Thanks to the people who have contributed to this week’s newsletter: Ann Stanley, Beth Ciesielski, Doris Glier, James Petty, Kate Rosier, Lucinda Flynn, Lucy Richards, Lyn Richards, Pam Jenkins, Sarah Young and Virginia Solomon.
All Seasons Cooking Classes
All Seasons Cooking Classes, who are based in Croydon, make seasonal preserves & pickles, dahl mix, veggie slice mix and flavoured couscous. Each is made in small batches, with no nasties. All are vegan and most are gluten-free. Most of the dry ingredients come from Terra Madre and are Certified Organic. The aim is to help people easily create healthy, fast and tasty meals. The packaging is all either recyclable or compostable.
You can buy their products online or, alternatively, at Alphington Farmers’ Market (2nd Sundays), Eltham Farmers’ Market (4th Sundays); Fruitland, Ringwood East; Hawthorn Makers Market; The Full Pantry, Croydon; or The Meat-Inn Place, Lilydale.
The owner, Sarah Young, is also an instructor at some cooking classes, for example Kitchen basics on Saturday, 1st April, 10am-1pm at the The Food School in Mount Evelyn.
There are now 19 makers of condiments in our Local Food Directory. If you know of any others, email us.
And the winner is …
A few weeks ago, we published an interview with Rowe Morrow and offered our readership the chance of getting a free copy of her new book The Earth Restorer’s Guide to Permaculture. The winner of the lucky draw was Stormie de Groot.
Yes you did know!
Last week, Nada Cunningham asked what was attacking her eggplants and what might be possible solutions.
James Petty and Pam Jenkins agree that the culprit is the native poroporo fruit borer (Leucinodes cordalis), whose larvae eat vegetable plants in the capscium and solanum genera.
James adds: “If there is a reddish-coloured grub inside the eggplant, then this is it. I’m not sure of defences other than a healthy population of predators. Read more.“
Pam adds: “My solution is to bag the fruit or grow what I can under nets. Spraying with Dipel on a regular basis should work. Read more.“
Yet more on vanilla slices
The annual Victorian Baking Show was held earlier this month in Bendigo. See the list of winners. The winner for the best vanilla slice was the North End Bakehouse in Shepparton, which is a bit too far for me to taste test.
There were some winners in other categories from North East Melbourne:
- Luke Farrell from Bakers Delight in Camberwell placed first in the ‘Grain Loaf Condensed Square’, ‘Turkish Pide Loaf’ and ‘White French Stick’ categories, second in the ‘Sourdough Rye’, ‘White Loaf Condensed Square’ and ‘White Vienna’ categories and third in the ‘Pane Di Casa’ and ‘Wholemeal Loaf Upright’ categories.
- Adriano Capretto from Whittlesea Bakehouse placed first in the ‘Fruit Flan’ category and second in the ‘Plain Meat Pie’ category.
- Robert Dutton from Coles in Doncaster placed second in the ‘White Hi Top Half Married’ category and third in the ‘White Vienna’ and ‘Wholemeal Pipe Loaf’ categories.
Congratulations to Luke, Adriano and Robert.
Newsletter reader’s website of the week – Going Green Solutions
As you hopefully know, single use plastic catering ware is now banned in Victoria. So, if you need any catering ware, the obvious choice is plant-based and Certified compostable. One such supplier is newsletter reader Lucinda Flynn, via her company Going Green Solutions. They are a long time supplier of BioPak goods and all their pricing is matched with theirs including free shipping. Have a look at their range, which includes cups, containers & lids, plates & trays, cutlery & straws, bags and napkins & washroom.
They also offer energy efficiency assessments and eco training.
Subscribe to their newsletter.
Read about other newsletter reader websites on our website.
Do you have a website? If so, email us and we will highlight it in a future newsletter. It doesn’t have to be about food.
Some suggestions for your reading and watching
Lyn Richards suggests that you read this article in The Saturday Paper about imperfect gardening by autumn gardeners.
Another video from Simone
Red Egyptian walking onions.
Some newsletter reader photos
|Zucchini whale and calf
Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?
The most popular link in the last newsletter was Nillumbik Nursery’s March newsletter.
Every newsletter needs a good picture
The Listening Chamber is a painting by the surrealist Rene Magritte painted in 1953. How big do you think the apple is? Whilst it could be any size, our brain automatically thinks of it as massive because of its confined circumstances.
Magritte also painted similar green apples in a number of settings, including in front of the face of a bowler-hatted man.
See more food-related art on our website.
Word of the month – Toothsome
‘Toothsome’, meaning of palatable flavour and pleasing texture.
Read about previous words of the month.
Proverb (or phrase) of the month
As sure as eggs is eggs. Meaning: will definitely happen.
According to Wiktionary, the original phase was “as sure as eggs is eggs and not eyren“, where ‘eyren’ was the Old English (and thus southern English) plural form for ‘eggs’ and ‘eggs’ was the Old Norse (and thus northern English) plural. Perhaps surprisingly, in a victory by the Vikings over the Anglo-Saxons, ‘eggs’ became the preferred version in standard English and ‘eyren’ ceased to be. The phrase was originally a celebration and affirmation of this choice.
According to some other sources, however, the phrase is a corruption of “as sure as X is X” which, as a tautology, is obviously true.
In either case, wouldn’t “as sure as eggs are eggs” be more grammatically correct, you might ask. Well, yes, but apparently grammar doesn’t apply to sayings; for example, “who would’ve thunk it?” or “them’s the breaks“.
Finally, “as sure as eggs is eggs (aching men’s feet)” was (of course) the title of the seventh and final section of the song ‘Supper’s Ready’ by the band Genesis in 1972.
Read about more food-related proverbs.
Gardening quote of the month
“The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.” by Vita Sackville.
Read more gardening quotes.
Joke (or pun) of the week
Submitted by Olaf Falafel: My nan recently had a hip operation, now whenever she makes me a sandwich she serves it on a roof tile with a side of rosemary fries in a miniature bucket.
Read more jokes.
Regular activities over the coming week
Farmers’ and other food markets
Not food-related but interesting
The park on park; Saturday, 29th April and Sunday, 30th April, both 10am-4.30pm; $10; Park Orchards.
Tour this ½ acre garden designed by Laurie Landscapes. There are around 14,000 plants and 70 established trees. A river cut from a section of the nearby Yarra River filled with aquatic plants and fish weaves its way through the living area, whilst two large waterscapes with turtles and fish are visible from most angles of the home. Organised by Open Gardens Victoria.
Upcoming face-to-face events – not cooking
Robert, from Bee Sustainable, will give participants a basic understanding of bee behaviour, establishing and managing a hive, and the items that make up a bee hive and their construction. There will be live bees and honeycomb to look at in a secure exhibition cabinet. The workshop will also cover the equipment a beekeeper needs to work with bees, key tasks in spring, honey extraction and swarm control. Organised by My Smart Garden.
You will learn the tools to understand your unique digestive capacity and ways to improve your gut health and digestive strength through the foods you eat, and more importantly, how and when you eat them. A vegetarian lunch is included. You will also receive a booklet covering how to understand your own digestion and how best to care for it plus a complimentary bio-resonance scan.
Hot composting, liquid compost and compost tea can do radical things to your garden and the production and resilience therein. This workshop will discuss such questions as: Why don’t more people practice these technologies? Are they really time consuming? What’s the real benefit? How do you really do it to have confidence in success and get the great results? Do they really make all the difference?
This will be an afternoon of funk and ferment with Simone Watts, chef and farmer at Barragunda Estate, and Hemi Rakei Reidy, head chef at CERES Merri Cafe. A roving menu will showcase organic produce with a focus on slow food and fermentation. There will also be local craft beers, natural wines and alcohol-free ferments plus live music.
Heart health; Sunday, 2nd April, 11am-12.30pm; free; Fitzroy North.
Dr Malcolm Mackay will discuss the role of nutrition in heart disease. Organised by Green Karma.
Victorian Whisky Festival; Sunday, 2nd April, midday-4pm; $80 ($20 per hour); Collingwood.
This is an opportunity to experience many Victorian whiskies. 12 of Victoria’s 15 whisky distilleries will be participating, namely Backwoods, Bakery Hill, Bass & Flinders, Bellarine Distillery, Chief’s Son, Gospel, Jimmy Rum, Kinglake, Morris, NED, Starward and Whisky in Isolation. The ticket price includes all whisky samples.
Formidable Vegetable are back to launch their new album Micro Biome. They aim to inspire folks from 5 to 95 to grow their own food, restore their own ecosystems and live a better life with funky home-scale solutions to the many problems of the world. 5.30pm -Formidable Vegetable kid’s show. 6.30pm – Mal Webb. 7.30pm – Formidable Vegetable.
Heritage apple tasting; Monday, 10th April, 2-4pm; $15; Templestowe.
Around 15 varieties will be available for tasting – mainly mid-season apples. An orchard tour is also included. All funds received go toward the maintenance and expansion of the collection. Organised by the Heritage Fruits Society.
Join them to learn all how food waste can be turned into energy and liquid fertiliser using a ‘biodigester’. A biodigester is a standalone unit that transforms organic waste (food scraps) into cooking gas whilst also creating a liquid fertiliser for the garden. They will demonstrate how to use a biodigester as well how to use the cooking gas that it produces. Organised by Open Table.
Diet for good mental health; Saturday, 22nd April, 11am-12.30pm; free; Greensborough.
Larisa Freiverts will talk about how food impacts our gut health and thereby impacts our mood, depression and anxieties. Organised by Green Karma.
Join us to learn all how food waste can be turned into energy and liquid fertiliser using a ‘biodigester’. A biodigester is a standalone unit that transforms organic waste (food scraps) into cooking gas whilst also creating a liquid fertiliser for the garden. They will demonstrate how to use a biodigester as well how to use the cooking gas that it produces. Organised by Open Table.
This workshop is for those aged 14 to 25 years old who interested to learn more about gardening, cooking, food justice and sustainability. It will focus on the food waste caused by the food system and the effects that this has on the environment. It is the sixth of six workshops being organised in partnership between the Just Food Collective and Sustain: the Australian Food Network.
Cultivating Community will discuss: the differences between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ composting; how to set up a compost bin, worm farm system and Bokashi bin; and the differences between these three systems & how they can each benefit your garden.
- Mushroom growing 101; Wednesday, 15th March, 6.30-9.30pm; $160 ($53 per hour); Collingwood.
- Veggie gardening Q&A; Thursday, 16th March, 2-2.30pm; free; Bulleen.
- Cheese and beer masterclass; Thursday, 16th March, 7-9pm; $64 ($32 per hour); Abbotsford.
- Mead making workshop; Saturday, 18th March, 9am-1pm; $100 ($25 per hour); Doncaster East.
- Autumn veggie gardening for beginners; Saturday, 18th March, 10-10.45am; free; Diamond Creek.
- CERES Harvest Festival; Saturday, 18th March, 10am-3pm; $10; CERES.
- Open Farm Day; Saturday, 18th March, 10am-4pm; free; Edendale.
- The Herb and Chilli Festival; Saturday, 18th March, 10am-5pm; $27; Wandin.
- Preparing for cool season veggies; Saturday, 18th March, 11-11.30am; free; Bulleen.
- Edible weeds presentation with Adam Grubb; Saturday, 18th March, 11am-midday; free; Northcote.
- Bees in your garden; Sunday, 19th March, 10-10.30am; free; Bulleen.
- Introduction to permaculture (2 sessions); Sundays, 19th and 26th March, 10am-3pm; $120 ($10 per hour); Coburg.
- The Herb and Chilli Festival; Sunday, 19th March, 10am-5pm; $27; Wandin.
- Japanese tea ceremony; Tuesday, 21st March, 2-3pm; free; Camberwell.
- Urban property garden tour; Tuesday, 21st March, 6-7.30pm; $5; Kilsyth.
- Backyard bee keeping for beginners; Tuesday, 21st March, 7-8.30pm; free; Coburg.
- Food and mood (age group 50-64) (2 sessions); Tuesdays, 21st and 28th March, both 10.30am-1pm; $20 ($5 per hour); Fawkner.
- Bio Gro tour; Thursday, 23rd March, 9am-midday; free; Doncaster.
- Banyule’s Urban Food Strategy – community co-design workshop; Saturday, 25th March, 9am-12.30pm; free; Bellfield.
- Kevin Heinze GROW Autumn Fair (Coburg); Saturday, 25th March, 9am-3pm; free; Coburg.
- Kevin Heinze GROW Autumn Fair (Doncaster); Saturday, 25th March, 9am-3pm; free; Coburg.
- Edible forest tour; Saturday, 25th March, 10am-midday; $15; Dixons Creek.
- Make a wicking bed; Saturday, 25th March, 10am-midday; $21 ($11 per hour); Hurstbridge.
- DIY mushrooms; Saturday, 25th March, 10am-4pm; $175 ($29 per hour); CERES.
- Wine and cheese tasting masterclass; Saturday, 25th March, 3-5pm; $64 ($32 per hour); Northcote.
- Foundation to organic gardening course (2 sessions); Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of March, 10am-2.30pm; $75 ($8 per hour); Richmond.
- Digestion – cultivating and balancing gut health; Sunday, 26th March, 10.30am-1.30pm; $150 ($50 per hour); Coburg.
- Tea and chocolate pairing experience; Sunday, 26th March, 2-3.15pm; $75 ($60 per hour); Brunswick.
- Ricotta festival; Sunday, 26th March, 10am-4pm; $8; Thomastown.
- Bio Gro tour; Thursday, 30th March, 9am-midday; free; Doncaster.
- Growing herbs for health; Thursday, 30th March, 7-8pm; free; Thomastown.
- Hot composting, compost liquids and teas; Thursday, 30th March, 7-8.30pm; $35 ($24 per hour); Warrandyte.
- Preparing your winter harvest; Saturday, 1st April, 9.30-11.30am; free; Kilsyth.
- Australian Distillers Festival; Saturday, 1st April, midday-7pm; $70; Abbotsford.
- Setting up a worm farm; Saturday, 1st April, 2-3.30pm; free; Edendale.
- Youth world food garden – taking charge of what we eat; Saturday, 1st April, 2-5pm; free; Preston.
- Urban farm funk and ferment party; Saturday, 1st April, 3-7pm; $103 ($26 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Introduction to growing microgreens; Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-midday; $80 ($40 per hour); Preston.
- Edible weeds; Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-midday; $60 ($30 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Heart health; Sunday, 2nd April, 11am-12.30pm; free; Fitzroy North.
- Victorian Whisky Festival; Sunday, 2nd April, midday-4pm; $80 ($20 per hour); Collingwood.
- The cultivation of functional mushrooms at home; Saturday, 2nd April, 1-4pm; $145 ($48 per hour); Fitzroy North.
- Beekeeping practical hands on – intermediate class; Saturday, 8th April, 10am-4pm; $252 ($42 per hour); Edendale.
- Formidable Vegetable + Mal Webb & Kylie Morrigan; Sunday, 9th April, 5.30-9pm; $27; Diamond Creek.
- Heritage apple tasting; Monday, 10th April, 2-4pm; $15; Templestowe.
- Seila Hierk on Asian winter vegetables; Wednesday, 12th April, 8-10pm; free; Doncaster East.
- Yarra Seed Library Group; Thursday, 13th April, 10am-midday; free; Carlton North.
- Organic vegetable gardening; Saturday, 15th April, 10am-3pm; $120 ($24 per hour); CERES.
- Farming for our future (ages 5 to 8); Tuesday, 18th April, 10am-midday; free; Brunswick East.
- Sustainable gardening (8 sessions); starting Tuesday, 18th April, 10am-2pm; $625 ($16 per hour); CERES.
- Farm to fork (ages 3 to 5); Wednesday, 19th April, 1-3pm; free; Brunswick East.
- Turning food waste into energy; Thursday, 20th April, 4-6pm; free; Coburg.
- Autumn plant sale; Saturday, 22nd April, 10am-4pm; free; Eltham.
- Yarra Valley Autumn Plant Fair & Garden Expo; Saturday, 22nd April, 10am-5pm; $14; Wandin.
- Diet for good mental health; Saturday, 22nd April, 11am-12.30pm; free; Greensborough.
- Yarra Valley Autumn Plant Fair & Garden Expo; Sunday, 23rd April, 10am-5pm; $14; Wandin.
- Urban food gardening (9 sessions); Wednesdays, starting 26th April, 10am-2pm; $80 for all 9 sessions (Government subsidised fee); Eltham.
- Seed saving; Saturday, 29th April, 10-11.30am; free; South Morang.
- Edible weeds walk; Saturday, 29th April, 10.30am-12.30pm; $30 ($15 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Edible weeds walk; Saturday, 29th April, 1.30-3.30pm; $30 ($15 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Home composting for beginners; Saturday, 29th April, 2-3.30pm; free; Edendale.
- Introduction to composting, worm farms and Bokashi bins; Monday, 1st May, 1-2.30pm; free; Ringwood.
Upcoming face-to-face events – cooking
Water kefir M.O.B.; Tuesday, 28th March, 6.30-8pm; $85 ($57 per hour); Fitzroy North.
Water kefir is a much quicker lactic-acid based ferment than kombucha. In this workshop, they will demonstrate how to feed your water kefir SCOBY grains and then each attendee will flavour their own batch ready for second phase fermentation using fruits, herbs and spices they have available to you. Go home with water kefir SCOBY grains and your personally flavoured bottle of kefir. M.O.B. stands for ‘mingling over bacteria’.
Milk kefir magic; Friday, 21st April, 6.30-8.30pm; $125 ($63 per hour); Fitzroy North.
They will show you how to easily incorporate this little SCOBY into your daily routine. You will make some milk kefir and then move onto flavouring, making butter, labneh, catching the whey and then making a naturally fizzy and gut-loving soda. You’ll go home with: a milk kefir SCOBY in a jar and ready to feed when you get home; a whey soda flavoured with fresh fruit of your choice to finish fermenting at home; milk kefir cultured butter; and an illustrated recipe card.
What you will learn: how to identify and harvest bush foods; how to grow and maintain bush foods in the home garden; and how to incorporate bush foods into everyday recipes. Tour the CERES bush food gardens and gain knowledge of bush foods from further afar – tropical delights from the north, peppery spices form the south. During the workshop, you will learn how to incorporate bush foods into simple, tasty and nutritious meals, desserts and snacks. The group will make a bush food inspired lunch and afternoon tea – all food prepared on the day will be vegetarian and vegan friendly. Presenter: Belinda Kennedy.
You will learn how to make sourdough bread from start to finish, from mixing and kneading the dough to proofing, shaping and baking. You will also cover how to maintain a sourdough starter. You will take home starter culture and a loaf of freshly baked bread. Organised by The Food School Yarra Valley.
- Laksa lemak; Friday, 17th March, 5-8pm; $85 ($28 per hour); Panton Hill.
- Making jams, preserving fruit, chutneys and pickles workshop; Saturday, 18th March, 10am-1pm; $165 ($55 per hour); Mount Evelyn.
- French patisserie – fraisier; Saturday, 18th March, 10am-2pm; $135 ($34 per hour); Lower Templestowe.
- Fermenting vegetables for beginners with Jen Willis; Saturday, 18th March, 4-5.30pm; $15; Macleod.
- Sourdough bread baking; Sunday, 19th March, 9am-5pm; $190 ($24 per hour); CERES.
- Tomato passata making workshop; Sunday, 19th March, 10am-1pm; $20 ($7 per hour); Watsonia.
- Laksa + Hanoi spring rolls; Sunday, 19th March, 11am -2pm; $128 ($43 per hour); Brunswick.
- Turkish cooking class; Sunday, 19th March, 2-4.30pm; free; Reservoir.
- Vietnamese egg roll – cooking class; Tuesday, 21st March, 10-11.30am; $28 ($19 per hour); Doncaster East.
- Gozleme and baklava workshop; Tuesday, 21st March, 6.30-8.30pm; $65 ($33 per hour); Balwyn North.
- Indian cookery demonstration; Thursday, 23rd March, 6.30-8pm; free; Watsonia.
- Cooking up culture with Yacob Manhua; Friday, 24th March, midday-1.30pm; free; Hawthorn.
- Dumpling making workshop; Friday, 24th March, 6-8.30pm; $75 ($30 per hour); Park Orchards.
- Veggies in desserts; Saturday, 25th March, 10am-3pm; $120 ($24 per hour); CERES.
- Aheda’s Palestinian feast; Saturday, 25th March, 6-10pm; $65 ($60 per hour); Brunswick.
- The art of Thai salads; Sunday, 26th March, 10am-2pm; $160 ($40 per hour); Panton Hill.
- Authentic Mexican; Sunday, 26th March, 10am-3pm; $120 ($24 per hour); CERES.
- Passata party vol. 3; Sunday, 26th March, 10am-4pm; $15; Coburg North.
- Water kefir M.O.B.; Tuesday, 28th March, 6.30-8pm; $85 ($57 per hour); Fitzroy North.
- Hot cross buns; Tuesday, 28th March, 6-9pm; $65 ($22 per hour); Hawthorn.
- Ladies day in the kitchen; Thursday, 30th March, 9.30am-midday; $35 ($14 per hour); Yarra Glen.
- Kitchen basics; Saturday, 1st April, 10am-1pm; $165 ($55 per hour); Mount Evelyn.
- Sausage making with Frank; Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-1pm; $165 ($55 per hour); Mount Evelyn.
- Cake decorating using coloured fondants; Sunday, 2nd April, 1-5pm; $99 ($25 per hour); Surrey Hills.
- Men in the kitchen; Tuesday, 4th April, 6.30-9pm; $35 ($14 per hour); Yarra Glen.
- Kraut M.O.B.; Wednesday, 12th April, 6.30-8pm; $85 ($57 per hour); Fitzroy North.
- Kids school holiday cooking program; Thursday, 13th April, 10am-midday; $40 ($20 per hour); Hawthorn.
- Gnocchi making class; Sunday, 16th April, 10am-1pm; $140 ($47 per hour); Thomastown.
- Indonesian food experience; Tuesday, 18th April, 10.30am-1pm; $40 ($16 per hour); Yarra Glen.
- Milk kefir magic; Friday, 21st April, 6.30-8.30pm; $125 ($63 per hour); Fitzroy North.
- Beginners cheese making class; Saturday, 22nd April, 10am-3pm; $250 ($50 per hour); Thomastown.
- Pasta making – gnocchi and fettucine; Sunday, 23rd April, 10am-1pm; $165 ($55 per hour); Mount Evelyn.
- Introduction to fermenting at home; Sunday, 23rd April, 10am-1pm; $80 ($27 per hour); CERES.
- Pasta making workshop; Saturday, 29th April, 1-3pm; $55 ($28 per hour); Park Orchards.
- Food waste workshop with Open Table; Saturday, 29th April, 2-4pm; free; Carlton.
- Preserving the harvest – then and now; Tuesday, 2nd May, 2-3pm; free; Mooroolbark.
- Artisan bread making; various Sundays, 8am-2pm; $230 ($38 per hour); Abbotsford.
- BBQ classes; various days and times; $135-150 ($45-50 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Beginners bread making; various Sundays, 8am-2pm; $230 ($38 per hour); Abbotsford.
- Chocolate making and pastry classes for children; various days and times; various costs; Yarra Glen.
- Chocolate making workshop; various Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; $152 ($38 per hour); Blackburn.
- Chocolate making workshop; various Saturdays and Sundays; $125 ($63 per hour); Box Hill North.
- Kombucha brewing workshop; last Thursday of each month, 7-11pm; $49 ($12 per hour); Brunswick.
- La Cucina di Sandra (Italian); various evenings, 6.30-10.30pm; $120 ($30 per hour); Richmond.
- Nonna & Mum’s cooking class; 4th Thursday of each month, 7-10pm; $24 ($8 per hour); Thornbury.
- Otao Kitchen (many different classes); various dates, times and prices but mostly 3 hours long and $197; Abbotsford.
- Rosa’s cooking classes; various Saturdays and Sundays, 10.15am-3pm; mostly $165 ($35 per hour); Bundoora.
- Sourdough bread workshop; roughly once a month on Saturdays, 9-11.30am; $185 ($74 per hour); Brunswick East.
- Tea blending; various Sundays; $75 ($60 per hour); Brunswick.
- The ultimate biscuit class; various Tuesdays, 10am-3pm; $162 ($32 per hour); Blackburn.
- Wild fermentation class and edible forest tour; 1st Saturday of each month, 10am-1pm; $85 ($28 per hour); Dixons Creek.