large) minimum delivery quantities: 2 bins if you live in inner Melbourne or 7 bins if you live in outer Melbourne. Thus far, they have re-purposed 26 tonnes of ground coffee into gardens around Melbourne. If you want some, contact Ninna Larsen by phone (0466 242575) or email.

Here is what Ninna says: “Reground is a sustainable waste management service for used ground coffee. We re-direct organic coffee waste away from landfill, re-distributing it to gardens city-wide, reducing the carbon impact of coffee consumption. There are around 2,600 cafes in the City of Melbourne. These cafes produce around 160,000kg of coffee-ground waste every month, contributing around 260 tonnes of methane gas to our atmosphere. Ground coffee is exceptionally nutrient-rich material, making a powerful soil amendment and a highly sought after organic matter for community gardens, farmers, and home-gardeners alike. By collecting the used coffee grounds from cafes and roasteries, Reground provides an innovative and dynamic service, creating a positive impact on the environment and their communities. We now also pick up chaff, which is high in carbon, and deliver it for free.

Here is what newsletter reader Stuart Rodda says: “I am exceptionally pleased with how it has worked out with Reground. They have brought regular deliveries of bulk amounts of coffee grounds, virtually free of any rubbish, and I am already starting to see beneficial effects in my garden. Where I have placed pure coffee grounds in the garden (but not directly into soil where I am about to plant because of known inhibitory properties of fresh grounds on plant growth), the coffee has become a seething mass of earthworms. By the time the worms are finished with it, it will be that ‘black gold’ of gardening, worm castings.

Newsletter reader Bev Robertson says simply: “Reground are doing a great job.

Reground’s details have been added to our local resources page, which now includes 4 providers of free coffee grounds.

Reground are currently crowd funding for a delivery van. Go to their Pozible page and decide if you want to back them.

On the subject of crowdfunding, I’ve been backing a 60 second salad maker on Kickstarter. If you are backing any interesting food-related projects, tell us about it.

Extreme composting

In February, Marina Bistrin gave a presentation at Eltham Farmers’ market on ‘extreme composting – including weeds, prunings, etc in your compost. She has now kindly provided her notes for the website. Here is how she introduces the topic: “If you have the time and space at your place to compost the contents of your green bin, it’s a great thing to do. You can compost everything, from the easiest to the most difficult weeds, logs etc. It makes fertile, nutrient-dense compost, especially if you include the weeds. It lessens the work that your Council has to do with picking up green waste and transporting it to sites in the countryside that will do the composting (also, the compost that you buy back from Council often includes woody waste in the mix which results in a less nutritious compost). Finally, dealing with your weeds can be fun and a great children’s activity (I think squashing with rocks is especially enjoyable!). Why are weeds good for your compost? Weeds have a lot of leafy matter full of minerals and many deep-rooted weeds mine minerals from deep in the soil that your veggie plant roots can’t reach and that have been washed down out of the top layer. The weeds bring these nutrients up to the surface in their leaves, which you can then compost. Many weeds are also part of herbal medicine, and some are classed as tonics because they have so much nutrition in them. The difficulty with weeds and prunings is that some can re-grow in your compost and therefore need to be treated differently.” She then goes on to discuss the various methods of killing plants. Read Marina’s notes.

Warranwood Food Swap

The Wonga Park Food Swap has moved to Warranwood Primary School and is now called the Warranwood Food Swap. The contact person is Kirsty Bishop-Fox (simplehighlife@gmail.com). The swap will continue to be on the 3rd Sunday of the month; however, due to Easter, it will be on the 4th Sunday during April.

Some pictures of newsletter readers

In Guy and Susan’s garden In Robin and Paul’s garden

Open farm day

Open farm day, which will take place on Sunday, 2nd April, is your chance to visit working farms and meet local farmers. This year’s participating farms come from Nillumbik, Whittlesea and the Kinglake Ranges. More details should be available in next week’s newsletter but, in the meantime, you can check their Facebook page.

Darebin Community Grants: the community support program is now open

Both cash grants and venue hire subsidies are available. The priority areas include “proposals that promote and encourage the establishment of community gardens”. Applications close on Monday, 24th April. Two information sessions are being held: Thursday 16th March, 10am-midday, Shire Hall, 286 Gower Street, Preston; and Thursday 30th March, 6-8pm, Council Chambers, 350 High Street, Preston. For more information, visit www.darebin.vic.gov.au/Grants.

2017 Whitehorse Sustainability Awards: nominations now open

The award categories include ‘kitchen garden’. For more information, visit www.whitehorse.vic.gov.au/Whitehorse-Sustainability-Awards.html or contact Kate Smyth by phone (9262 6159) or email.

Hurstbridge Sow & Grow Garden Club

The Hurstbridge Sow & Grow Garden Club meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month, 7.15-9.15pm, at Hurstbridge Community Hub. Each month, they have a speaker. Their schedule for the rest of 2017 is:

  • 4 Apr: Ryan Young on habitat gardening.
  • 2 May: Attila Kapitany on succulents.
  • 6 Jun: Vaughn Greenhill on landscape design – working with nature.
  • 4 Jul: Pete the Permie on berry fruits.
  • 1 Aug: Jan Morris on protective garden accessories.
  • 5 Sep: Maria Ciavarella on thrifty gardening.
  • 3 Oct: David Redfern on natives grown at Cranbourne – suited to our local area.
  • 7 Nov: Arja Toivanen on taking cuttings (hands-on propagation workshop).
  • 5 Dec: Mark Ludlow on bonsai; Christmas party.

I would just like to highlight the 3rd October talk (David Redfern on natives grown at Cranbourne – suited to our local area): when my wife and I were planning the 2016 plantings in our garden, we went on a free, guided tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne. The focus of the tour was precisely the same as that of the 3rd October talk, namely to provide us with a list of possible, native plants that would suit where we live. The resulting list was about 60 species long, from which we eventually chose around 30 to actually plant. The whole exercise was really helpful to us.

The Nillumbik Garden Club meet on the 1st Monday of each month, starting at 7.45pm, at Metzner Hall within the St. Vincent’s Care precinct in Eltham. They don’t, however, publish a forward schedule of speakers and topics.

New events

Growing tropical and subtropical fruit in Melbourne

What: Presented by Angelo Eliades.
When: Friday, 10th March, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden Nursery.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Bulleen Art and Garden Nursery by phone (8850 3030).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

What are you worth?

What: Become a part of a community of cooperation and solidarity in Moreland. Neeboz and SEEDS Communal Garden are identifying and mapping all of the individual, organisational and community assets of Moreland with the aim of developing and strengthening creative, autonomous and locally-rooted ways of meeting basic needs. This workshop will take place alongside and following the SEEDs Garden Food Swap.
When: Saturday, 11th March, 11am-1pm.
Where: SEEDs Communal Garden, Brunswick.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Maxine by phone (0431 368404) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Become a junior chocolatier

What: In a 45 minute ‘parent-free zone’, children aged 6–12 years can learn from their chocolatiers how to make their very own chocolate creations. Includes personalised badge, chef’s hat and apron, graduation certificate plus take home three chocolate creations to enjoy.
When: Saturday, 18th March, 9-9.45am; Tuesday, 4th April, at 9-9.45am, 10-10.45am, 11-11.45am, midday-12.45pm, 1.30-2.15pm, and 2.30-3.15pm; Wednesday, 5th April, at 9-9.45am, 10-10.45am, 11-11.45am, midday-12.45pm, 1.30-2.15pm, and 2.30-3.15pm; Saturday, 29th April, 9-9.45am; Saturday, 20th May, 10-10.45am.
Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Yarra Glen.
Cost: $40.
Enquiries: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie by phone (9730 2777) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie website.

Chocolate discovery class

What: Anyone aged 12 & above can join them for a one-hour chocolate discovery class, indulging in a range of chocolate tastings, crafting your very own chocolate bar, and delighting in six handmade filled truffles, while each is passionately explained by their European Chocolatier.
When: Saturday, 18th March and Saturday, 29th April, both 12.45-1.45pm.
Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Yarra Glen.
Cost: $48.
Enquiries: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie by phone (9730 2777) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie website.

Bees – focused hands-on beekeeping course

What: This course is designed to provide beekeepers with practical advice about managing hives (including Flow Hives) in autumn and winter as well as providing an understanding of a range of specialised beekeeping topics, including bee stings, bee genetics, queen raising and replacement, exotic bee pests and diseases, purifying wax and preparing creamed honey. The course has been developed from, and is consistent with, core and elective units of Beekeeping Certificate III. A feature of the course will be its emphasis on teaching beekeeping by having students open hives themselves. Under instruction from an experienced beekeeper, and in groups of three, students will spend two hours on each day of the course doing this (weather permitting).
When: Sunday, 19th March, 9am-5pm.
Where: Collingwood Children’s Farm Apiary.
Cost: $130.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Safe preserving techniques: bottled fruit, jams, pickles & relishes

What: What you will learn: select and re-use suitable jars and how to sterilise them; how to use standard kitchen equipment to make preserves, without needing to buy specialist items; and how to bottle fruit, and make jams, pickles and relishes and the science behind the techniques. What you will get: recipes all of the preserves made; small (new) jars of the 4 preserves made on the day; morning tea with real coffee and home-baked goodies; preserving basics booklet, authored by My Green Garden; and tastings of other preserves made by My Green Garden. Learn how to preserve the seasonal abundance of fruits and veggies safely, using a variety of techniques. These techniques can be used on most fruit and veggies so that you learn to make your own delicious preserves, with no artificial additives and nasty numbers. No preserving background is assumed as we go through the science of how to prevent food spoilage using the preserving methods of bottling, jam-making, pickling and making relishes or chutneys using beautiful seasonal produce. Dehydrating is also demonstrated. They will cover the jars and lids to use, safe storage and use. The workshop will be fully hands-on, where you are involved from the processes from start to finish.
When: Wednesday, 22nd March and Thursday, 11th May, both 10am-1.15pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $70.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Buzz inn – bringing beneficial insects to your garden

What: Beneficial insects are good friends in the garden, performing valued services like pollination and pest control. Learn more about which insects are beneficial, and the advantages of attracting these to your garden, as well as learning how to make an insect hotel in which these good garden friends can set up house! Ian Smith, a local entomologist with a PhD in the beneficial bugs in the garden, and Katrina Forstner, a local gardener, bee enthusiast and maker of insect hotels, will combine their knowledge and skills to get you started on attracting good bugs to your garden. And while you’re learning about beneficial bugs, why not enjoy an organic herbal tea or raw organic snack from Shoku Iku – a cafe dedicated to wellness and conscious living, and offering organic, seasonal, healthy food and produce.
When: Thursday, 23rd March, 6-7.15pm.
Where: Shoku Iku, Northcote.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Setting up a community garden in Wollert

What: The Friends of Eucalypt Community Association are ready to start building a community garden. You are invited to be part of the discussions. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. For those who bake, please bring some goodies to share.
When: Saturday, 25th March, starting at 9am.
Where: BlueStone Kitchen, Wollert.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Friends of Eucalypt by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Introduction to natural beekeeping (two-day)

What: Suitable for beginners, and ideal for the backyarder, this two-day event is designed to provide participants with the information they need to start natural beekeeping with confidence. It will cover such subjects as: boxes, equipment, legislation, choosing the location, ongoing maintenance and harvesting. It will also hive manipulations and some honey tasting. After the course, for participants who do not currently have a hive, the course organisers may be able to provide bees for your hive at no cost during swarming season. If interested, email them for an enrolment form. The event is being run by the Natural Beekeeping Group of Permaculture Victoria.
When: Saturday, 25th March and Sunday, 26th March, both 10am-5pm.
Where: Mitcham.
Cost: $200 for members of Permaculture Victoria; $250 for non-members.
Enquiries / Bookings: Claire Smith by email.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Yarra Valley Beer & Cider Festival

What: The focus of the festival will be to allow you to sample some of the finest boutique beer and cider that Victoria has to offer, with many exhibitors being close to home. Quality food stalls will be in attendance, combined with entertainment, it will be a great day out for all. The festival is an initiative by the Rotary Club of Wandin, in conjunction with some passionate community beer and cider lovers.
When: Saturday, 1st April, 11am-5.30pm.
Where: Lilydale Showgrounds.
Cost: $16.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

How to make sense of food labels

What: Tour a supermarket and learn how to read and make sense of food labels so that it is easier to make healthy choices. The tours are led by healthAbility’s qualified dietitian and open to anyone interested in healthy eating. Bookings (by phone) essential as places are limited.
When: Monday, 3rd April, 9.30-11am.
Where: Eltham.
Cost: $15 (includes a healthy shopping guide booklet).
Enquiries / Bookings: healthAbility by phone (9430 9100).
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Fermenting and infusing at home

What: Fermenting and infusing at home – sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and vinegars with The Urban Pear. Join The Urban Pear for ideas, tips and tricks for preparing fermented food and beverages at home. You will take home notes, recipes and a bottle of herb vinegar.
When: Tuesday, 11th April, 11am-midday.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Artisan pasta – fettuccini

What: 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: morning tea, including real coffee; 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. Learn how to make pasta like an Italian! You will use age-old techniques to make a classic egg pasta, to be transformed into delicious fettuccini. Then, using the basic pasta-making technique, you will incorporate colourful vegetables to make fettuccini in a variety of colours. You can also opt to make your fettuccini suitable for vegans. Your pasta will be ready to take home to cook for a lovely meal. Instructions on how to dry the pasta or freeze it for future use will be given. Easy sauce recipes will also be discussed.
When: Friday, 21st April, 10am-12.15pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Olive magic – preserving olives

What: What you will learn: how to transform the raw olive into something deliciously edible; how to cure and pickle olives using a variety of different techniques; and how to cure olives and have them ready for an antipasto platter in less than a fortnight. What you get: jars of olives ready to continue the pickling process at home; samples of olives that have been prepared ready to dress and eat; recipes for the techniques covered in the workshop; complimentary tea or coffee with biscotti from the kitchen of Massaros winery; and an authentic experience of picking the olives that we will be using in the workshop. Presented by Maria Ciavarella in collaboration with Massaros Winery. Olives straight from a tree are inedibly bitter and must be cured and then pickled somehow to make them edible. In this workshop, they will cover several different techniques to cure olives, each with a different waiting – or curing – period. In order to fully experience the stages of the processes, some olives will have been partially cured before the class for you to continue the process; as well as taking home fresh olives for you to start from scratch. Tastings will be available so you can decide which style is your preferred. We will use both black and green olives. If you grow olives, bring along some samples so that they can suggest some ways to cure them.
When: Friday, 28th April and Monday, 1st May, both 9.30-11.30am.
Where: Massaros Winery, Kangaroo Ground.
Cost: $85.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Raw living whole foods with Valentina Rise

What: What you will learn: basics of raw food; make guilt free treats; and learn what super foods are. What you will get: samples of all the food they make; and recipes to take home.
You will discuss the nutritional benefits of superfoods, and how introducing more raw (natural plant-based) foods into your daily eating regimes can assist in your over-all health. Eating the right foods can help with reducing stress, anxiety and depressive states of being, increase your immunity and gut health and bring greater clarity into your lives. You will learn raw food cooking skills and get to feast on many different foods from savory to sweet healthy treats (e.g. raw pad thai, raw stir fry, raw caramel slice, raw ice cream, raw lemon slice and raw cheesecake). No refined white processed sugars or products will be used. You will gain knowledge on the best natural sweeteners and produce to use to assist in optimal health.
When: Saturday, 6th May, 3-6pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $70.
Enquiries: CERES by phone (9389 0100).
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

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