Aug 172016

Our Italian correspondent reports in

umbertide marketPeter Dougherty writes in from Umbertide in Perugia: “The Slow Food movement was founded in Italy 30 years ago by Carlo Petrini in response to the arrival of McDonalds in Rome. It now manifests throughout Italy. ‘Terra Madre Mercati’ (Mother Earth Markets), of which there are now 55, mostly in Italy, are part of the movement. One of them takes place every Saturday morning in Umbertide. It is confined to growers and producers from within forty kilometres of the town. As well as fruit and vegetables, cheese, bread, cakes, jams, honey, olive oil and pottery are also available. Many of the participants are committed to totally organic produce, although this is not mandatory. One participant is a baker making bread with milled hemp seeds. Another is a fruit and veggie stall with connections to ‘Fondazione Amica Campagna’ (Foundation for the Countryside), a foundation that cooperates with participants from all branches of the food industry that support ideals such as seasonality, low food mileage, and a culture of conscious spending.

Recipes for lemon, orange and lime curds

Following Maria Ciavarella’s demonstration at the last Eltham Farmers’ Market, she has kindly given us her recipes for lemon, orange and lime curds.

Your local newsletter producer is in the news

guyYup, that’s me! In the Ivanhoe and Valley 17th August edition of The Weekly Review. They actually missed out my best quote: “Pizza at Pierross: they make the well-known 400 Gradi restaurant in the CBD look like a bunch of amateurs.” (400 Gradi won the margherita pizza world championship in 2014)

Have you any reusable bags you could give Eltham Farmers’ Market?

As you should know, Eltham Farmers’ Market is now plastic bag free. As part of this, we have set up a ‘Boomerang Bags’ bag-share box which is stocked with re-usable bags for customers to borrow if they have forgotten to bring their own, hopefully returning them at the following market. The borrowing part has worked well but, to date, they have been more like sticks than boomerangs from a returning perspective. So, we have temporarily run out. If you have any reusable bags that you could donate, please contact Felicity Gordon by email.

Mac’s tip of the week

The citrus wasp gall is now beginning to hatch. So, prune off existing galls (without holes) and consider hanging sticky traps. I’m thinking of wrapping my traps in bird wire or mesh this year: the traps seem to attract all insects (and birds that eat them), which can unfortunately also stick in the traps, but the wire/mesh should keep many of them out. By contrast, gall wasps are only 2-3mm and so will still get through. An experiment worth trying until the end of November, when they can be removed. Finally, if you haven’t yet sprayed your peaches and nectarines with copper, do so now.

The Common’s latest Facebook post

Is about soy.

New events

Tools – maintenance and care

What: It is the first birthday for the Wonga Park Food Swap so, to help them celebrate, Warwick Bone, a member of the Permaculture Victoria Network, will give a talk about tools and their care. Choosing the right tool for the job is very important for many reasons including safety. Keeping your tools sharp is equally important, as a sharp tool is a safe tool. The talk will discuss best practices to sharpen your tools, specifically knives, secateurs, spades and axes. It will also cover some of the worst practices and gimmicks and why not to use them. Finally, there will be a few unusual tools on show.
When: Sunday, 21st August, 10-11.30am.
Where: Edible Forest Gardens at Wonga Park.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Kirsty Bishop-Fox by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

All day pizza making for kids

sibelleusWhat: One of a series of workshops that teach sustainable cooking to children from all walks of life. Age group: 4 to 11 years. Walk ins welcome. [Editor’s note: the pictures on the right give an indication about the nature of the event.]
When: Sunday, 21st August, 11am-4pm.
Where: Third Place Cafe at Wollert.
Cost: $15 per child.
Enquiries/Bookings: Sibelleus Chefittles Express by phone (0406 653430) or email or just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kombucha – fermented brew

What: Learn how to brew a delightful tonic beverage that is bursting with bubbles, flavour and goodness. You will be making kombucha, a sweetened tea that is fermented by a community of bacteria and yeast (also known as ‘Scoby’). It is beneficial to your gut health, helps cleanse the body of accumulated toxins in your diet and is a deliciously tasty, effervescent alternative drink to alcohol. In this workshop, you will: discuss the health benefits of kombucha; look at the types of tea suitable for fermenting; follow a step-by-step demonstration for making single/batch brew (and learn about continuous brew) kombucha; enjoy some tastings of kombuchas made with different teas and flavourings; and learn to flavour and infuse kombucha with the added benefits of herbs, fruit and spices. You will go away with your own original kombucha starter (scoby included).
When: Saturday, 27th August, 10am-midday.
Where: Maribyrnong.
Cost: $30.
Enquiries/Bookings: Gemma Macri by phone (0431 233420) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Love food, hate waste

What: Did you know Victorians waste 25% of the food they buy? Learn how to avoid food waste and use leftovers more creatively. Local chef Duang Tengtrirat from Real Food Catering will provide a cooking demonstration and tips’ session. Get creative, make the most of your leftovers and show them the love they deserve!
When: Tuesday, 30th August, 6-8pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Hub.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Edendale by phone (9433 3711) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Edendale website.

Growing heritage tomatoes from seed

What: Learn about heritage tomatoes and which varieties are best for your garden with local horticulturalist and Local Food Connect newsletter contributor Helen Simpson. participate in a hands-on experience (equipment provided – but bring your own gloves) and discover how to grow healthy plants.
When: Saturday, 3rd September, 11am-midday.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Watsonia Library by phone (9088 3417).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough bread making workshop

What: Tutor – Jenna Farrington-Seear. This workshop is suitable for beginners through to those who want to expand their bread making repertoire: 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 be hands on: mix, knead and fold the dough; learn shaping techniques; learn to score and bake; and how to maintain a starter. Take home: a recipe, tips and hints of sourdough making; a piece of dough which can be baked at home; and a sourdough starter.
When: Saturday, 10th September, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $45 ($40 concession).
Enquiries/Bookings: Living & Learning Nillumbik Panton Hill by phone (9433 3799) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing your garden for summer vegetables

What: Learn how to maximise the productivity from your veggie patch using all natural techniques, including crop rotation cycles. Look at great veggies to grow over the warmer months, how to start them from seed and how to look after them so that they produce well for you. What you will learn: how to prepare your soil for maximum benefit; incorporating crop rotation and other techniques for pest control; and great veggies to grow over summer and how to get them started from seed.
When: Wednesday, 14th September, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.

Boroondara Sustainable Living Festival

What: From growing veggies and keeping backyard chooks to ‘speed dating’ a sustainability expert, there is something for everyone at this year’s Boroondara Sustainable Living Festival. Worms not waste: get expert advice on worm farming and composting; you will also be able to pick up free worm juice plant fertiliser and find out how to order a discounted worm farm or compost bin. Incredible edibles: get expert advice and see demonstrations on growing your own fruit and vegetables; get in early to pick up a free seedling.
When: Saturday, 17th September, 8am-1pm.
Where: Patterson Reserve, Hawthorn East.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Composting and worm farming

What: Learn the art of successful home composting and worm farming from Maria Ciavarella, of My Green Garden.
When: Wednesday, 21st September, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Mill Park Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Sylvia Turk by phone (9401 0509) or email.
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Library website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Tomato planting workshop for kids

What: Learn how to plant tomato and basil seedlings then decorate a jiffy pot to take home. This will be a hands-on activity so bring your gardening gloves. Bookings required.
When: Thursday, 29th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Watsonia Library by phone (9088 3417).
Bookings: Yarra Plenty Library website.
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.

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