Aug 022017

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. Act now!

Read all of Mac’s tips.

Watsonia Neighbourhood House – another admirable ‘food is free’ initiative

Watsonia Neighbourhood House give away fruit, vegetables and bread to anyone who wants it. I recently visited them and talked with coordinator (and newsletter reader) Lucie Holden. As a result, I have added Watsonia Neighbourhood House to the Local Food Directory, in the ‘Food is Free’ section.

The bread comes from Bakers Delight in St Helena. It is collected every Wednesday evening and made available on Thursday (and Friday, if there is any left). Some of the bread is also sent to Reservoir Neighbourhood House for them to give away.

The fruit and vegetables come from Monty Fresh in Montmorency. The timing is unpredictable so availability is advertised on Watsonia Neighbourhood House’s Facebook page.

The neighbourhood house is also a drop off point for Diamond Valley Food Share, a voluntary organisation which ensures that emergency food parcels are available to needy people in the municipality of Banyule. Donations of food are collected each week.

Thanks for all the info, Lucie!

These sorts of initiatives only happen if there is someone who is willing to volunteer to pick up and prepare the food. In Watsonia’s case, the unsung hero is someone called Julie. Well done, Julie!

Finally, if you think about it, the potential for this sort of initiative is enormous: we are currently talking about 1 bakery, 1 fruit & veg shop and 2 neighbourhood houses but, across North East Melbourne, there are around 200 bakeries, 200 fruit & veg shops and 50 neighbourhood houses.

Make Health Stars work for you

After last week’s newsletter went out, Choice magazine emailed me to say that they have decided to start a campaign entitled Make Health Stars work for you.

Good uses in the garden for ash

Duang Tengtrirat: “We heat our home 100% with wood in the fireplace so we have a lot of ash. Ash is alkaline and can balance out the acidity in the soil. I put mine lightly under all fruit trees and they seem to like it. I DO NOT use it for blueberries because they love more acidic soil. Someone told me that it is similar to potash so high in potassium too. Ash deters crawling pest like snails and slugs. Unfortunately nothing stops the millepedes! ?Because we have so much ash, I add it to my compost as well.” Thanks, Duang!

Phil Smith: “Ash contains a spectrum of trace elements, is rich in potassium (which is good for flowering) and is low in both nitrogen and phosphorous. As such, it can be used on phosphorous-sensitive native plants such as waratahs, banksias and grevilleas. However, it is also highly alkaline and, as such, should only be used in small quantities – say, a handful per square metre. In addition, a few handfuls can sweeten an acidic compost heap.” Thanks, Phil!

Want some milk kefir grains?

Vicky Shukuroglou, from Eltham, has some milk kefir grains to spare. If you want some, email Vicky. First come, first served.

Local food producer news

Local, new season olive oil is now available. As Peter Fullerton from Panton Hill Estate Olives says: “a part of our identity is to sell only oils from the current season. That is when our oils are at their best, and this is the only way we want them encountered/used/enjoyed!“. Panton Hill Estate Olives are selling their oil at Eltham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Sunday of each month and at Hurstbridge Farmers’ Market on the 1st Sunday of each month. In addition, Hildebrand Grove, from Cottles Bridge, are selling their oil at Eltham Farmers’ Market on the 2nd Sunday of each month or at St Andrews Market every Saturday.

Bolton Street Deli & Liquor, from Eltham, have been shortlisted in the 2017 Northern Multicultural Small Business Awards in the ‘Business Excellence’ category. Paleta Artisan Popsicles, from Diamond Creek, have been shortlisted in the ‘Most Promising New Business’ category.

Proverb of the month

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Meaning: the real value of something can only be judged from practical experience or results, not from appearance or theory.

The proverb dates back to at least 1605, when it appeared in William Camden’s Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine. Note that the pudding in question wouldn’t have been from the sweet trolley; rather, The Oxford English Dictionary describes the medieval pudding as “the stomach or one of the entrails of a pig, sheep, or other animal, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, suet, oatmeal, seasoning, etc, and boiled.” In other words, haggis.

Read all the proverbs.

Joke of the week

What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.

Read all the jokes.

New events

The great marmalade taste off

What: Have you made any marmalade lately? Bring a jar down and let everyone taste and vote for your favourite spread. Requirements: must be homemade marmalade and use local homegrown produce where possible. This event will happen at the same time and place as the monthly food swap.
When: Sunday, 6th August, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Montmorency Primary School.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class

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: smoked chicken and basil bruschetta; duck porcini ravioli; and apple tart.
When: Thursday, 10th August, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class

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: spiced cauliflower soup; rosemary chicken medallions; and caramel cream cheese tart.
When: Friday, 18th August, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Native culinary plants of Whitehorse

What: Karen Sutherland, from Edible Eden Design, designs and installs permaculture gardens. She specialises in bush food gardens for schools and groups as well as teaching about these and on a wide range of edible gardening topics. Discover Karen’s top ten indigenous bush foods of Whitehorse. Learn how to grow and use a range of these herbs, smell and taste them and learn from someone who has grown and promoted bush herbs in urban gardens for many years. Take home a free edible plant for your garden.
When: Tuesday, 29th August, 7-8pm.
Where: Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Ultimate cheese and wine matching masterclass

What: When you combine the expertise of a master cheese maker (Giorgio Linguanti, from That’s Amore Cheese) together with that of a food and wine matching expert (Anthony Nania), you have the recipe for a really informative masterclass. Together they will show you how to serve a variety of cheeses perfectly and match them with the right wine styles. Go and enjoy the flavours and textures of cheeses paired with specially selected wines.
When: Thursday, 31st August, 6.30-9.30pm.
Where: Vinorium Wine + Food, Northcote.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fundamentals of beekeeping (four sessions)

What: This course is designed to provide new beekeepers with both the practical skills and the background knowledge to start beekeeping with confidence. The program encompasses Langstroth, Flow and top bar hives and is suitable for all styles of beekeeping. No previous experience is required. The course includes three classroom sessions (Wednesday nights) plus a weekend hive opening exercise during the day. All sessions are interactive and include hands-on skill building exercises. Included in the course fee are a comprehensive handbook and a textbook. The course fee is $150. In addition, participants have to become members of The Beekeepers Club which costs $70 pa.
When: starting Wednesday, 6th September, 7.30-10pm.
Where: Doncaster.
Cost: $220 (includes annual membership).
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Artisan pasta – fettuccini

What: What you will learn: how to make and knead egg-based pasta dough; use traditional pasta machines to roll and cut pasta; and how to use selected vegetables to make colourful fettuccini, including vegan options. What you get: fettuccini to take home to cook on the day or dry or freeze for future use; and a handout covering the techniques covered in the workshop. Learn how to make pasta like an Italian! You will use age-old techniques to make a classic egg pasta, to be transformed into delicious fettuccini. Then, using the basic pasta-making technique, you will incorporate colourful vegetables to make fettuccini in a variety of colours. You can also opt to make your fettuccini suitable for vegans. Your pasta will be ready to take home to cook for a lovely meal. Instructions on how to dry the pasta or freeze it for future use will be given. Easy sauce recipes will also be discussed.
When: Tuesday, 12th September, 10am-12.15pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest

What: Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest will see lederhosen-clad partygoers shouting Prost from the top of their lungs in 2017! The Royal Exhibition Building will play host to a traditional Oktoberfest event, with German oompah bands, folk dancing, on-stage comps and an atmosphere that is guaranteed to be electric. There will be 50 different imported German beers on offer, plus cider, wine, schnapps, etc. The event will also feature numerous German caterers serving up traditional meals such as pork hocks, schnitzels, bratwurst and other German sausages, brathendl (roast chickens), pretzels and German pastries.
When: Saturday, 23rd September, midday-11.30pm.
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
Cost: $37.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Planning your summer veggie crop

What: Go along for tips and ideas on planting your summer veggie crop. Learn how to improve soil and discover what, when and how to plant seeds and seedlings. Have all your summer veggie growing questions answered and participate in a hands-on planting demonstration.
When: Saturday, 23rd September, 2-4pm.
Where: Hawthorn.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The environmental chef with Ryan DeCoite

What: What you will learn: about the food industry; making environmentally sustainable food choices; and how to prepare your own low-impact lunch. What you will get: lunch; and sustainable recipes. In a world full of amazing indulgent recipes and glossy cooking television programs, ‘the environmental chef’ encourages participants to understand where their food comes from as well as creating awareness of what effects food industries have on the ecological environment that sustains us. Learn about the food industry with practical and interactive examples, create your own environmentally friendly lunch and take home ecologically sustainable recipes and information. The workshop will combine cooking with environmental consciousness. It is suitable for participants aged 12 and over with an interest in the environmental impact of where their food comes from.
When: Wednesday, 27th September, 10am-3pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $70.
Bookings / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Lebanese cooking demonstration

What: Learn the secrets of making a good baba ganoush and a wonderful halloumi and pomegranate salad from culinary teacher and owner of My Lebanese Kitchen Cooking School, Bernadette Cheet. There will be tasters for all, as well as new Arabic library items to borrow.
When: Thursday, 28th September, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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