Aug 222018

Help Beales Road Farm to add water

Beales Road Farm is an urban agriculture project on an acre site in Greensborough. It is operated by a local food gardening team called The Veggie Empire. The Veggie Empire is a collective of horticulturalists (one of whom is newsletter reader Rachel Bishop) that includes two trainees with intellectual disability who aspire to be employed in the urban agriculture sector. Currently the farm has no irrigation, making year round vegetable production unachievable. Click here to contribute to their crowding funding for an irrigation system.

Click here to read more about Beales Road Farm and The Veggie Empire (an updated version of the pitch that they gave to the Local Food Launchpad for 2018). Click here to read about, and potentially vote for, their Pick My Project ‘The Veggie Empire’ Community Food Plant Nursery.

Are you aged 18-23?

Melbourne University are about to conduct a study of what young adults aged 18-23 cook and eat. They are looking for people to participate. If you are aged 18-23, click here to read more.

Community gardening news

There is now a page about The Veggie Spot – Lygon Street Community Garden (Brunswick East) in the community gardening section of our website. The garden is open for everyone to gather, learn and grow but you would need to start by going to one their regular monthly get togethers on the fourth Saturday of every month, 10am-1pm. The space and garden beds were donated by Milieu, the beds were installed by The Little Veggie Patch Co, and the garden is run by 3000acres.

The weekly get togethers at the Garden of Plenty at Diamond Valley Library have moved to Thursdays, at 10am.

Local food producer news

The Fine Food Australia trade exhibition is being held on 10th to 13th September at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Of the 500 or so Australian exhibitors, I happened to notice the following from North East Melbourne: Blue Pear Pantry (North Warrandyte), Chocolatier Australia (Heidelberg West), Marisa’s Kitchen (Alphington), Sweet By Nature (Heidelberg West) and That’s Amore Cheese (Thomastown).

Corrections and clarifications

Last week, I listed 50 Pick My Project projects that are both food-related and in North East Melbourne. As Merrin Layden from 3000acres has pointed out, I should have listed 51. Here’s the 51st – Brunswick: The Wheelie Good Fleet – tools for community on wheels!.

Want a job?

Rivers of Yarrambat are looking to hire a full time chef. Read their Facebook post. If interested, email your resume to Karen or phone her (9436 3239).

Local beekeepers waxing poetic

Melbourne Farmers Markets have interviewed Benedict Hughes from The Practical Beekeeper in Thornbury and their interview writeup is entitled waxing poetic on bees.

Many of the local beekeepers like to wax poetic. For example: Ben from Ben’s Bees said in a recent Facebook post: “Honey bees must tap 200 flowers to make only 1 drop of honey. So remember that the sweetest reward comes from the hardest struggle.“; and Nathan from Maya ‘Xala Honey recently said: “Nectar stored within their stomachs is passed from one worker to the next until the water within it diminishes. At this point, the nectar becomes honey, which workers store in the cells of the honeycomb.

Not food, but interesting

The Hurstbridge Wattle Festival is happening this Sunday (26th August). Here are a few things that make the Wattle Festival a bit different than other festivals:

  • A steam train runs all day from Flinders Street to Hurstbridge.
  • You can take a piece of your wattle plant to one of their marquees and they will tell you the species.
  • Vegie Curry (aka Ann Strutt), from Cottles Bridge, will be serving their curries all day at the Hurstbridge Hub.
  • The Hurstbridge Sow & Grow Garden Club will be selling plants at the Hurstbridge Hub.
  • Nillumbik U3A will be celebrating their 10th anniversary at midday at the Hurstbridge Hub. Free cake will be available.

Several newsletter readers have written in to ask that their Pick My Project projects be mentioned:

Finally, at short notice, there is a free talk entitled Our wildlife are doing it tough! on tonight (Wednesday) in Montmorency. Click here for more info.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The petition to save PepperTree Place.

Joke of the week

What do you call a dentist who doesn’t like tea? Denis.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Chinese vegetarian cooking demo

What: Helen Chen and her friends will be demonstrating vegetarian home-cooked Chinese food (which is very different from Chinese restaurant food).
When: Saturday, 1st September, 11.30am-1pm.
Where: Macleod Organic Community Garden.
Cost: $15 (free for members of Sustainable Macleod).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to natural beekeeping (two-day)

What: Suitable for beginners, and ideal for the backyarder, this two-day event is designed to provide participants with the information they need to start natural beekeeping with confidence. It will cover such subjects as: boxes, equipment, legislation, choosing the location, ongoing maintenance and harvesting. It will also include hive manipulations and some honey tasting. After the course, for those that need it, the course organisers may be able to provide bees for your hive at no cost during swarming season. The event is being run by the Natural Beekeeping Group of Permaculture Victoria.
When: Saturday, 1st September and Sunday, 2nd September, both 10am-5pm.
Where: Mitcham.
Cost: $200 for members of Permaculture Victoria; $250 for non-members.
Bookings: Claire Smith by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permablitz 212 (Reservoir)

What: On the day, they will be: creating two wicking beds for veggies; building a trellis for passionfruit; creating a small swale to help direct water to new citrus; planting a ‘shady plants’ area under an existing acacia; and planting, planting and more planting. There will also be some workshops, including: making wicking beds; creating a swale; and creating trellises & other support structures.
When: Sunday, 2nd September, 9.30am-4.30pm.
Where: Reservoir.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Demonstration semi naked drip floral cake

What: You will learn: how to make swiss meringue buttercream from scratch; how to cut, stack and fill a round cake; tips on the perfect swiss meringue buttercream application for a semi naked finish; how to get a beautiful finish and sharp edges on your cake; how to achieve the perfect ganache drip; how to apply gold leaf to your buttercream cake; and how to safely prepare fresh flowers for your cake decoration. Presented by Jessica from Bake & Co.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 9.30am-4.30pm.
Where: Hawthorn.
Cost: $52.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Watsonia food swap and talk

What: Food swap and talk by Robin Gale-Baker on planting a spring garden. Go and connect with the local community, meet new people, share ideas and find out what’s happening locally and beyond.
When: Sunday, 9th September, 11am-1pm.
Where: Watsonia Neighbourhood House.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

From garden to table

What: The Nunawading Community Garden was the first community garden in Australia, and remains an important communal green space. Volunteers will lead a guided walk through the garden and share stories of its creation and development. This event is part of Heritage Week.
When: Friday, 14th September, 1-3pm.
Where: Nunawading Community Gardens, Forest Hill.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Retrofitting the suburbs with David Holmgren

What: David Holmgren, one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept and author of a new book RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future, will present his vision for the future of Australian suburbs through his ‘Aussie Street’ presentation. At the end, you will have the chance to purchase a signed copy of RetroSuburbia.
When: Friday, 14th September, 7-9.30pm.
Where: Lilydale.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Blooming lovely!

What: Enjoy this recreation of the Box Hill Horticultural Society’s old style garden shows, which were a treasured event in days gone by. Floral arrangements, heirloom vegetables and historic exhibits will be on display. There will also be stalls by various gardening groups and speakers on a variety of gardening subjects. From 10.30am-12.30pm, Whitehorse Urban Harvest will be running a food swap. This event is part of Heritage Week.
When: Saturday, 15th September, 10am-4pm.
Where: Box Hill Town Hall.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Melbourne Food Hub tour and sustainable lunch

What: Join them for a tour of the site and meet the Food Hub team members as well as Melbourne Innovation Centre neighbours. Then enjoy a lunch prepared using ingredients sourced direct from the growers and makers of Alphington Farmers’ Market, all washed down with a glass of La Sirene beer, local wine and fruit spritzers. Organised jointly by Sustain: The Australian Food Network and Melbourne Farmers Markets. It is a side event to the 2018 Sustainable Communities National Summit.
When: Monday, 17th September, 11am-1.30pm.
Where: Melbourne Food Hub, Alphington.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natural pest control with companion planting

What: Presented by Angelo Eliades. Learn which companion plants to add to your garden to solve many common garden problems naturally, and find out how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together) for more abundant harvests.
When: Tuesday, 18th September, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Feastival cooking demonstration

What: Enjoy a Vietnamese cooking demonstration of rice paper rolls with chicken. Taste a sample of the finished dish and take home a copy of the recipe.
When: Thursday, 20th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beginners home brewing

What: Dean Smith from Home Make It will show you how to make a malt extract brew from scratch while you trial some different home brews.
When: Wednesday, 26th September, 6.30-8pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Planning your summer veggie crop

What: Maria Ciavarella, from My Green Garden, will provide practical tips and advice on soil preparation, summer plant selection and sustainable pest control. Learn how to plan for a thriving and healthy summer crop, participate in a soil testing activity, and pot your own seed to take home.
When: Saturday, 6th October, 9.30-11am and again at midday-1.30pm.
Where: Camberwell.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite (9.30am and midday).

Permaculture Design Course by Pete the Permie (12 sessions)

What: Permaculture elder Pete the Permie and his team of tutors will conduct this 80 hour course covering the full PDC. The class will cover such subjects as the principles of permaculture, water, trees, soils, zones, sectors, site design, animals and the many social structures that apply. Students will be able to design a project of their choice to present to the class on the final day. There are no prerequisites for this class. Once you have completed this course successfully, you will be entitled to use ‘permaculture’ in your business name.
When: On 9 Thursdays and 3 Saturdays, all 9.30am-4.30pm, starting Thursday, 11th October, 9.30am-4.30pm.
Where: Central Ringwood Community Centre.
Cost: $495.
Bookings: by phone (9870 2602).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food know how – The Urban Pear

What: Join Kate and Wendy from The Urban Pear to learn about fermenting and infusing seasonal produce including sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and vinegars.
When: Thursday, 11th October, 11am-12.30pm.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Native edibles for companion planting

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.
When: Thursday, 11th October, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Chocolate discovery class

What: This class includes indulging in a range of chocolate & truffle tastings, the chance to learn about how chocolate is made, and finding out about the inspiration behind each of their specialty ranges with their European Chocolatiers. Your chocolate education concludes with the chance to create your own personal chocolate bar and delve in giant lollipop making fun.
When: Saturday, 13th October, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.
Cost: $48.
Bookings: and Further information: their website.

Green at Kathleen – introduction to growing mushrooms

What: Learn how to grow your own delicious mushrooms at home all year round, including cultivation and care requirements and the basics of mycology.
When: Saturday, 13th October, 11.30am-1pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme 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.

 Leave a Reply