Aug 292018
 

Robin’s tip of the month – crowns!

Some fruit and vegetables are grown from crowns and these require careful planting. A crown is defined as a part of a plant where stem and roots meet. Examples are rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus and horseradish.

For rhubarb and strawberries, it is important that the eye or bud of the crown is planted at, or just above, soil level as this prevents crown rot. Each is best grown in a dedicated bed in sunny, moist, well-drained conditions and both do well with a generous mix of well-rotted manure and compost. Rhubarb should be divided after a number of years when it is clear that its production is waning. Use a sharp spade to cut through the crown making sure that each piece has an eye, and re-plant. Strawberries are grown from runners which develop from the original plant. Cut the stem between the original plant and the new plant, trim the runner of dead leaves and the runner stem, and re-plant. Both will produce in the season in which they are planted.

Unlike rhubarb and strawberries, asparagus needs to be planted deep in trenches and backfilled as the shoots emerge. The first spears should not be cut until the following season and then only 2-3 per plant. The season after that as many spears as you like can be harvested.

Horseradish, on the other hand, needs little attention. It is grown from root cuttings – either small pieces of root that can be buried, or crowns. Plant the crowns so that the shoots are just above ground, and leave for a couple of years before harvesting, and remember that it is quite invasive!

Read all of Robin’s tips

What to plant in September

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

Cucurbits

Cucumber
Gourd
Pumpkin
Rockmelon
Watermelon
Zucchini

Other warm season veggies

Basil
Beans
Capsicum
Chilli
Eggplant
Sweetcorn
Tomato

Leafy greens

Lettuce
Mustard greens
Parsley
Rocket
Silverbeet

Roots

Beetroot
Carrot
Jerusalem artichoke
Parsnip
Potato
Radish

Other veggies

Asparagus
Celery
Chives
Coriander
Globe artichoke
Leeks
Rhubarb
Shallot
Spring onions

 
It’s Spring time! Time to get planting! Well, given the current cold weather, perhaps leave it until later in the month. I try and plant all my warm season veggie seeds in September – that way, if they fail to germinate, I can try again in October.

Helen Simpson has previously written ‘how to grow’ articles about many of the warm season veggies, namely: basil, chilli, cucurbits and tomatoes. Robin and Paul Gale-Baker have previously written about how to grow eggplants and capsicums. And Helen has written more generally about Spring veggie garden preparation.

Want some water kefir or composting worms?

George Peng will be selling both water kefir and composting worms at the Community Market Stall at next Sunday’s Eltham Farmers’ Market (2nd September).

Want a job?

Crepe Collective is looking for casual market/event staff from early September through the busy spring and summer months. The markets and events are based across Melbourne, including some in Nillumbik. They are looking for someone who is comfortable taking customer orders and payment and who is comfortable making or willing to learn to make crepes. If interested, either phone Melissa for a chat (0423 127158) or send your resume by email.

News about local food producers

Barrow Boys Brewing Co. are no more.

Food articles in The Leader

Three this week:

St Johns Community Garden Peppertree Place Farmer bale out

Not food but interesting

A Pick My Project project from another newsletter reader who has written in: A New Laughing Waters based in Eltham.

I think it’s now time to call a halt to listing non-food-related Pick My Project projects. So, no more emails please!

Sugar labelling

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation is currently investigating labelling approaches for providing information on sugars to consumers. You can submit your views online (closing date 19th September). Or, perhaps more easily, you can answer a few questions from CHOICE, who will then submit on your behalf.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The Beales Road Farm crowdfunding campaign.

Proverb of the month

You are what you eat. Meaning: to be healthy, you need to eat good food. Whilst related concepts date back many years (e.g. transubstantiation; endocannibalism), the phrase itself is relatively recent. It apparently first appeared in English in a 1923 advert for beef (“90% of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.“) and was then popularised by a 1942 book entitled You are what you eat: how to win and keep health with diet. by someone called Victor Lindlah. It is now used by all sorts of people to justify their dietary recommendations.

Gardening quote of the month

All gardeners know better than other gardeners.” A Chinese proverb.

Read all the quotes.

Joke of the week

Why do potatoes make good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled.

And here is a PG15 rated joke submitted by Sue Sedelies: Mr and Mrs Tomato and their young son Tommy were walking down the road. Irritated that Tommy was dawdling, his father turned and squashed him flat, splattering poor Tommy. “That will teach him to ketchup”, he said.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Nutrition workshop with Naturally Nutritious

What: Join local nutritionist Melanie Lionello as she teaches you how to make healthy muesli bars at home.
When: Saturday, 1st September, at 11.30am and again at 1.30pm..
Where: Greensborough Plaza.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Grow your own way – veggie gardening for beginners (8 sessions)

What: Horticulturalist Elspeth Brock will take participants though organic gardening methods with hands on experience in a community garden plot at Pentridge Community Garden. The topics to be covered will include: preparing good soil, design and planting seedlings; raising seeds and propagating; planning and the friendliness of companion planting; watering, weeding, mulching and feeding; compost and the like; pest control and management; harvesting; and cooking, rejuvenating beds and crop rotation.
When: 8 sessions on various Sundays, from 2nd September to 9th December, each 10.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Pentridge Community Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $120 ($80 concession).
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Block soil seedling workshop

What: Join Andrew from KABUU to learn about raising seedlings using the block soil technique which eliminates plastic.
When: Tuesday, 4th September, 10-11am.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Armagh Sustainability Fair

What: The purpose of the fair is twofold: to showcase Initiatives of Change Australia’s ongoing sustainable impact mentoring program and to launch their new community garden. Specific activities include cooking classes for kids and veggie planting in the garden. More generally, enjoy drinks, nature, fun activities and live music. Click here for more information.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 11am-3pm.
Where: Toorak.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Screening: Living the Change

What: Living the Change explores solutions to the global crises that we face today – solutions that any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way. Directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson have brought together stories from their travels, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today. From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to timebanking, Living the Change offers ways we can re-think our approach to how we live. After the screening, there will be a question and answer session with one of the Directors, Jordan Osmond.
When: Thursday, 13th September, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
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: confit duck salad; potato gnocchi; and banana & caramel Eton mess.
When: Friday, 14th September, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Opening of the rain garden at William Angliss Institute

What: The rain garden will be a model food garden designed to assist in teaching students how to grow, harvest and use a variety of plants in their catering. The 472-square-metre site was previously an unloved and underutilised area, wedged between multi-storey buildings. Now it is a calm, green productive space, designed by Karen Sutherland. It is also a student-friendly social space and provides a series of microclimates enabling more than 100 species to be grown, most of which are for use in the nearby culinary kitchens. Watch the recent video on Garden Australia discussing the garden. Talks will be given by: Karen Sutherland, garden designer; Jon Belling, indigenous food and plants; and Nick Rose, Sustainable Communities National Summit. Tastes and treats on offer will include: ‘Plant to Plate’ – patisserie and bakery; and Streat – social enterprise pop-up cafe.
When: Saturday, 15th September, 10am-3.30pm.
Where: CBD.
Cost: entry $8 (students $5, children U18 free).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Garden of Plenty Maker Space launch

What: Enjoy fresh food as they celebrate the official launch of their Garden Makerspace and thank all involved in its creation. Featuring an acoustic guitar performance by Joel Quinn, the planting of an olive tree, and a representative from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
When: Monday, 17th September, 1-3pm.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sustainable Communities National Summit (two-day)

What: Community sustainability: the future imperative. The need to grow social cohesion, connectivity and resilience: community, food, energy. The summit will feature numerous case studies and numerous speakers including: Michel Bauwens, Peer To Peer Foundation; Julie Miller Markoff, bHive Bendigo; Rebecca Wickes, the Australian Community Capacity Study; Dean Cracknell, the Town Team Movement; Mariam Issa; Sam Marwood, Cultivate Farms; and Gilbert Rochecouste, Village Well. Download the event program (pdf).
When: Tuesday, 18th September, 9.15am-6pm and Wednesday, 19th September, 9am-3.25pm.
Where: CBD.
Cost: $176.
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: ‘quick’ pulled pork bruschetta; chorizo & beans; and chocolate ice cream tart.
When: Thursday, 20th September, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Block soil tomato seedling workshop

What: Join Andrew from KABUU to learn about raising seedlings using the block soil technique which eliminates plastic. Tomato seeds will be provided to take home.
When: Saturday, 29th September, 2-3pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Composting and worm farming

What: Learn the art of successful home composting and how to overcome common problems.
When: Thursday, 11th October, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Mill Park Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Veggie gardening – beyond the basics

What: What you will learn: tips on growing specific herbs and vegetables; and growing from seed, crop rotation, soil pH. Presented by Maria Ciavarella. This class is for those who have already dabbled in some veggie growing but want a little bit more knowledge.
When: Thursday, 18th October, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Nutrition for seniors

What: Most healthy eating advice is for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. This talk will take you through healthy eating for people in their 60s and beyond. They will look at the top 10 nutrition myths for seniors, eating to keep your brain healthy all while keeping your meals tasty and interesting. Take home a free ‘Nutrition for Seniors’ booklet by Ngaire Hobbins, expert dietician specialising in ageing and brain health.
When: Friday, 19th October, 2-3pm.
Where: Warrandyte Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fill your garden with fruit

What: Karen Sutherland will share her gardening top tips and profile her favourite fruit trees to include in any Melbourne backyard food forest.
When: Tuesday, 23rd October, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Whitehorse Centre.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Native herbs for the kitchen and garden

What: What you will learn: which native produce-plants are suitable for growing in the Melbourne area; what to harvest and when; and how to use them to flavour your dishes and enliven your garden. Presented by Karen Sutherland, of Edible Eden Design. Explore edible native Australian plants that are easy to grow, attractive and add flavour and interest to your home-cooked dishes. Lemon myrtle, bush pepper and native salt are just a few of the flavours we can smell and taste, and they and many others will be discussed in terms of how best to use and grow them in your garden. All plants covered are suitable for a Melbourne climate, and many are suitable for pot cultivation.
When: Thursday, 25th October, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wow it’s Italian – raspberry panna cotta

What: Enjoy a social evening of cooking demonstrations and food tasting. This evening’s dish: raspberry panna cotta.
When: Thursday, 25th October, 7-9pm.
Where: Chirnside Park.
Cost: $22.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

‘Buzz inn’ bee hotel making by TD Convivial Kitchen

What: The workshop will include an introduction to native bees, how to spot a native bee, the nesting types, buzz pollination, what materials are great to get you started with your own bee hotel, and how to set up a bee-friendly garden. Facilitator: Katrina Forstner.
When: Sunday, 28th October, 1-3pm.
Where: Thornbury.
Cost: $30 ($25 concession).
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

(required)

(required)