Nov 302013
 

Join a vibrant food culture, growing and eating local

Covering all matters food across North East Melbourne

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

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

Jan 082020
 

Judy interviews Lachlan Shackleton-Fergus, World Champion marmalade maker from Wonga Park

For those of you who have a bucket list, I have two suggestions for you to add to it. One is a visit to the Galapagos Islands, which are truly wonderful. The other is to taste one of J.B. Shackleton’s marmalades, which are made by Lachlan Shackleton-Fergus. Judy Vizzari recently visited Lachlan’s house, interviewed him and his wife Julia and (of course) was given tastings of some of his best marmalades. As Judy discusses in her interview writeup, Lachlan’s secret to making great marmalade is meticulousness: “I know there are some great preservers out there producing beautiful conserves. But how many of these preservers cross cut their fruit to consistent 6mm thicknesses, steep them in filtered water for 48 hours at 5 degrees then slow cook them for 4-5 hours at a gentle simmer before finally finishing the blend in 150 year-old copper pans? Lachlan does.” and “consistent results are also due to the use of the finest ingredients and vigilance in monitoring pectin levels and temperature during the cooking process.

As well as Lachlan’s marmalades, Judy also discusses his house and his life history, both of which are unusual.

Read Judy’s full write up.

Lachlan’s brand name is J.B. Shackleton’s and his products can currently be bought at: Balgownie Estate, Yarra Glen; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick; East Ivanhoe Grocers – Foodworks; Foodworks Wonga Park; Metropolitan Foods, Templestowe; Spring Street Grocers, Spring Street, CBD; and The Post Office, Wonga Park.

Lachlan would like more outlets to sell his marmalade. If your shop is potentially interested, or you know of a shop that might be interested, email Lachlan.

Now, back to that bucket list. Whilst I can’t help you re the Galapagos Islands, I can help you re Lachlan’s marmalade. Courtesy of Bee Sustainable, we are giving away 10 jars of the marmalade. As usual, it will be a random draw of everyone who emails me, but you only qualify for the draw if you have read Judy’s full write up and, to demonstrate this, you will need to correctly answer the following question in your email: “What variety of marmalade was Judy given as her first tasting?Email me with your answer.

The Home Harvest Picnic and associated events

There is still time for you to register as a grower for the Home Harvest Picnic taking place at Edendale on the 1st March. You, the growers, will provide a variety of foods which are then converted into a picnic meal by students and volunteers under the direction of professional chefs.

Local Food Connect is putting together a number of associated workshops and garden tours. The first event will be a pickle making workshop on Saturday, 1st February at Hurstbridge Community Hub. On the following Saturday, 8th February, there will be an opportunity to learn how to monitor for pests in your garden, again at Hurstbridge Community Hub, and involving AUSVEG and Agriculture Victoria. On Sunday, 16th February, there will be a tour of Dan Milne’s garden in Montmorency. On Saturday, 23rd February, there will be a tour of Lucinda Flynn’s garden in Hurstbridge. And on Saturday, 29th February, Spoke & Spade will hold an event at one of their plots. Full details of these later events will be available closer to the time but you can save the dates now.

Local food swap news

The Northcote Food Swap has moved to the Northcote Library Food Garden.

Community gardening news

Starting on 11th February, there will be a new monthly get together at the community garden at Diamond Valley Library. It is entitled Kitchen Garden After School and will be on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 3.45-5pm. “Dig in the garden, pick fresh veggies and prepare dishes to share and enjoy. Part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program.

The Melbourne Arboretum

The recent introductory open day at the Melbourne Arboretum in Mernda went smoothly. Read their blog post.

Help save Pachamama Wholefoods & Kitchen

Pachamama Wholefoods & Kitchen is a well-known shop in Brunswick. Following a renovation, they are in financial difficulties and are trying to crowdfund a substantial amount of money. Read more and donate.

January resin bee action

Last week saw frenetic action in my insect hotel. All the resin bees from the eggs laid a year ago (i.e. in January 2019) emerged and most of the now empty holes are being filled with new eggs. Look at the picture right, taken last Thursday: of the 6 large holes, resin bees can be seen in 4 of them. But the bee in the bottom middle hole is fundamentally different than the other 3 bees because, whilst the other 3 bees are laying eggs in newly vacated holes, the bee in the bottom middle hole has recently pupated and is just emerging from the hole having eaten its way through the resin cover.

So, here is what I know. First, the resin bee eggs are laid in early January and the bees then spend almost a year inside the hole before eating their way through the resin cover and flying off. Second, within a day or two of the hole being vacated, a resin bee clears the hole out, lays some eggs, and creates a new resin cover.

But here is what I don’t know: are the resin bees laying the eggs the same bees as emerged only a few days’ previously or are they from a different population? Send me an email with your thoughts.

Changes in Eltham cafes

A new cafe called Bean Alive has opened at the south end of Bolton Street. The Craft Kitchen and Bar is under new ownership and is now called The Missing Gorilla. Billy’s Deck has closed down.

View the locations, menus and contact details of all 29(!) cafes in Eltham.

Also, a gelatery, called Augustus Gelatery, has opened in Main Road.

If you would like to work with me to produce equivalent maps and lists for your suburb, send me an email.

Permablitz’s ‘hero of the month’ – chives

Chives are an easy to grow perennial herb, and are well known for adding an onion or garlic flavour to omelettes, salads, soups and sauces.Read more.

Read a list of all Permablitz’s heroes of the month, with links to the full articles.

Local food producers in the news

Kings of Kangaroo Ground featured in the December edition of the Warrandyte Diary.

A Christmas carol for permies

Courtesy of Permaculture Victoria.

I Saw Three Chooks
I saw three chooks come scratching by
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
But no way they were gonna die
On Christmas Day in the morning
These chooks play such a useful role
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
Manuring, weeding, pest control
On Christmas Day in the morning
So though we self-sufficient be
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
We let the feathered species be
On Christmas Day in the morning

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The micro-nutrients deficiency chart.

Joke of the week

What kind of girlfriend does a potato wants? A sweet potato.

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Beeswax food wraps: Friday, 10th January, 10.15am-11.15pm and again at 11.30am-12.30pm; Brunswick Library.

What: Ever wanted a reusable, sustainable alternative to clingwrap and plastic zip-lock bags? Beeswax wraps, made from fabric and beeswax, are an alternative to one-use plastics. Wrap sandwiches, snacks and other items, cover bowls and plates. You can even fold them over containers and use them again and again! Learn what fabrics to use, where to buy beeswax, and how to create your own reusable food wraps at home.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Bee hive tour: Sunday, 12th January and again on Saturday, 25th January, both 10.30am-12.30pm; Yarrambat.

What: Your tour, led by Nathan Stewart, a professional Doreen-based beekeeper from Maya ‘Xala Honey, will include suiting up in protective gear, lighting a bee smoker, and spending two hours as real life beekeeper. Initially, Nathan will give you some tips on what to look for inside a hive including how to spot the Queen and where to look to potentially witness the birth of a new worker bee. Then, together you will lift the lid of a busy hive, watch bees at work creating honey, pull out a frame of honey ready for extraction, and get up close with more than 100,000 bees! After the lid is closed, you will sample some of the honey direct from the hives while enjoying a refreshing honey tonic.
Cost: $75 (plus various packages for families).
Bookings: their website.

Sun catchers and mini worm farms – workshop for kids: Thursday, 16th January, 10.30am-midday; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: Suitable for children aged 5 to 12. Presented by Naomi Cindric. Learn the basics of worm farming by joining this hands-on activity and make your mini worm farm. Learn what worms eat, how to care for them, and how they can be useful in the garden. Be dazzled as you make a colourful array of dangling mirrors and beads that can hang in your garden.
Cost: $35.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Green at Kathleen – composting and worm farming for beginners: Saturday, 1st February, 10.30am-midday; Kathleen Syme Library.

What: They will cover how to select the right system for your home and common problems. To help put your knowledge into practice, you will visit the worm farms on site at Kathleen Syme and do a health check on those systems.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

How to build a bee hive: Saturday, 1st February, 1-4.30pm; Melbourne Innovation Centre, Alphington.

What: Unpack the mysteries of hive architecture, lean to build your own equipment, and get expert advice on using beekeeping tools. The topics to be covered will include: the pros and cons of different hive styles such as top bar, Warre, Langstroth and poly; different foundation styles and how to use them; how to assemble Langstroth beehive boxes and frames; swarm bait hives/rescue boxes/nucleus hives; and how and to use beekeeping tools like wiring jigs, frame making and painting jigs. Led by Benedict Hughes. Participants will get to take home their first assembled and wired beehive frame..
Cost: $45 ($13 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Set up and maintain a worm farm: Saturday, 1st February, 3-4pm; Edendale.

What: A worm farm can be one of the best ways to dispose of food scraps and, at the same time, produce vermi-juice (worm tea) and vermicast (worm castings) for use on the garden. Learn how to set up a worm farm and the easiest methods to manage and care for these most hard-working of creatures. This workshop will cover both the theory and practice of worm farming in a household setting. It will be useful for those wishing to recycle household food waste in order to produce worm products for use in the improvement of soil in gardens and pot plants. Discounted worm farms will be available for sale on the day.
Cost: free
Bookings: TryBooking.

Brewers Feast Festival: Saturday, 1st February, 11am-8pm and Sunday, 2nd February, 11am-5pm; Abbotsford Convent.

What: Brewers Feast is a boutique craft beer and food festival, made by beer and food lovers for beer and food lovers. It will feature around 30 breweries (including cider, wine and gin as well as beer). There will also be food and live music. Throughout the day, there will be craft beer education classes, exploring the tastes and flavours of beer pairing with food, cheese, confectionery and other foods. Enjoy free samples while learning more about your beer.
Cost: $25-59.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summer fruit tree pruning: Sunday, 2nd February, midday-1.30pm; Macleod Organic Community Garden.

What: What you will learn: when to prune common fruit tree varieties; how summer pruning differs from winter pruning; and pruning techniques to promote fruiting and tree health. Presenter: Paul Gale-Baker from Macleod Organic Community Garden.
Cost: $35 ($23 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Native fruit: Thursday, 6th February, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: the A-Z of growing native fruit; handy hints and tips from an experienced native fruit grower; and when to harvest native fruit, and different ways to use it. Presented by Karen Sutherland, of Edible Eden Design. Native produce plants – or bush food – are becoming increasingly popular. Whilst many native fruits can’t be grown in Melbourne, some can. You’ll learn how to grow, harvest and use such fruit, with a particular focus on what can be grown in pots.
Cost: $50 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Become a backyard beekeeper: Saturday, 8th February, 9.30am-4pm; Melbourne Innovation Centre, Alphington.

What: What you will learn: how to get started with backyard beekeeping; and how to maintain a healthy hive, the wonders of swarms and how to keep them in check. Led by Benedict Hughes. Topics to be covered include: the biology of a bee hive; how to maintain a healthy hive; and how to extract honey. Weather permitting, they will open a hive and have a hands-on demonstration.
Cost: $242 ($37 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Learn how to monitor for pests in your garden: Saturday, 8th February, 10am-4pm; Hurstbridge Community Hub.

What: This workshop will help you identify different insects in your veggie patch, undertake surveillance for these insects, and identify insect pests that pose a threat to your produce. There will be presentations from AUSVEG and Agriculture Victoria, and a garden walkthrough (if weather permits). The workshop will be followed by light refreshments. Brought to you by Local Food Connect (LFC) and North East Ranges Permaculture (NERP).
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Heide’s kitchen gardens: Thursday, 13th February, 3-4.30pm; Heidi, Bulleen.

What: Join Heide gardeners David, Katie and Alice as they discuss the history and working cycle of the two kitchen gardens at Heide. Includes a produce-inspired tasting and glass of wine.
Cost: $17 ($11 per hour).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summer fruit tree pruning: Saturday, 15th February, 9am-1pm; Edendale.

What: Facilitated by Justin Calverley. Many of us focus on winter as the best time to prune our fruit trees but some fruit trees benefit much more from summer pruning (e.g. stonefruit). Learn how to best care for your fruit trees for health and to maximise your yield for next season. Bring your gardening gloves, a hat and a pair of secateurs.
Cost: $65 ($16 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Summer fruit tree maintenance: Saturday, 15th February, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: how to prune to keep trees to a manageable size; how to prune to maximise fruit production in the coming season; and keeping espaliered shapes in check. Watch and ask questions of Angelo Eliades, as he prunes both traditionally shaped trees and espaliered varieties. Convention had us pruning deciduous fruit trees in winter but now the thinking is swinging to doing it straight after fruiting, in late summer or autumn. Techniques are slightly different, so it is wise to see the pruning in action on actual trees.
Cost: $50 ($17 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Backyard beekeeping basics: Sunday, 16th February, 1.30-3.30pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: Presenter: Benedict Hughes. This workshop will provides you with an insight into the skills and experience required to safely and effectively manipulate a bee hive. Topics to be discussed will include: protective clothing and occupational health and safety; hive components and assembly; bee biology and seasonal management; legislation; diseases and pests of bees; extracting honey; inspecting hive for disease; purchasing hives; and other products from the hive.
Cost: $70 ($35 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Beeswax wraps: Tuesday, 18th February, 10-11.30am; Box Hill South Neighbourhood House.

What: Beeswax wraps can be used to cover food and keep it fresh, plus they’re reusable and can be easily refreshed if the wax starts to wear.
Cost: $20 ($10 per hour).
Bookings: by phone (9898 8270).

Complete urban farmer (14 sessions): the first session will be on Thursday, 20th February, 9am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: Each course is 14 sessions over a period of a few months. Presenters: Justin Calverley and Donna Livermore. The topics to be covered will include: permaculture, chook care, bee keeping, propagating, seed saving and community gardens.
Cost: $840 for ACFE eligible participants ($10 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Worm farm workshop: Thursday, 20th February, 11am-midday; Diamond Valley Library.

What: Join Naomi and learn how to reinvigorate your worm farm or start from scratch in this hands-on presentation.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

The joy of backyard chooks: Thursday, 20th February, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: how to get started with keeping chickens in a suburban backyard; how to house and protect chooks from predators; and how chooks can be used to improve your garden and soil. Presented by Sarah Hardgrove. Keeping a few chooks in the backyard used to be a staple of Australian suburban life, and their eggs made up a healthy part of our diet. But even though our house blocks might be shrinking, a smaller backyard doesn’t necessarily mean an end to raising or enjoying them. In this class, you will find out just how easy it is to keep a few hens as pets and as the ultimate garden recyclers, as well as everything you need to know about housing, protecting and feeding them, and lots of practical ideas on how to live harmoniously with them in your garden. Suitable for those who have never kept chooks before.
Cost: $50 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Urban chickens 101: Saturday, 22nd February, 2-4pm; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Presented by Olwyn Smiley from The Backyard Vegetable and Jess Ness from Bedford Park Community Garden. With so many varieties of chooks, there’s a chook for every size of yard. They are enormously rewarding pets so if you’ve ever considered having them, or perhaps you’ve recently purchased chooks and need a little advice, go along for a discussion on the basics of urban chook raising.
Cost: $15 ($8 per hour).
Bookings: by phone (9870 2602).

Native edibles – walk, talk, taste: Saturday, 22nd February, 2-4.30pm; Gunyah Garden, Pascoe Vale South.

What: Presented by Karen Sutherland. There are many edible native plants that are easy to grow in urban gardens and pots. Karen’s own garden grows around 40 native edible plants and is a great place to see how they grow. You will look at lemon myrtle, her lesser known cousin cinnamon myrtle, native pepper, a range of salt bushes and some native fruits.
Cost: $55 ($22 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Home composting workshop: Saturday, 22nd February, 2-4.30pm; Edendale.

What: Presenter: Dianne Gordon. Learn how composting, worm farming and the use of particular plants can naturally improve your soil. Discover how to compost and worm farm effectively for the best results. Understand how recycling your household and garden organic waste (including dog poo!) can benefit the life within your soil.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Veggie gardening for beginners: Sunday, 23rd February, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: how to set up and prepare a vegetable garden; how to select, plant and care for crops; and how to grow veggies in the ground, in raised beds and in pots. Presented by Nicole Griffiths. This class will teach you everything you need to know to grow delicious produce in your own backyard. They will cover all of the veggie gardening basics, from setting up your patch to harvesting.
Cost: $55 ($18 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Summer food forest – walk, talk, taste: Sunday, 23rd February, 10am-1pm; Gunyah Garden, Pascoe Vale South.

What: Presented by Karen Sutherland. Take a guided tour of Karen Sutherland’s garden. Talk about what’s on offer in summer, from self seeding and long lived vegetables to a range of berries. Taste some new and interesting plants. You will receive a packet of seeds saved from the garden.
Cost: $50 ($17 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Wine appreciation: Monday, 24th February, 7-9pm; Box Hill.

What: Taste and learn some interesting facts about wine in this convivial group.
Cost: $5 ($3 per hour).
Bookings: just turn up.

Organic gardening for beginners: Tuesday, 25th February, 10am-3pm; Edendale.

What: Presenter: Donna Livermore. You will explore: deciding where to grow and what to grow in; how to prepare your soil and potting mixes; plant needs and growing with the seasons; choosing what to plant and when; propagating your own plants and growing from seeds and seedlings; and different planting strategies (crop rotation, companion planting).
Cost: $75 ($15 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

The art of espalier: Thursday, 27th February, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: growing espaliered fruit trees; different techniques to make the most of all available space for espalier; and improve your general gardening skills. Presented by Diana Cotter. “Go vertical” is the cry when garden space is limited. Gardening in two dimensions is what espalier is about and this class will cover the different types and how to get them started and then continue to train them into the desired shape. Topics covered include suitable fruit trees, pruning and training techniques.
Cost: $55 ($22 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Fruit tree pruning: Saturday, 29th February, 2-3pm; Watsonia Library.

What: Learn the art of pruning selected fruit trees in summer.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Just Eat It (film): Saturday, 29th February, 2-4pm; Hawthorn.

What: Just Eat It is a documentary film about food waste and food rescue. We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing so much of it in the trash?
Cost: $5 ($3 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

New events – cooking

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 10th January, 6.30-8pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: butter chicken. Cook Indian by the creek came into existence with the idea of breaking the myth that Indian cooking is complex and difficult to nail. In each session, they will share their traditional recipes and go through the step by step cooking process. The classes are held in a private kitchen.
Cost: $45 ($30 per hour).
Bookings: by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Aheda’s kitchen – traditional Palestinian cooking: Saturday, 11th January, 10am-1pm; Coburg.

What: Learn how to make traditional Palestinian maquluba, babaganoush and tabouleh.
Cost: $60 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 17th January, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: all about vegetarian.
Cost: $60 ($30 per hour).
Bookings: by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Aheda’s kitchen – traditional Palestinian cooking: Saturday, 18th January, 11am-1pm; Coburg.

What: Learn how to make traditional Palestinian murtabak.
Cost: $50 ($25 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Creative Chinese vegetarian cooking: Sunday, 19th January, 1.30-3pm; Watsonia Library.

What: The EZ Veggie cooking group will celebrate Lunar New Year by having a barbecue in the library garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Cook Indian by the creek: Wednesday, 22nd January, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: BBQ and salad.
Cost: $65 ($33 per hour).
Bookings: by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Cake decorating with Norma Rose Cakes – animal cupcakes: Thursday, 23rd January, at 10am-midday and again at 1-3pm; Chirnside Park Community Hub.

What: Create six animal cupcakes with Jess, from Norma Rose Cakes, and learn how to colour buttercream icing, rolling fondant and cutting fondant shapes. Suitable for children 5+..
Cost: $40 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Summer bounty – what you can prepare?: Thursday, 23rd January, 10.30am-midday; Whittlesea Community Garden.

Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9716 3361) or email.

Wild fermentation class (pickling and sauerkraut): three occurrences – Wednesday 29th January at 6-8.30pm, Sunday 16th February at 10am-12.30pm, and Saturday 29th February at midday-2.30pm; Dixons Creek.

What: Louise will lead you through the techniques and importance of incorporating good gut health into your diet. You will sample and learn how to make fermented foods such as pickling, exploring the art of fermenting your own vegetables, and how to easily introduce these and other fermented foods such as miso into your diet for better gut health. After the class, enjoy a guided Edible Forest tour.
Cost: $75 ($30 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Summer preserves: Saturday, 1st February, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: how to preserve fruit and vegetables for use in the future; how to bottle preserves; and the selection and sterilisation of jars. Join Lucy Marasco to learn the basics of preserving, including the importance of sterilisation techniques, as well as the opportunity to try out some traditional and modern preserving recipes.
Cost: $55 ($18 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Pickle making workshop: Saturday, 1st February, 10am-4pm; Hurstbridge Community Hub.

What: Learn the fundamentals of preserving vegetables as pickles or lactoferments. Michelle Hegarty will guide you through the fundamentals of pickle making whilst making pickles for the Home Harvest Picnic. Marina Bistrin will teach you about lactofermentation and its health benefits whilst making sauerkraut for the Home Harvest Picnic. Go for the full day or just for the morning or afternoon. A light lunch will be provided and participants will also receive a free gift of an Eltham Farmers’ Market shopping bag. Take two 150-200ml jars with corrosion-free lids for your take home samples, your favourite knife, an apron and closed shoes.
Cost: $5 (to cover lunch and tea/coffee).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Danish dark rye bread workshop: Saturday, 1st February, 2-4.30pm; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make a Danish dark rye wholegrain loaf of bread; understand the timeline and stages to create the bread with minimal effort; and how to make and care for an authentic Danish style sourdough starter cult. What you will get: sourdough culture to care for; and dough for two loaves of bread. Facilitator: Ninna Katrine. This workshop will teach you the secret to caring for your sourdough starter and walk you through the process of baking your own wholegrain dark rye loaf. This popular Northern European style bread is difficult to source in Melbourne, so why not bake your own.
Cost: $110 ($44 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Cooking from scratch in your thermomix: Tuesday, 4th February, 7.30-9.30pm; Chirnside Park.

What: Learn how to do all your kitchen basics including butter, nut butter, almond milk, cheese and bread.
Cost: $25 ($13 per hour).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Nutrition and gut health: Thursday, 6th February, 7-8pm; Mill Park Library.

What: In recognition of World Cancer Day, find out about the importance of nutrition and your gut health. Are you what you eat?
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Gut health – kombucha and dairy class: three occurrences – Thursday 6th February, Thursday 13th February and Thursday 27th February, each 10-11.30am; Dixons Creek.

What: You will learn how to make your own yoghurt, kefir and kombucha. Have some fun and experiment with soft kefir cheese and gut healthy fizzy drinks. Conclude the class with a guided tour of the Edible Forest. Optional extra: purchase a kombucha pack for $25 to take home and continue your fermentation; the pack includes a 1 litre jar, flip top bottle, gut health book and muslin cloth.
Cost: $70 ($35 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course: Every Friday, 9.30am-2.30pm for 9 weeks starting 7th February; Edendale.

What: This hands-on course is ideal for people considering a career in horticulture. No prior experience is necessary. Working as a team with fellow participants, you will gain a broad overview and practical, hands-on experience such topics as: introduction to plant recognition; propagation; planting; soil properties; environmentally sustainable work practices; and career pathways/further study in the horticulture industry. You will spend a lot of time outdoors (getting your hands dirty!), along with some time in the classroom learning basic theory and exploring study pathways. The course will be run by Justin Calverley.
Cost: $99 for all 9 sessions.
Bookings: their website.

Celebration Dumplings with Elley Chan: Saturday, 8th February, 10-11.30am; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Join Elley Chan as she takes you through the process of making dumplings, including creating delicate dumpling dough, flavourful fillings and how to pleat & fold.
Cost: $30 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Truffle workshop at Ratio Cocoa Roasters: Saturday, 8th February, 10.30am-midday; Brunswick.

What: A behind-the-scenes tour of the 10 step chocolate making process at Ratio Cocoa Roasters. Followed by a guided chocolate tasting. Then make your own milk or dark truffles with a selection of toppings.
Cost: $75 ($50 per hour).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Chocolate workshop at Ratio Cocoa Roasters: Saturday, 8th February, 1-4pm; Brunswick.

What: A behind-the-scenes tour of the 10 step chocolate making process at Ratio Cocoa Roasters. Followed by a guided chocolate tasting. Then make your own milk or dark truffles with a selection of toppings. Then learn how to make vanilla marshmallow and create snowman hot chocolates in a jar. Finally, design your own inclusion chocolate bars from a selection of around 25 sweet or savoury toppings.
Cost: $150 ($50 per hour).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summertime Asian salads: Sunday, 9th February, 10.30am-3pm; Panton Hill.

What: Facilitated by Kelly Meredith from Under The Pickle Tree. Learn how to make and store homemade roasted rice powder, essential in Thai salads; how to make Thai chilli jam from scratch; and how to smoke poultry using a bamboo steamer. Menu: daikon and quail egg salad; poached prawn salad; and Thai pork and eggplant salad..
Cost: $160 ($36 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Feta, halloumi and ricotta cheesemaking workshop: Sunday, 9th February, midday-3.30pm; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: the fundamentals of fermenting milk; coagulating milk using both starter cultures and rennet; and cutting, draining and moulding curds. Presenter: Jacqueline Bender.
Cost: $130 ($37 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Creative Chinese vegetarian cooking: Sunday, 9th February, 1.30-3pm; Watsonia Library.

What: The EZ Veggie cooking group will show you how to make tasty, healthy, vegetarian dishes and will offer tastings during the session.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Kombucha and gut health: Tuesday, 11th February, 7-8.30pm; Hawthorn Community House.

What: Learn how to make your own kombucha (a fermented probiotic drink). This workshop will cover the history of kombucha, how to make it, what can go wrong and why. You will also learn about the health benefits, such as the detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects. Includes tasting of some flavoured Kombucha and comprehensive instruction handout. On the night, you can buy your very own ‘scoby’ with starter tea, for $30 (cash only), so you can get started brewing at home.
Cost: $25 ($17 per hour).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Indian cooking – Punjabi (two sessions): Tuesday, 11th February and Tuesday, 18th February, both 6.30-8.30pm; Hurstbridge Community Hub.

What: Tutor Taariq Hassan. Learn how to cook a healthy North West Indian vegetarian meal from scratch using authentic ingredients. Menu for the first session: daal (spiced lentil stew); raita (seasoned yoghurt based dip with chopped salad vegetables); and muttar chaaval (basmati rice boiled with peas).
Cost: $90 ($45 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Passata making demonstration: Thursday, 13th February, 7.45-8.30pm; Brunswick Library.

What: Cade will teach you how to prepare, mince and cook tomatoes as well as safely bottle and pasteurise so that the sauce will be safely kept under vacuum for up to a year.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Blokes in the kitchen: Friday, 14th February, 8am-midday; Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

What: Learn to prepare simple meals with other blokes under Pieter’s guidance. Enjoy a shared meal and conversation to finish the session.
Cost: $20 ($5 per hour).
Bookings: just turn up.

Sourdough bread baking: Saturday, 15th February, 9am-5pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make your own bread; how to make your own handmade pizzas; and more about sourdough. What you will learn: handmade pizzas for lunch; and your own bread to take home and some leaven.
Cost: $180 ($23 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Seasonal ferments – kimchi + kombucha: Saturday, 15th February, 2-4pm; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to cultivate, feed and keep your ferments for long and short term use; how to assess pH, sugar and alcohol levels; and relevant food safety and sanitisation for fermenting. What you will get: your own vegetables ferments to take home; and a sampling of fermented food. Presenter: Molly Bryson. Lacto-fermentation is a healthful, safe, low energy method of food preservation.

Cost: $85 ($43 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Feta and haloumi cheese: Sunday, 16th February, 10am-4pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make your own fetta and haloumi cheese; how to make ricotta cheese; and about different cheeses. Presenters: Janet Clayton and Charlene Angus from Cheeselinks.
Cost: $170 ($28 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Food waste avoidance workshop: Monday, 17th February, 1-2.30pm; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Learn some tips on reducing food waste at home, meal planning, food storage, and making food last.
See examples of meals using common foods that are wasted, learn smart cooking tips and be shown the best kitchen tools for easy cooking..
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Southern Indian market tour and cooking workshop (two sessions): Friday, 21st February, 10.30am-midday and Saturday, 22nd February, 10:30am–2pm; Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

What: Mary will take you on a tour of the Springvale market buying South Indian ingredients and will then demonstrate authentic South Indian cooking. This course is intended for people who wish to travel and improve both cooking skills and knowledge on India and Indian food. On the market tour, Mary will identify various proteins, vegetables and spices used in South Indian cooking. In the cooking session, you will learn how to prepare a variety of South Indian meat curries, spiced vegetables and different ways to cook rice. You will also learn how to temper spices to bring out the flavours when combining them with the meat and vegetables, and several ways of using grated coconut and aromatic rice using ghee flavoured with cardamom or similar. There will be a discussion on spices, identifying the most commonly used spices in Indian cooking, and the regions where spices come. The session will finish with the group eat a simple Keralan evening meal (chicken curry, cardamom rice and two vegetables) together.
Cost: $100 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Vegan cooking Italian style: Sunday, 23rd February, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: some new vegan dishes; and hands-on learning. Presenter: Michelle. You will be shown a selection of vegan dishes with an Italian flavour and you will finish with a feast. Menu: Napoli sauce; arancini; rosemary and olive focaccia; ricotta and spinach stuffed shells; and almond and cherry cake.
Cost: $110 ($22 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Feta, halloumi and ricotta cheesemaking workshop: Sunday, 23rd February, midday-3.30pm; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: the fundamentals of fermenting milk; coagulating milk using both starter cultures and rennet; and cutting, draining and moulding curds. Presenter: Jacqueline Bender.
Cost: $130 ($37 per hour).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Men in the kitchen: Monday, 24th February, 6.30-9pm; Yarra Glen.

What: Jill Bowen Hess will demonstrate dishes for summer with light seasonal vegetables and salads to accompany BBQ meat and fish dishes.
Cost: $32 ($13 per hour).
Bookings: their website. Enter class/workshop code ‘MK’.

Chinese dumpling workshop: Wednesday, 26th February, 10.30am-12.30pm; Canterbury Neighbourhood Centre.

What: Learn how to make Chinese dumplings. The class will cover selection of ingredients, preparation and cooking. Meat, vegetarian and gluten-free options will all be covered. At the end, you will share a meal with fellow students.
Cost: $75 ($38 per hour).
Bookings: just turn up.

Ladies day in the kitchen: Thursday, 27th February, 9.30am-midday; Yarra Glen.

What: Jill Bowen Hess will demonstrate dishes for summer with light seasonal vegetables and salads to accompany BBQ meat and fish dishes..
Cost: $32 ($13 per hour).
Bookings: their website. Enter class/workshop code ‘CJ’.

Demystifying bread: Thursday, 27th February, 6.30-9pm; Park Orchards Community House.

What: Nadine will demonstrate the technique of bread making and baking. Bring a container to take home your dough to bake at home. Suitable for beginners.
Cost: $50 ($20 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Asian cooking workshop: Thursday, 27th February, 7-8.30pm; Mill Park Library.

What: Jean will demonstrate some Asian recipes for Chinese New Year.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Sausage making workshop: Friday, 28th February, 5.30-7.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Italian, German, Polish, Hungarian – so many European cuisines have their own take on the humble sausage. Discover the secrets behind making the best-tasting gourmet sausages with the right ingredient ratio, casing and flavour combos.
Cost: $30 ($15 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Sourdough bread baking: Saturday, 29th February, 9am-5pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make your own bread; how to make your own handmade pizzas; and more about sourdough. What you will learn: handmade pizzas for lunch; and your own bread to take home and some leaven.
Cost: $180 ($23 per hour).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Kombucha, jun and wild fermented lemon soda workshop: Saturday, 29th February, 10.30am-midday; Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

What: Learn about how to make your own fermented beverages with Monique Miller as she demonstrates how to make kombucha, jun and fermented lemon soda.
Cost: $50 ($17 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Sauerkraut and other fermented veggies: Saturday, 29th February, 12.30-2pm; Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

What: Sauerkraut is probably the most well-known lactose-fermented vegetable but did you know that most veggies can be fermented? Monique Miller will show you how to make sauerkraut, pickles and fermented salsa.
Cost: $50 ($17 per hour).
Bookings: their website.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

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Summary of upcoming events – cooking

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View the complete calendar of upcoming events.