Mar 262019
 

Judy interviews Vicky Shukuroglou, from Eltham

Vicky lives on a 10 acre property close to Warrandyte State Park. Here’s how Judy Vizzari introduces her interview write up: “Vicky is a gardener with an obvious love of plants and expertise in food production but this garden isn’t just about produce or pretty spaces – it’s clear that Vicky has a deep love of her environment. ‘For me, gardening is about biodiversity – my number one priority is to maintain habitat.’ Hers is a holistic approach – it’s evidenced in the way that she cares for land and its inhabitants, in the work that she devotes to returning her land to its natural state and in her efforts to maintain, not only its vegetation, but also the life it supports.Read the full interview.

Some videos of local food gardens

3000acres has been interviewing some prominent local food gardeners and have started publishing the videos that have resulted. Each video is around 2 minutes long. The first three are:

Yes, that first one is me! This is how they introduce the video: “Nestled amongst gumtrees, Guy’s edible garden has a no-kill policy, making for a very happy insect population! Guy leaves it up to nature, believing that he will get his fair share of food. His biophilic approach creates harmony in his garden, an experimental space where he grows a huge variety of fruits and vegetables.

On the subject of videos, I’ve just seen this video that Banyule Council have been using to advertise Home Harvest Picnic 2019 on Sunday, 31st March. How many newsletter readers can you spot?

And here is a rather odd video of Ben, from Ben’s Bees (Blackburn North), interviewing Adrian O’Hagan, from Permablitz Melbourne.

Robin’s veggie growing tip of the month: plant annual herbs in autumn

It may sound odd to plant annual herbs in early April but I have come to the conclusion that it is a good idea. Herbs such as dill, florence fennel, summer savoury, coriander, chervil and German chamomile (the variety used for chamomile tea), all of which are used for their fragrant leaf, bolt during the hot summer months. Climate change has caused a shift in seasons so that once cool March and April are now warm – certainly warm enough to germinate seed – but not too warm to cause bolting to seed. You may not get seed head development but you will get foliage in autumn, winter and spring. Another advantage of autumn sowing of annual herbs is that this is also the time you can collect seed from last year’s plants, giving you fresh seed to sow.

Parsley, while technically a biennial, is usually grown as an annual and can be added to the list. It takes longer than the other herbs to germinate (up to 2 months compared to 10-14 days) but you can speed up the process by soaking the seed for 24 hours. If you are adventurous, you might also plant basil seedlings but, unlike other annuals, basil will succumb to cold weather and be killed off completely by frost. Having said that, my basil lasted into July last year.

Sow seed of all annual herbs directly into your garden so as to avoid setback through transplanting. Cover the seed in some way to prevent birds scratching it out and eating it up. And remember to water well from the time the seed is sown until the plant is well established.

Read more of Robin’s tips

Live in (or near) Northcote and want some compost?

Kate Sage has a composter which generates 20 litres of compost every month or so. She would like to give this compost to either a community garden or individual in Northcote. She is happy to deliver it. If interested, email Kate.

Live in Diamond Valley and want some compostable waste?

Diamond Valley Greenwaste Share is a new Facebook page which aims “to connect people with compostable waste – e.g. cafes/restaurants – with people who want it – e.g. community/home gardeners.” Thanks for the heads up, Isabel Nalato!

Community gardening news

Incredible Edible Eltham is planning to do some autumn planting on the morning of Tuesday, 9th April and they really do need some of you to join them. They will be meeting at the edible garden at the railway station at 10am to start the planting and then moving on to the bed on Main Road outside healthAbility later in the morning. Why not go along to do a bit of planting, have a bit of a chat and drink a bit of coffee? Contact Guy by email or phone (0411 520850)

There has apparently been some vandalism at Bedford Park Community Garden in Ringwood. A scarecrow has been burnt to the ground and some plants have been destroyed. See their Facebook post announcing the news.

Want a job?

Wholemilk Continental Cheese Company, in Heidelberg West, wants to employ a casual factory worker to help with: the manufacturing of a variety of cheeses; moving and packing cheese; basic cleaning; and stock rotation.

Can you save seeds from unripe tomatoes?

In response to Eric’s question in last week’s newsletter about whether you can save seeds from unripe tomatoes, Dan Milne replied: “As a rule of thumb, it’s best to select seeds from the biggest, ripest, most beautiful specimens. In theory, using the seeds from unripe fruit selects ‘unripe’ or ‘late to ripen’ as a quality for next year’s plants. If you have space, I recommend hanging up the plants to finish ripening. See www.milkwood.net/2015/03/04/hanging-green-tomatoes-upside-down-to-ripen.

Here’s my response: “Tomatoes continue to ripen after being picked so, if there is even the slightest blush on the tomatoes, pick them and hopefully they will ripen, with the seeds also maturing. If they don’t ripen, there is still a chance that some of the seeds are viable, but only if a gel has developed around them. In addition to visual inspection, you can test for gel by trying to cut the seed with a sharp knife – if it is easily cut then there is no gel, but if the knife tends to slip off the seed then there is gel.

White cabbage moth decoys

The debate about how to keep the white cabbage moth away from your brassica seedlings continues. Liz Hudson has written in: “I use this Word document, which someone shared on Facebook ages ago. [Editor: also, see the picture right]. I laminated the sheet, cut the butterflies out very carefully, stuck them on top of skewers and dotted them around the garden. I’m ambivalent about their success – but they are a cheaper option than the nursery.

Preventing sun scald on apples

Newsletter reader Angelo Eliades has written a short article on apple tree problems – sun scald.

Read more of Angelo’s food growing articles.

Permablitz hero of the month: oregano

A hero in the garden, a hero in the kitchen and a hero in the medicine cabinet! Oregano really is an all ’round hero herb!Read the article.

Read more Permablitz heroes of the month.

What seeds to plant in April

Here is a list (see the planting guide for more detail):

Brassicas

Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Kale
Mizuna
Mustard greens
Pak choy

Cool season veggies

Broad beans
Coriander
Fennel
Garlic
Peas

Leafy greens

Lettuce
Rocket
Silverbeet
Spinach

Other

Beetroot
Carrot
Chives
Parsley
Potato
Radish
Shallot

April is a good month to plant your cool season veggies. So, plant those broad beans, peas, garlic and brassicas. Also, plant some leafy greens.

Read Helen’s 2016 articles on growing brassicas, growing garlic and on autumn plantings.

Proverb of the month

Parsley seed goes nine times to the Devil. Meaning: germination of parsley is slow and unreliable. Variants: change the number and the recipient to whatever you want; for example, “parsley seed goes seven times to the Old Lad” (D.H. Lawrence, 1962). A colourful expression for a prosaic thought. Goes back to Yorkshire in the 17th Century. The idea is that the Devil keeps most of the seeds (i.e. the ungerminated ones) for himself. As someone called Adele Nozedar said in her 2008 book entitled ‘Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols’: “If sowing parsley, the only day on which it can be done that does not throw the immortal soul of the gardener into serious risk is Good Friday, when Satan has no jurisdiction over the soil.

Read more proverbs.

Gardening quote of the month

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” by A.A. Milne.

Read more quotes.

Joke of the week

As submitted by Jamal Clifford: Why could Granny Smith not drive? Because she was an apple.

Read more jokes.

Melbourne Good Beer Week

Melbourne Good Beer Week is May 10-19. There are a gazillion events, mostly around the CBD. Download the program.

New events – not cooking

The eclectic garden (garden tour): Saturday, 6th April and Sunday, 7th April, both 10am-4.30pm; Nunawading.

What: Within this garden – where every space is utilised, both horizontally and vertically – not everything is seen at once. There is a rich diversity of botanical specimen trees, selective foliage plants and perennials. ‘Cloud pruning’ of olive trees creates a visual interest. Plantings include many vireyas, begonias, various succulents, edible plantings such as various citrus trees, different currant bushes, and seasonal vegetables. There are meandering paths and quirky garden art pieces. The front garden, with its circular lawn, is surrounded by dense plantings which creates an intimate feeling. Another special feature is that artist Jo Reitze will be painting the garden over the weekend whilst it is open.
Cost: $8 (students $5, under 18 free).
Bookings: just turn up.

Autumn Gin Market: Sunday, 14th April, 11am-8.30pm; The Craft & Co, Collingwood.

What: Around 12 stallholders will showcase their gins, including: Imbue Distillery (Eltham), Patient Wolf Distilling Co. (Brunswick) and The Craft & Co. (Collingwood).
Cost: $10 (includes free tastings).

Pruning fruit trees with Karen from Edible Eden part two: Wednesday, 1st May, 6.30-9pm; Forest Hill.

What: Karen Sutherland, from Edible Eden Design, will focus on maximising yield through disease management, pruning techniques and cultivar selection to get the most out of apples, pears, grapes, fig, mulberry, persimmon, kiwi and berries.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Composting to improve your soil: Thursday, 16th May, 11am-midday; Fawkner Library.

What: Facilitated by Tash van Velzen. Understand what is really going on in the compost heap and worm farm.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Edible weeds walk: Saturday, 18th May, at 11am-1pm and again at 2-4pm; Brunswick East.

What: What if many of the weeds in our garden were just as edible as the vegetables we tend beside them? What if some of these free, all-too-easy-to-grow uninvited guests were so nutritionally dense that they are just about the healthiest things you could possibly eat? What if many of them also had medical traditions dating back centuries? Well it’s all true! And if you know what to choose, they also taste great. Join Adam Grubb, co-author of The Weed Forager’s Handbook, for a fascinating walk on the wild side.
Cost: $25 ($20 concession).
Bookings: their website (11am and 2pm).

Sticky date with the Backyard Honey beekeeper: Saturday, 18th May, 11am-2pm; Bunnings, Nunawading.

What: Facilitated by Peter Dyer, from Backyard Honey. Watch a live honeybee colony at work. Taste raw cold-pressed Victorian honeys and discover what you can do to sustain healthy bees and pollinators in our community.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

New events – cooking

Miso paste making: Saturday, 6th April, 11am-1.30pm; Preston.

What: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae). You will make your own high protein and enzyme rich miso paste following traditional Japanese methods.
Cost: $95.
Bookings: by email.

Shio koji making and cooking: Sunday, 7th April, 11am-1.30pm; Preston.

What: Shio koji is a Japanese fermented seasoning made with rice koji (cooked rice that has been inoculated with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae).
Cost: $95.
Bookings: by email.

A touch of Thai (vegan cooking class): Sunday, 7th April, midday-4pm; The Beet Retreat, Smiths Gully.

What: A selection of Thai inspired dishes will be demonstrated, plus practical staples – 5-8 dishes in total. Everything will be vegan, based around the core staples of fruit, veg, starches, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Cost: $100 (includes sit down 3-course meal).
Bookings: their website.

Nuka zuke – rice bran pickling: Saturday, 13th April, 11am-1pm; Preston.

What: Nuka zuke is a famous Japanese fermented pickling technique using rice bran. In this workshop, you will make your own Nuka medium/bedding so that you can keep pickling at home for years and years!
Cost: $95.
Bookings: by email.

Thai inspired vegan cooking class: 3 occurrences – Sunday 14th April, Sunday 12th May, and Sunday 19th May, each midday-4pm; The Beet Retreat, Smiths Gully.

What: A selection of Thai inspired dishes will be demonstrated, plus practical staples, including cashew yoghurt, plant-based milk and nut parmesan sprinkle. Everything will be vegan, based around the core staples of fruit, veg, starches, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Cost: $100 (includes sit down 3-course meal).
Bookings: their website.

Ganache and truffles – let’s play!: Thursday, 18th April, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: how to temper chocolate to create a shine and crispy snap; how to create ganache; and let your creativity shine through as you decorate your truffles. What you will get: a box of truffles that you have handcrafted; and a starter pack – apron, dipping tool, chocolate, recipes. Once you know how to temper and how to work with chocolate, your imagination will be your only limitation. They will make a ganache for the filling, revealing the small tricks that ensure a smooth outcome.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Vegan brunch cooking class: 3 occurrences – Monday 22nd April, Thursday 25th April, and Sunday 26th May, each midday-4pm; The Beet Retreat, Smiths Gully.

What: Learn how to create healthy, practical, everyday vegan dishes that look as good as they taste. It will include such dishes as plant-based milks, creamy lemon dream porridge, waffles, pancakes, scrambled tofu, chia puddings and smoothie bowls.
Cost: $100 (includes brunch).
Bookings: their website.

Miso paste making: Sunday, 5th May, 11am-1.30pm; Preston.

What: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae). You will make your own high protein and enzyme rich miso paste following traditional Japanese methods.
Cost: $95.
Bookings: by email.

Nuka zuke – rice bran pickling: Saturday, 11th May, 11am-1pm; Preston.

What: Nuka zuke is a famous Japanese fermented pickling technique using rice bran. In this workshop, you will make your own Nuka medium/bedding so that you can keep pickling at home for years and years!
Cost: $95.
Bookings: by email.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Mar 202019
 

Growing edibles in a pond – an article by Jian Liu

A new journalist has joined the newsletter staff! Jian Liu’s first article is about her favourite and most productive part of her garden: her small pond. As Jian says: “If you’ve never thought about growing edibles in a pond before, you should definitely give it a go! It’s easy and super productive. And it doesn’t even need much space. Think of it as a giant ‘self-watering’ pot which grows moisture-loving plants with no effort on your part, just place and forget. I had never thought about having a pond before as part of a permaculture garden but I now think that it’s an essential part of our backyard ecosystem.” She then goes on to discuss the main benefits of having a pond/water feature, her top plants for the pond, and her edible plants. Read the article.

Want a job?

3000acres are seeking a part-time Project Manager for parental leave cover – 12 month position. This is an exciting, dynamic and flexible role for someone with the rights skills. 0.6FTE (flexible hours) at $31 per hour + entitlements. Ideal start date: 29th April (negotiable). Closing date for application: 29th March. Read more. To apply, email Morgan Koegel.

KABUU wants your help

KABUU, the Montmorency-based grower of microgreens and seedlings, will soon be fundraising and constructing three new growing tunnels for their market garden. This will help them bring a lot more fresh produce to Eltham Farmers’ Market. They will need help with: building and welding; making a video for crowdfunding; social media posts; and fundraising. They will also be organising some working bees to help construct the tunnels. If you would like to get involved, in a small or big way, please email Richard.

Can you save seeds from unripe tomatoes?

Eric Nuncio writes in: “A lot of the tomatoes in my garden are in the green stage and are unlikely to ripen. I do, however, want to collect some seeds for next season. Will the seeds from an unripen tomato still produce a plant or does the tomato have to be ripe?“. Email me with your answer and I pass it on to Eric.

White cabbage moth

In last week’s newsletter, we featured Carol Woolcock’s op shop exclusion net to stop the white cabbage moths getting to her newly planted brassicas. Susan Palmer has now written in to say that she is going to try an alternative approach and has purchased some decoy plastic moths from Nillumbik Nursery (see picture right; 6 for $5). The idea is that the real moths are territorial and will stay away from the decoy moths and therefore also from the brassicas.

Mac’s tip for March – pumpkin harvesting

Another one of Mac’s tips from the archives: 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.

And here is what Robin Gale-Baker said on the subject: Pick pumpkins when the stem coming out of the top of the pumpkin has withered. Leave 10-12 cm of stem but don’t use it as a handle. You can also ‘knock’ on the pumpkin and if it sounds hollow then it is ready for picking. A pumpkin will not be ready to eat immediately after being harvested. Rather, it needs to be ‘cured’ (aka ‘hardened off’) and allowed to sweeten. To do this, rest the pumpkin on some mesh or wire so that air can circulate around it, with newspaper or straw underneath so that the skin doesn’t tear or blemish. Leave it in the sun for 2-3 weeks then turn it over and do the same for the bottom. Then the pumpkin will be ready to eat.

Read more of Mac’s tips.

Simply gourdgeous

Gillian Essex has sent in a photo of some gourds turned into art. Thanks, Gillian!

Fun facts: chilli

Why do chillies taste hot?

Chillies taste hot to us because they contain a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin binds with pain receptors in our mouth and throat, giving us the sensations of heat and, sometimes, pain. It may be produced by the chillies as a defence against mammalian predators who (apart from humans) don’t like the sensations.

But, as fruit, don’t chillies ‘want’ to be eaten so that their seeds can get dispersed?

Yes, but not by mammals – chilli seeds are not sufficiently robust to survive passing through mammal guts. But they can usually pass through bird guts unharmed. So chillies ‘want’ to be eaten by birds. And, ‘luckily’, the pain receptors in birds do not detect capsaicin so chillies don’t taste hot to them.

Anything else I should know?

Yes, lots.

What an animal can taste depends on what taste buds it has. Whilst humans (and dogs) can taste ‘sweet’, cats (and dolphins) cannot. Mammals have many more taste buds than birds and, for example, I have around 300 times as many taste buds as my chickens (10,000 compared with 30). Cows (and other herbivores) have the most taste buds because they need to be able to tell if a specific plant contains dangerous toxins.

Flies (and octopuses) mainly taste with their legs.

At least as a spice, chilli is often associated with India. But this didn’t used to be the case: chilli is native to Central and South America and only found its way to India at the end of the 15th Century, following Christopher Columbus’s visits to Central and South America. Before that, Indian cuisine used black pepper to give pungency and the word for chilli in different Indian languages is basically a variation of the word for pepper (e.g. in Hindi, kali mirch for black pepper and hari mirch for chilli).

Chilli and capsicum are the same species (Capsicum annuum). The only genetic difference between them is a recessive gene in capsicums that eliminates capsaicin and thus the hot taste.

Whilst chilli plants are technically perennial, they only live for a few years and, in Melbourne, are often killed off by the cold during winter. An easier-to-grow alternative is the rocoto tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens): it has a much longer life, survives the Melbourne winters, and produces fruit for much of the year. Also, it can effectively be eaten as either capsicums (when green) or chillies (when red).

Read more fun facts.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Leaf, Root & Fruit’s article on which potting mix is best.

Joke of the week

Someone who eats asparagus stalks must like them a whole bunch.

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Moreland grows – local food exhibition: Thursday, 4th April, 5.30-6.30pm; Coburg North.

What: Go and see videos and photos of gardens around Moreland. Locally saved seeds will be available, plus a harvest display.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Moreland local food networking and Autumn celebration: Thursday, 4th April, 6.30-8pm; Coburg North.

What: Moreland Council invites you to participate in conversations about local food projects. They will also officially launch the Moreland Community Food Growing Assessment Guidelines, which help make the process for starting a new community garden clearer and provides handy tips and resources. Seasonal food will be provided and there will be time to network with others.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Native edibles for companion planting: Thursday, 9th May, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: a range of edible natives that are easy to grow in Melbourne; basics of companion planting; and which plants to choose in your garden planning, and how to grow and care for them. Presented by Karen Sutherland, of Edible Eden Design. Non-indigenous Australians are waking up to the edible plants around us and wondering why we didn’t use them before. Knowing what will grow and also produce a harvest, as well as how to use it, is difficult as most of us aren’t yet familiar with apple berries or native mint. In this class, you will learn how to incorporate some easily grown edible native plants into your garden so that they work in harmony with your existing plants, as well as a variety of ways to use these plants in your kitchen.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Retrosuburbia book club: Thursday, 9th May, 7.30-9pm; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Are you looking to create a more sustainable life? Thinking about retrofitting your house but not sure where to start? Would you like to grow more food for your family? Go and join like-minded others to share information and ideas. They will base their discussions and learning on: information in the Retrosuburbia book and discussion notes; local people living and doping sustainability; and shared wisdom among the group. Take a small contribution towards supper – some of your own produce would be great.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Home brewing with Paul Rigby: Saturday, 11th May, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: make your own beer; all about full grain brewing; and the fermentation process. What you will get: samples of different beers; and recipes to take home. The workshop will be a practical demonstration of full grain brewing covering ingredients (including malt, hops, yeast and water), equipment, brewing theory, and (most importantly) the brewing process (including mashing, lautering, boiling, sanitation, fermentation and packaging). Samples will be available for tasting.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Green at Kathleen – preparing for winter harvest: Saturday, 11th May, 11.30am-1pm; Kathleen Syme Library.

What: This workshop is all about growing produce in the colder months, including winter crop suggestions, crop rotation, and soil maintenance. Winter needn’t be an unproductive time for your garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Big Vegan Market: Saturday, 11th May and Sunday, 12th May, both 10am-6pm; Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.

What: Shop from the huge variety of 100% vegan products, with more than 200 stalls. The stallholders will include AVS Organic Foods (Watsonia North), Billy van Creamy (Fitzroy North), Curry Favour (Hawthorn), and PoppySmack (Warrandyte).
Cost: $2.
Bookings: just turn up.

Woman’s hormonal health: Tuesday, 14th May, 7-8.30pm; Hawthorn Community House.

What: Presented by Kate Boyle, B. App. Sc. (Nutrition & Food Science). Do you feel you suffer from painful or irregular menstruation, hormonal headaches, mood swings or PMS? Kate will show you how food and diet can have a positive effect on supporting women’s hormonal health and reducing the symptoms of PMS. They will also make snacks on the night and you will get take-home recipes that support the female body and hormone system.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: TryBooking.

New events – cooking

Passata-making afternoon: Saturday, 30th March, 3-7pm; Fawkner Bowls Club.

What: This is a social afternoon of collective effort, open to everyone, and finishing with a shared meal. You can participate in seven steps of saucing tomatoes and gnocchi-making as well. The tomatoes will be provided. Each participant should get a share of 6-8 bottles of passata each. Please bring clean recycled passata jars if you can (they will provide the lids). The schedule: 3pm – passata making; 5pm – cooking the sauce; and 6pm – shared supper of freshly made gnocchi and sugo.
Cost: $30 (includes light supper).
Bookings: EventBrite.

Minimising food waste workshop: Sunday, 31st March, 1-3pm; Murundaka, Heidelberg Heights.

What: Learn about how to reduce your household food waste. Learn skills and ideas around menu and pantry planning, how to get the most of the food you purchase, and what to do with leftovers and kitchen scraps. Facilitated by Lisa Moore.
Cost: $6.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Hop into Easter cooking and craft with Carol From Kazzy’s Kitchen: Tuesday, 2nd April, 1.30-3pm; Lilydale Library.

What: Carol, from local catering business Kazzy’s Kitchen, will create some chocolatey Easter treats for you to taste and then perhaps recreate at home. She will also demonstrate some easy craft ideas that will turn your Easter table from ordinary to joyful.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Easter fun chocolate decorating: Wednesday, 10th April, 10.30-11am; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: For children aged 3-7. Enjoy decorating your very own French chocolate flat Easter egg. Choose from a variety of crunchy, chewy, gooey and crisp toppings. Have fun creating your own chocolate hand print too. Included is an apron and hat set.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: WeTeachme.

Cacao, cocoa and chocolate: Thursday, 11th April, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: the process of bean to bar chocolate making. Where does chocolate come from? How is it made?; what makes fine couverture so special; and various flavour characteristics in single origin chocolates sourced from around the world. What you will get: 20 varieties of chocolate to taste and a box of your favourite chocolates to take home. You will taste chocolate made with cacao beans grown in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Madagascar, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and even Australia. You will look at the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate.
Cost: $38.
Bookings: WeTeachme.

Make your own smash Easter egg: Wednesday, 17th April, 10.30-11.30am; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: For children aged 7-15. Enjoy filling and decorating your own large Easter egg to create your own one of a kind chocolate smash egg. Premium couverture chocolate. Presented in a gift box.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachme.

Preserving workshop: Saturday, 27th April, 2-4.30pm; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: You will prepare and bottle a jar of pears to take home, jar and all.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: just turn up.

Sourdough bread making workshop: Saturday, 4th May, 10am-1pm; Living & Learning Panton Hill.

What: Tutor Jenna Farrington-Sear. This workshop will cover basic theory as well as the tactile pleasure of all the steps of making bread from milled flour. Suitable for both novices and those who want to expand their bread making repertoire. Topics to be covered: the essential ingredients and tools of the trade; the principal steps of bread making; Baker’s percentage and hydration; mixing, kneading and folding dough; shaping loaves, scoring and baking; and maintaining a starter. You will take home: a piece of dough which can be baked at home; and a sourdough starter.
Cost: $81.
Bookings: their website.

Cooking master class – ‘taste of Tuscany’: Thursday, 9th May, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: Tuscan minestrone; pork fennel sausage rigatoni; and espresso pannacotta.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Cooking master class – ‘simple, tasty, Indian’: Thursday, 16th May, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: lentil dhal soup; spicy Indian chicken curry; and Indian rice pudding.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Olive magic: Saturday, 18th May, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: improve your culinary knowledge; learn how to preserve olives; and understand and experience different techniques for preserving olives. Presented by Lucy Marasco. Transform bitter unpalatable olives into gourmet delights! This hands-on workshop will show you a variety of different ways Italians use to preserve green olives straight from the tree.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Mar 132019
 

3000acres’ issue of the month: to fence or not to fence – a council conundrum

At 3000acres, we spend a lot of time talking to councils about possible community garden projects. There are many aspects of community garden designs that councils are happy to leave to the community to decide, but one component that they sometimes have strong feelings about (on both sides!) is fencing.

Fences can represent different levels of protection for a community garden – dog-proof, possum-proof or even people-proof – but some councils are resistant to fence new community growing projects at all. For some, even if a fence is unlocked, it represents a barrier to what is intended as public space and, with allotment gardening, even a privatisation of public space.

On the other hand, in some built up areas where community gardens are desperately needed for residents without their own growing space, a fence can deter vandalism. While we haven’t yet seen a significant amount of damage in open gardens we’ve worked with, there have been issues with graffiti, theft of tools, and the systematic pulling out of seedlings by a disgruntled local.

While fencing can be polarising at a management level, we’re interested in some of the emerging compromises – such as a fenced veggie patch and unfenced surrounding orchard. West Brunswick Community Garden has an open food forest and a low fence around their garden which still allows for compost scraps to be passed over. Rushall Community Garden has both composting and growing space outside of their fenced area. We hope that these combinations of fenced and unfenced growing can serve as examples to councils newer to community garden builds.

Darebin Sustainable Food Leaders Forum

Every six months Lee Tozzi from Darebin Council organises many of the important local food people to get together for a chat. They met last week and the theme for the discussion was community gardening. There are at least 11 community gardens in Darebin (see our website for details), so it was an interesting discussion. Three points from me:

  • There are different models of community garden, both organisationally and from a governance perspective. The spectrum ranges from allotments, through various membership arrangements, to gardens that are fully open to the public. I have gone through the 44 community gardens in North East Melbourne that I have some familiarity with and categorised them: 7 are basically allotments only; 11 are membership-based at a cost; 6 are membership-based, but membership is free; and 20 are open to the public. I have listed the 44 community gardens on our website, organised by category, and including contact details.
  • If you have any interest in community gardening, you really should read up about Incredible Edible Todmorden (the first of what are now 700 Incredible Edible groups worldwide). One obvious way you can do this is by looking at their website but instead I would recommend that you start by watching two outstanding videos: the peas and love revolution – a presentation by Mary Clear and how we can eat our landscapes – a TED talk by Pam Warhurst. The two videos are both very informative and extremely funny.
  • If your community garden ever has any news, or organises any events, I would be more than happy to publicise in this newsletter. Just email me.

Dinner Drop Warrandyte

Dinner Drop Warrandyte is a new, local community initiative to provide pre-cooked meals for families in hardship. Read more in the article from the Warrandyte Diary on the right. They are asking members of the community to donate store-bought or homemade pre-cooked frozen meals. The guidelines for both the cooking and the labelling can be found on their Facebook page. If you are interested in participating, email Patricia.

News about local food producers

I had occasion to audit Nillumbik Cellars’ (Diamond Creek) list of local wines recently. If you want to buy a selection of Nillumbik wines, this is certainly a good place to go as they stock wines from 6(!) of the wineries: Buttermans Track (St Andrews); Kings of Kangaroo Ground (Kangaroo Ground); Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery (Panton Hill); Swipers Gully Vineyard (Kangaroo Ground); Wedgetail Estate (Cottles Bridge); and Yarrambat Estate Vineyard (Yarrambat).

Earthbound Bolton is a new cafe in Eltham. Mostly vegan (see menu right). See their Facebook page. 266 Bolton Street (where Flamin Cafe Bar Grill used to be and, before that, Colin’s Place). Welcome Rach and Luke!

Imbue Distillery, from Eltham, recently won a silver prize in the ‘contemporary’ category of the 2019 Australian Gin Awards.

Lovegrove Vineyard & Winery are no more.

White cabbage moth

If you’re growing brassicas, you’re hopefully aware that the dreaded white cabbage moth tends to ruin any unprotected early crops. What happens is that the moths lay their eggs on the seedlings and the caterpillars then hatch and eat the seedlings. Fine netting can stop the moths from reaching the plants to lay their eggs. Carol Woolcock has sent in a picture of her elegant exclusion net, a recycled curtain from the Op Shop. Usually available for $2 or so. Thanks, Carol!

What is the best soil conditioner?

Local gardeners Leaf, Root & Fruit recently reported on the results of their trial of different soil conditioners. Their overall conclusion: “the best soil amendments in our trial were worm castings in heavy doses, chicken manure in light doses, and Richgro Organic Fruit and Citrus Fertiliser [their top ranked Certified Organic fertiliser]“.

Their trial of soil conditioners complemented two of their previous trials, namely:

  • Which potting mix is best? They concluded: “There is a huge variation in the performance of each of the potting mixes.” and thus “Never underestimate the importance of good quality soil in growing your fruit and veggies. Interestingly, price isn’t always a good indicator of quality.
  • Which commercial fertiliser is best? Their main conclusion: “even with the best quality fertilisers, terrible soil is difficult to improve“.

Leaf, Root & Fruit is one of our best local blogs. To help you, all of their posts about food growing can be now be easily accessed from this page on our website.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Marina’s article on cold composting.

Joke of the week

What do you call a conversation between two artichokes? A heart to heart.

Read more jokes.

Gut feelings – an exhibition at Melbourne Museum

Meet your helpful gut microbes. Walk amongst these beautiful, dynamic entities in the gut tunnel.” From 16th March to 30th November. Mind and Body Gallery, Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton. Buy tickets ($15, includes entry to museum).

New events – not cooking

Bees buzz: Saturday, 16th March, 11am-2pm; Chirnside Park.

What: Peter, the Backyard Honey beekeeper, will unpack the mystery of the honey-bee. Watch a live honey-bee colony at work. Taste raw un-heated local honey. Handle apiary tools and find out what you can do to ensure the health of local bees and pollinators.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Heritage Fruits Society: Saturday, 23rd March, 2-5pm; Sylvester Hive, Preston.

What: Join John Pinniger, from Heritage Fruits Society, at Sylvester Hive Community Garden as he talks about: the history of the Heritage Fruits Society; preserving rare & heritage species of fruit trees; and seed conservation. There will be apple tasting of old varieties.
Cost: gold coin donation.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Bee hive tour: Sunday, 24th March, 10.30am-12.30pm; Rivers of 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.

Introduction to composting and worm farming: Wednesday, 27th March, 7-9pm; Mooroolbark.

What: This workshop will help you to choose a composting system that meets your needs, and show you how to use it to create soil conditioner or fertiliser for your veggie garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Healthy productive compost and worms: Thursday, 28th March, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: the importance of compost for soil health; how to fix common composting problems; and setting up and looking after a worm farm. Presented by Diana Cotter. Learn how to make great compost, the essential ingredient for a thriving and healthy garden. Look at worm farms and Bokashi as other options. They will also show you how to make a DIY worm farm using recycled products.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Dessert beer and sweets master class: Saturday, 30th March, 12.30-2.30pm; 3 Ravens Brewery, Thornbury.

What: What you will learn: taste your way through dessert beers from The 3 Ravens under the expert guidance of one of their brewery team; see behind the scenes of a fully functioning craft brewery; and learn The 3 Ravens approach to dessert beers. What you will get: brewery tour; sweets; and a guided tasting of all varieties of dessert beer.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

A Naturally Good catch up at That’s Amore Cheese: Saturday, 30th March, 2-4.30pm; That’s Amore Cheese, Thomastown.

What: Hear Connie Manglaviti, from Naturally Good, and Giorgio Linguanti, from That’s Amore Cheese, share their foodpreneur journeys and how their customers inspire them. Also how to get creative in putting together a platter with a focus on gluten free/ low fodmap options. Partake in a selection of antipasti (finely sliced prosciutto & porchetta), olives, rice crackers, crusty bread (gluten free), That’s Amore Cheese cheese, and a Naturally Good dessert platter. Finally, take your own Naturally Good goodie bag home.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Wicking bed workshop: Sunday, 31st March, 10am-midday; Melbourne Food Hub, Alphington.

What: Join Melbourne Food Hub and Very Edible Gardens to learn about wicking beds. See wicking beds already in use on site and learn how to build your own.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Chardonnay master class: Sunday, 31st March, 12.30-2.30pm; St Andrews.

What: Hosted by winemaker James Lance, from Punch. Includes a vertical tasting of Punch’s Chardonnay from 2010 to today and a chat about the origins of the grape. Also includes a sampler of local cheese and bread.
Cost: $29.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Open Farm Day: Sunday, 7th April, 10am-4pm; Nillumbik.

What: Open Farm Day is your chance to visit working farms and meet local farmers. The activities will include farm tours, live demonstrations, farm animals and product tastings. The farms participating in 2019 include: Apted’s Orchards; Balashi Flowers; Hildebrand Ridge Organic Vineyard; Kings of Kangaroo Ground; Nillumbik Estate; Omaru Alpacas; Shaws Road Winery; Sugarloaf Produce; Turners Bakehouse Eatery; Weeping Grevillea Nursery; Yarrambat Estate Vineyard; and Yarra Valley Custom Meats.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Beekeeping basics: Monday, 29th April, 7-8.15pm; Ivanhoe Library.

What: Interested in bees and beekeeping but don’t know where to start? Learn about this intriguing hobby from an experienced beekeeper.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

New events – cooking

Tomato passata workshop: Sunday, 24th March, 12.30-4.30pm; Melbourne Food Hub, Alphington.

What: You will learn how to make a traditional passata (10kg tomato box provided per person), enjoy a seasonal lunch with local wines, and take home your 10kg worth of passata bottles. BYO bottles and they will supply caps and sealing tools.
Cost: $117 (includes tomatoes and lunch).
Bookings: TryBooking.

Maltese Easter sweets: Thursday, 4th April, 6.30-7.30pm; Coburg Library.

What: Author of Traditional Sweet Recipes from Malta, Sharon Spiteri will discuss the significance of traditional Maltese sweets and demonstrate how to prepare kwarezimal, a sweet eaten during Lent.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Toastie press sesh – kitchen hacks and tasty tips: Wednesday, 17th April, 6-9pm; Kathleen Syme Library, Carlton.

What: This event is for young adults aged 15 to 30. Facilitated by the Youth Food Movement. The humble toastie machine has long been underrated as a singular use kitchen utensil, but it’s time to grab a paper towel, clean off the melted cheese and unlock the secret powers of your toastie machine! This workshop is about creating culinary delights using only a toastie machine and a student budget.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Mar 052019
 

Cold composting – an article by Marina Bistrin

Cold composting, unlike hot composting, doesn’t require you to keep turning the compost pile. If you’re lazy but patient (like me), it’s perhaps your best composting option. Marina Bistrin is an avid cold composter and gave several talks on the subject during the recent Sustainable Living Festival. She has now written an article for our website. Read the article.

Doncaster Garden Club

Doncaster Garden Club meets in the evening on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, start at 8pm, but with a food swap 7.30-7.55pm. Doncaster Senior Citizen Centre, 895-901 Doncaster Road, Doncaster East. Everyone is welcome. At their next meeting, on 13th March, Mike Dodson from Betta Grower Organic Fertilisers will talk about potting mixes. At their 10th April meeting, Seila Hierk will talk about how to grow Winter Asian vegetables.

There are now 3 garden clubs in our website calendar: Doncaster (2nd Wednesday), Hurstbridge (1st Tuesday) and Nillumbik (1st Monday). It would be good to include more clubs. If you are involved with any garden club, or you know of one that holds regular meetings, email me.

Home Compost Doctors feature in PIP magazine

See the article on the right. Apart from anything else, you will learn what a Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step Through is!

If you live in postcode 3081, you can receive free advice from Home Compost Doctors on how to set up and improve your composting system. Contact newsletter reader Mikoto Araki by phone (0421 654934) or email.

Want to use a Fowlers vacola preserving kit or dehydrator?

Now is the time of year to preserve your fruit and tomatoes. If you are a member of LFC, you can borrow a Fowlers vacola preserving kit or borrow a Fowlers ultimate dehydrator. The equipment is to be picked up and returned to a home in Montmorency for free. Join LFC.

Our next giveaway competition – a bottle of Kings of Kangaroo Ground pinot noir

Ken King would like to give away a bottle of one of Kings of Kangaroo Ground’s best wines, namely their 2017 pinot noir (“an elegant nose of dark cherry fruits with musk and spice overtones“, value $25), to a randomly chosen newsletter reader. To enter the random draw, simply ‘like’ their Facebook page and then email me to say that you have done so. Clearly, Ken would also like it if you also ‘shared’ their page at the same time.

It is easy to buy Kings of Kangaroo Ground’s wines. They are a regular at Alphington Farmers’ Market and Eltham Farmers’ Market. They have an extensive cellar door at 15 Graham Road, Kangaroo Ground – Monday to Friday (sales), 10am-3pm; Saturday (tastings), 10am-5pm; and the first Sunday of the month, midday-5pm. And they have an online shop.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Judy’s visit to Pam Jenkins’ garden.

Joke of the week

Pizza shop slogan: “7 days without pizza makes one weak.”

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Advanced composting: Wednesday, 20th March, 10am-midday; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Facilitated by the Maroondah Council Waste Education Team. Learn about the science of composting, learn some great tips for recycling all your household food and organic waste into compost for your garden, and see a compost system in action. Take along all your composting questions. All participants will receive a free home kitchen caddy to help with collecting kitchen food waste.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9703 5288).

Learn how to make good coffee (2 day): Thursday, 28th March and Friday, 29th March, both 9.30am-3pm; Heidelberg West.

What: This introduction to coffee making will give you hands-on experience making a range of coffees, increase your knowledge about coffee, and teach you latte art skills.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9450 2665).

Heritage apple tasting: Sunday, 31st March, 5-7pm; Petty’s Orchard, Templestowe.

What: Sample the seasonal flavours of the heritage apple collection at an apple tasting afternoon at 5pm. Around 15 varieties will be available for tasting. An orchard tour is included.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: their website.

Healthy eating and nutrition: Wednesday, 3rd April; Eltham Living & Learning.

What: Aimed at supporting people over 55 to live and age well. Presented by Bolton Clark. Learn about nutrition and how to get the most out of every day, plus receive a free booklet of Maggie Beer Foundation recipes.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

What if changing what you eat could improve brain function?: Tuesday, 16th April, 7-8.30pm; Hawthorn Library.

What: Have you ever wondered whether eating chocolate really does improve your mood, if tea and coffee really do boost your energy levels, or if there is such a thing as an ‘afternoon slump’? Join Professor Andrew Scholey, Director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, as he shares his research on how food and beverages can influence cognitive mood and function.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Beginners compost, worm farm and bokashi: Wednesday, 24th April, 10-11.30am; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Facilitated by the Maroondah Council Waste Education Team. By starting one of these organic recycling systems at home, you could reduce the amount of waste in your household garbage bin by 50%. This workshop will provide you with all the information you need to set up and maintain each of these systems at home. All participants will receive a free home kitchen caddy to help with collecting kitchen food waste.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9703 5288).

Creating retrosuburbia in your garden: Tuesday, 30th April, 6-8pm; Ivanhoe Library.

What: Participants will be invited to consider their current garden space and household setup, and start planning for increases in sustainability, productivity and resilience. You will use the ideas in David Holmgren’s book RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future to examine the potential for household-scale food production and the introduction of permaculture food growing strategies. By the end of the workshop, you will have a starting point for designing your garden – and lifestyle – to become bountiful and sustainable.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course: every Saturday for 9 weeks, starting 4th May, 9.30am-3pm; Edendale.

What: This 9-week 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, a horticultural expert with twenty years’ experience. Inter alia, Justin is a lead trainer in adult education at CERES.
Cost: $99 for all 9 sessions.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3744).

Make your own beeswax wraps with Emma Grace: Sunday, 5th May, 10am-2pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps; learn skills that are transferable to the home environment; and bundling techniques. What you will get: take home your beeswax wraps. Presenter: Emma Grace. You will learn how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps for keeping food fresh and hygienic without the use of single-use plastics such as cling-wrap. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will make their own washable and re-usable ready-to-use beeswax wraps.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

New events – cooking

Making pasta with fresh tomato sauce: Saturday, 9th March, 2.30-4.30pm; Heidelberg West.

What: What you will learn: how to make fresh pasta from scratch using a pasta machine and/or with a rolling pin; how to make a simple and tasty tomato sauce in 3 steps; and a bit of history about Italian cuisine. What you will get: simple and easy recipes; tasting of pasta and fresh tomato sauce; tips and advice on variations; and a basic knowledge of Italian cuisine. Facilitator: Veronica Vitiello. You will kneading the dough with your hands and learn how to use a traditional pasta machine. You will experiment with different kind of shapes, including tagliatelle, ravioli, fettuccine and maltagliati.
Cost: $15 ($10 concession).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Cacao, cocoa and chocolate: Thursday, 14th March, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: the process of bean to bar chocolate making. Where does chocolate come from? How is it made?; what makes fine couverture so special; and various flavour characteristics in single origin chocolates sourced from around the world. What you will get: 20 varieties of chocolate to taste and a box of your favourite chocolates to take home. You will taste chocolate made with cacao beans grown in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Madagascar, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and even Australia. You will look at the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate.
Cost: $38.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Ganache and truffles – let’s play!: Thursday, 21st March, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: how to temper chocolate to create a shine and crispy snap; how to create ganache; and let your creativity shine through as you decorate your truffles. What you will get: a box of truffles that you have handcrafted; and a starter pack – apron, dipping tool, chocolate, recipes. Once you know how to temper and how to work with chocolate, your imagination will be your only limitation. They will make a ganache for the filling, revealing the small tricks that ensure a smooth outcome.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Home Harvest – pickle making workshop: Friday, 22nd March, 9am-4pm; Hurstbridge Community Hub.

What: Join local home cook Michelle from the Home Grown Kitchen to make pickles and sauces for the Home Harvest Picnic. Learn how to make two varieties of pickles using seasonal vegetables and go away with recipes and a jar of each pickle/sauce. The workshop is open to five people only.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Cooking master class – ‘satay night’: Thursday, 11th April, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: Moroccan spiced pumpkin tart; satay chicken medallions; and berry ‘bruschetta’.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Cooking for all abilities (10 sessions): Tuesdays from 23rd April to 25th June (10 weeks), 10am-12.30pm; Thornbury.

What: Facilitator: Catherine Donnelley. Learn cooking skills in this hands on and demonstration class. Using fresh seasonal ingredients and garden produce, learn planning, preparation and presentation skills. This class is supported by program staff as well as an experienced cook.
Cost: $408 ($371 concession; $67 ACFE).
Bookings: by phone (9480 1364).

Cooking for healthy minds (8 sessions): Tuesdays from 30th April to 18th June (8 weeks), 1.30-3.30pm; Thornbury.

What: Facilitator: Catherine Donnelley. Experience and enjoy demonstration and hands-on cooking, sharing recipes and using seasonal produce. This class is for participants living with or recovering from a mental health illness, have a mild disability or a long term condition. Family carers looking for a social connection are also encouraged to attend. HACC-PYP and CHSP supported.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9480 1364).

Cookie cake and fondant cookies with Emelia Jackson: Wednesday, 1st May, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: You will learn: how to make a love heart cookie cake; how to make the perfect sugar cookie that won’t shrink; about fondant – how to colour it, roll and cut it out to perfectly fit your cookie; how to make your own stencils and cut out a large cookie cake; and how to decorate and fill a large cookie cake.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Mexican – delicious everyday meals: Saturday, 4th May, 10.30am-1pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Ana and Gaby are Mexican Aussies with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in cooking Mexican dishes. Immerse yourself in Mexican cooking techniques and culture. This workshop will cover: red rice; fijoles (traditional Mexican beans); and tortilla soup.
Cost: $66.
Bookings: their website.

Early Mothers Day high tea (thermomix): Sunday, 5th May, 4-5.30pm; Kilsyth.

What: They will share their favourite vegan and vegetarian meals in the Thermomix and give some tips on how to adjust some popular Thermomix meals to be meatless.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.