Sep 302015

patisserieYour editor (Guy) is back from his long sojourn in France. So, your weekly newsletters are also back!

Even though many of its components (starting with French bread) are now widely available in Australia, I found that the French food experience remains unique. Notably, there is no equivalent to the French patisserie experience: most of the villages we visited had three shops or fewer, but one of these was almost always a boulangerie/patisserie, and this almost always had a wide selection of the most mouth-watering patisseries (e.g. see the photo).

Welcome to all those who, in my absence, subscribed to receive this newsletter: Alana, Andrew, Anna, Belinda, Bronwyn, Claire, Dale, Eleonora, Glenda, Irene, Irene, Jackie, Jessica, Jill, John, Karyn, Kathryn, Mei, Nada, Rachel, Ron, Sandra, Susanna, Teresa, Theresa, Tina and Tom. Note that, if you find the weekly newsletters too frequent, you can always switch to monthly newsletters only (see options at the bottom of this newsletter).

tomatoHelen’s guide to growing tomatoes

Helen’s article for this month is on the important topic of how to grow tomatoes. As she says in her introduction: “Tomatoes can be commenced from seed – start them in small containers on a sunny window sill. When seedlings are around 10cm, pot them up into a larger pot, then finally into the garden. Alternatively, purchase seedlings, which can be planted directly into the garden. The traditional ‘planting into the garden’ day is Cup Day. However, as long as you are confident night time temperatures won’t fall below about 5°C, you can plant out earlier. Around Nillumbik and Banyule, mid October is the time I would recommend. However, some people plant their seedlings in the garden earlier and protect them from cold weather at night with an upturned bucket or cloche. Varieties that are more cold hardy include ‘potato leaf’ types (e.g. Stupice) and cherry tomatoes (e.g. Tommy Toe or Sweetie).” She then goes on to discuss pots or garden, soil and aspect, varieties, maintenance and companion planting. Read the full article.

New food swap in Warrandyte

The swap will be on the 1st Saturday of each month, from 9-10am (which is the same time as Warrandyte Market). The location will be Warrandyte Community Garden, Police Street (which is next to the market). The organisers are Carol Woolcock, Tess Gardiner and Lara McKinley.

This is genuinely exciting news – effectively Local Food Connect’s first venture in Warrandyte. If you are ever free on the morning of the 1st Saturday, it would be great if some of you could go along to support the team. You could combine it with a visit to Warrrandyte Market, which is actually pretty mega. And, if you want to go this Saturday (3rd October) and live in the Eltham area, I can offer you a lift.

Eltham planter box working bee

If you live in Eltham, here is a date for your diary: 10am, Sunday, 11th October at the LFC marquee at Eltham Farmers’ Market. At that time, a number of us are getting together to do the spring plantings at both the farmers’ market planter boxes and the planter box in front of Nillumbik Health. Seedlings, fertiliser, coffee, etc will all be provided. If you are interested, email me.

Community Market Stall at Eltham Farmers’ Market

During 2015, we have have had 5 different sellers at the stall: Stuart Rodda; Deb and Andrew Stahmer; Pam Jenkins; Elodie and Tash; and Jan, John and Sandra. Most of them have sold out and all of them have (I think!) enjoyed themselves. But we really need some more people. If you likely to have any surplus produce over the next few months (kale anyone?), have a read about the stall and then contact me (; 0416 203067; 9444 1400).

honeyHay fever & sinusitis honey

Frankie Spranger has written in to say that his ‘hay fever remedy honey’ is now ready for the new season. Jars contain pollen, bees wax, raw local honey and propolis. They can be purchased from the Heidi Honey stall any Saturday at St Andrews Market or most Sundays at Kingsbury Drive Community Market.

Bee Rescue / Heidi Honey also have a number of bee colonies available for your own hive expected to be ready in Spring. For further details, click here.

Advanced composting

In August, Dianne from Edendale ran an advanced composting workshop at Diamond Valley Library. To view/download Dianne’s slides, click here.

New events

As you will see, there are lots of interesting events during October. But I only know about these events because people have emailed me about them. I am very appreciative of such emails. If you know of any events that could usefully be included in the newsletter and website, please email me. If you have a flyer, this can also be included. Just one request: please make sure that the details are in a form that can be copy/pasted (i.e. not just a jpg).

Open Farm Day

What: Open Farm Day is your chance to visit working farms and meet local farmers. Experience: farm tours, live demonstrations, farm animals and product tastings. The 9 farms are: Apted’s Pear and Apple Orchard; Hildebrand Grove; Kings of Kangaroo Ground; Omaru Alpaca; Sarokos Park Beef and Cattle Stud; Shaws Road Winery and Cider; Strathewen Angus; Wedgetail Estate; and Weeping Grevillea Nursery
When: Sunday, 4th October, 10am-4pm.
Where: 9 different farms around Nillumbik.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Nillumbik Council by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Valerie’s open garden

What: A garden for the soul as well as the stomach, Valerie’s garden is a delight to all the senses. Visually gorgeous in any season, with camellias adorning the winter through to the cottage-style plantings and roses throughout the rest of year. Use of espalier on painted walls and fences to utilise all available space. Organised by Sustainable Gardening Australia.
When: Sunday, 4th October, 10.30am-3pm.
Where: Eltham.
Cost: $8.
Enquiries/Bookings: Maria Ciavarella by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mary & Robert’s open garden

What: Mary and Robert’s garden reveals that they are passionate about gardening, sustainability and eating well. The profusion of produce is everywhere, from the aquaponics system in the front to the abundance that awaits at the back. Organised by Sustainable Gardening Australia.
When: Saturday, 10th October, 11am-3pm.
Where: Heidelberg.
Cost: $8.
Enquiries/Bookings: Maria Ciavarella by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

local livesConference: local lives, global matters

What: A 3-day conference exploring: local economies and livelihoods; equitable, re-democratised societies; social and ecological justice; and the spirituality that connects us to the land and each other. Presentations, workshops, panel discussions, plenaries, story-telling, art, music, film and site visits will showcase local in initiatives and kick-start new ones.
When: Friday, 16th October to Sunday, 18th October.
Where: Castlemaine.
Cost: $80 per day ($50 unwaged).
Enquiries/Bookings: Ellen/Nikki by phone (5472 1782; 0432 232073.
Further information: the flyer.

spring fairSpring fair & plant sale

What: Kevin Heinze GROW works with children and adults of all abilities to provide, enhance and promote the benefits of horticulture-based therapy. Their spring plant sale is one of their major fundraising events of the year. It will include fruit trees (including many stonefruit, apples and pears), veggies & herbs, ornamentals (including succulents and maples), and a huge variety of pots. All will be very reasonably priced and all proceeds will go to support Kevin Heinze GROW’s horticulture therapy programs. There will also be a BBQ and Devonshire teas.
When: Saturday, 17th October, 9am-3pm.
Where: Kevin Heinze GROW, Doncaster.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Georgia by phone (9848 3695) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough bread making workshop

What: Tutor – Kylie Moppert. Suitable for novices and those who want to expand their bread making repertoire. Learn the theory of: the essential ingredients; the principle steps of bread making; the “bakers’ percentage”; and how to modify instant yeast recipes for sourdough culture. Hands on: expand starter (the live sourdough culture); mix, knead and fold dough; shape loaves; and slash and bake. Take home: starter; a dough to bake; and the loaves you have baked.
When: Saturday, 17th October, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $45.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Open Cellars of Nillumbik Wineries

What: Visit any or all of 13 small family-owned wineries in Nillumbik, each with an individual style, where the grapes are hand-picked and hand-crushed by family and friends in the traditional style, with wines developed on site. This is a chance to sample exquisite wines from the artisan wine-makers of the western Yarra Valley, at wineries not always open to the public. You will also find excellent food to complement the wine, as well as live music and artworks from local artists at some venues. There is no entry fee, or tasting fee, at any of the venues.
When: Saturday, 17th October and Sunday, 18th October, 11am-5pm.
Where: 13 different wineries around Nillumbik.
Cost: free.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Rabbit Ramble meets Practiculture Picnic

rabbitWhat: The Rabbit Ramble meets Practiculture Picnic is a fun filled day all about free, foraged and feral foods. The event includes a rabbit cooking competition, practiculture workshops, kids activities, raffle, silent auction and door prizes. BYO picnic lunch. Feral foods will also be on sale for lunch. This is an alcohol and soft drink free event! Rohan Anderson, from Whole Larder Love, will be guest speaker.
When: Sunday, 18th October, 10am-3pm.
Where: Tooborac.
Cost: $10.
Enquiries/Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Vegetable seedling propagation

What: Rachel, from Edendale, will tell you all you need to know about propagating your own vegetables.
When: Tuesday, 20th October, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Dione Fisher by phone (9434 3809) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

permablitzHurstbridge Learning Coop Primary School permablitz

What: The Hurstbridge Learning Coop Primary School is holding its first Permablitz. Activities will include: setting up the community nursery/greenhouse; a chance to learn how to make a wicking garden bed & how to set up and plant a food forest; planting a semi circle banana garden; planting vines; and helping build a geodome structure for the chooks. There will also be workshops specially for the kids, including bush mandala making, craft and lots of nail, hammer and wheelbarrow action. The school will provide morning and afternoon tea, plus a scrumptious lunch for all.
When: Saturday, 24th October, 9am-4.30pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Learning Coop Primary School.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Michelle Labrin by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Melbourne Cheese Festival

What: Free tastings, samples and demonstrations from cheese providores including Calendar Cheese, Red Cow Cheese, King Island Dairy and their very own cheesemonger, Anthony Femia. Includes a ‘milk the cow’ fondue tent, a ‘meatmaiden mac n cheese’ marquee and a cheese wheeling race.
When: Saturday, 24th October, 10am-5pm.
Where: Prahran Market.
Cost: free.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Bellfield Community Garden official opening

What: Come and have a look at the community garden, see how much they have achieved since their beginnings in June 2014, and discuss how you could get involved. The activities planned for the day include: wicking bed workshops, tours of the garden and seedling sales. All welcome and no bookings required.
When: Sunday, 25th October, 1-3pm.
Where: Bellfield Community Garden.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Paul Morland by phone (9440 9247) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Plant identification workshop: grasses

What: The trainer will be Lincoln Kern from Practical Ecology, who was previously employed to run plant identification courses in this area with the Centre for Adult Education. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
When: Sunday, 25th October, 1-3pm.
Where: Bunjil Reserve.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Rsvp by 18th October. Karen Borton by phone (9433 3219) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

wine showEltham Wine Show

What: Australia’s largest amateur wine show! [Ed: It really is! I went last year and it was pretty mega]. Includes: many award winning wines on tasting; sausage making demonstration; food and wine matching workshop; artisan olive oil sampling; artisan cheese sampling and presentation; complimentary cheese and biscuit platters; and award presentation (at midday).
When: Sunday, 15th November, 10.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Veneto Sports and Entertainment Centre.
Cost: $15.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Upcoming events from previous LFC News

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.