Aug 312016

Eltham Farmers’ Market video stars competition

mark sherwinEach week from now until the beginning of October, we will be running one or more competitions centred on videos of particular local farmers. Watch the video, answer a simple multiple choice question, and go into the draw for $50 of the farmer’s produce (only one entry per person).

The farmer starring in this week’s video is Mark Sherwin from The Mushroom Shed. Click here to watch the video and enter the competition.

Was that easy or what? Maybe we’ll make the question harder next week.

Helen Simpson writes about how to grow ginger and turmeric

turmericOf all The Common’s Facebook posts that I have referenced in recent months, the most popular amongst our newsletter fraternity has been that on turmeric. In this context, Helen and I agreed that she would write an article about how to grow the stuff. And given its similarity, both botanically and from a growing perspective, Helen decided that she would also discuss ginger. The end result is that
Helen’s article for the month of September is on how to grow ginger and turmeric. As she says in her introduction “Ginger and turmeric are both hot weather plants which grow abundantly in tropical climates. Although growing in Melbourne presents a challenge, a moderate harvest can be obtained by mimicking a tropical environment as closely as possible. Essentially this means growing ginger and turmeric over Melbourne’s summer and, to maximise your harvest, create the longest possible growing period by starting your plants as soon as the weather warms up in September. This can be tricky, as cold snaps and frosts still occur, so protection of your plants in the early months is essential – for example, in a greenhouse or house overnight. Because of this, I recommend growing the plants in pots, which can be moved and protected as necessary.” Both are grown from rhizomes, which are the things that you also buy to eat. Read the full article.

Another honey provider in the Local Food Directory

backyardhoney1See the directory entry for Backyard Honey. Their raw, local, multi-floral and varietal honey is hand-harvested, unheated, cold extracted and permeated with local pollens. They are based in Surrey Hills and their honey is available from a wide variety of outlets across North East Melbourne.

Mac’s tip of the week

It is time to prevent codling moth on your apples, pears and quinces, especially if you have had infestations in the past. Use pheromone traps, trappit glue or corrugated cardboard wraps around the trunk. Perhaps spray with Dipel or Success. Google “codling moth lifecycle” to gain more knowledge. Act now!

Food and social justice

beyond the kaleKaryn Knight thought that some people might be interested in a new book entitled Beyond the kale: urban agriculture and social justice activism in New York City.

Bruce Plain’s contribution is links to articles about Detroit urban farmers and a mobile farmers’ market in Austin, Texas.

Here are some links to Melbourne-wide organisations: Food Bank, SecondBite and Feed Melbourne.

And here are some more local links: the Food Justice Truck and the Diamond Valley Food Share.

New events

Note that the first five events below are all happening within the next week.

Sauerkraut making workshop

What: Go and give your health an extra boost this spring season by learning how to prepare fermented foods that are good for your stomach. Led by Gemma Macri, this workshop will cover the basic practices in the traditional fermentation process including chopping, salting, packing and tasting. Please BYO small jar if you would like to take some sauerkraut home to ferment. Numbers are limited so please register in advance. Sauerkraut will be available as part of the lunch menu at the Peppertree cafe.
When: Saturday, 3rd September, 10am-2pm.
Where: PepperTree Place, Coburg.
Cost: $15 ($10 concession).
Enquiries/Bookings: Natasha van Velzen by phone (0431 494773) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Weed control networking day

What: This event will provide landowners with information on the resources available to tackle priority weed issues, as a community. Their guest speakers will discuss how their organisations can support and fund community-led programs and provide case studies of successful projects in the region. Organisations include Landcare Victoria, The Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT), The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT), Melbourne Water and Port Phillip and Westernport CMA.
When: Saturday, 3rd September, 10am-2pm.
Where: Wollert Hall, Wollert.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Katherine Whittaker by phone (9217 2147) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permaculture basics

What: Following the regular monthly food swap at Montmorency, listen to local gardener and permie Julie as she explains what is meant by permaculture, the ethics and principles that underpin it and how you can use it in your home garden.
When: Sunday, 4th September, 11.30am-12.15pm.
Where: Montmorency Primary School.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Katherine Barling by phone (0439 652680) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Eat, drink, talk, think

What: Join them to discuss the question “How can we better tell the sustainable fair food story to engage new audiences?” This event gives those working and volunteering on sustainable and fair food projects an opportunity to meet, be inspired by others’ projects, discuss ideas, forge new relationships, and stay connected with what is happening. The two speakers of the evening are Dr Jen Rae (artist, researcher, and cultural producer) and Ben McMenamin (chef, environmentalist and social entrepreneur).
When: Tuesday, 6th September, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Neometro lounge, Brunswick.
Cost: $6 pre-event; $7 on the door.
Enquiries: Jen by email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wine master class

What: Two wines in glasses side by side without seeing the label, can you tell Pinot from Merlot? Can you tell oaked from un-oaked Chardonnay? Go along for a wine master class conducted by winemaker George Apted from Shaws Road Winery. Limited numbers (30 max) so book early.
When: Tuesday, 6th September, 6.30-9.30pm.
Where: Folk Alley Cafe, St Andrews.
Cost: $30 (includes all wine tastings, cheese platters and canapes).
Enquiries/Bookings: Cassie by phone (0448 220433).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Indian cooking – Punjabi (two sessions)

What: Tutor – Taariq Hassan. Learn how to cook a healthy North West Indian vegetarian meal from scratch using authentic ingredients. Enjoy eating what has been made after at the end of the session or take it home for your next main meal. Join a small group of 6-8 participants at these hands on cooking sessions guided by demonstrations from an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tutor. Simple approaches and techniques, authentic shortcuts and steps for preparation will all be covered. Week 1 menu: daal (spiced lentils); raita (yoghurt-based dip); basmati rice with peas and cumin seeds; dry roasted poppadums; and a milk-based dessert. Week 2 menu: aloo saag (spinach and potato) and chapatti (flat bread).
When: Thursday, 8th September and Thursday, 15th September, both 6.30-8.30pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Hub.
Cost: $90 ($82 concession).
Enquiries/Bookings: Living & Learning Nillumbik by phone (9433 3744) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Traditional Italian pizza

What: Discover the authentic taste of Mediterranean cuisine, using the freshest ingredients. A tasty three-course menu (pizza base and a variety of traditional toppings; focaccia; and sweet pizza surprise) will be prepared and enjoyed for lunch afterwards.
When: Saturday, 17th September, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $70 ($65 concession).
Enquiries/Bookings: Living & Learning Nillumbik by phone (9433 3744) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to natural beekeeping (two day)

What: Suitable for beginners, and ideal for the backyarder, this two-day event will cover such subjects as: equipment, legislation, choosing the location, ongoing maintenance and harvesting. The event is being run by the Natural Beekeeping Group of Permaculture Victoria.
When: Saturday 17th September and Sunday, 18th September, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Mitcham.
Cost: $200 for members of Permaculture Victoria; $250 for non-members.
Enquiries/Bookings: Claire Smith by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough workshop

What: Yvonne Ashby hopes that her passion for sourdough will inspire others to enjoy a good quality homemade bread and a great way to re-live a past time. This will be a hands-on workshop on how to make traditional sourdough bread with the 3 basic ingredients of flour, water and salt. The class will be limited to 6-8 people with a hands-on approach to all aspects of making sourdough, including the tasting for lunch from different variations of sourdough bread that use the basic sourdough recipe being learnt in the workshop (e.g. spelt, fruit & nut, seeded, wholemeal). The cost is inclusive of Yvonne’s continued support whilst the participant is making their own bread at home. The workshop is suitable for beginners who want to expand their bread making repertoire. You will: learn about the required ingredients and tools of the trade; discover the fermentation techniques to optimise the open crumb texture; and learn about the Baker’s Percentage and hydration. During the workshop, you will: mix, knead and fold the dough; learn shaping techniques; learn to score and bake; and learn how to maintain a starter.
When: Saturday, 1st October, 10am-1pm.
Where: Yallambie.
Cost: $85.
Enquiries: Yvonne Ashby by phone (0409 225774) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.