Aug 032016

Quists Coffee are now giving away free coffee husks

Quists Coffee have been in contact to say they are happy to provide free coffee husks. Thanks, Doris! As detailed in the updated list, they are based in Research and you have to ring them in advance.

Two more sources for free manure

Thanks to Karen Cheah, our list of sources of free manure has grown by one: Tandivale Equestrian Centre & Pony Club in Warrandyte offers free horse manure.

Tell us about local people who sell veggie seedlings

This week I want to focus on local people who sell veggie seedlings. There are two people/organisations on the current list: KABUU and The Mushroom Shed, both from Montmorency. There must be lots of others around North East Melbourne and I am sure that they would appreciate a wider audience knowing about them. Email me with the details of anyone that you know whose business is selling veggie seedlings that they have grown themselves.

Shoutouts to everyone who replies.

Mac’s tip of the week

Mac McVeigh has kindly agreed to provide this newsletter with periodic, seasonal tips. Mac is a qualified horticulturalist from Eltham who can do most skilled tasks around the garden. He is one of the people on our list of local people who build wicking beds or raised garden beds.

Here is Mac’s tip for this week: “All winter pruning should largely be completed now, with eco-oil sprayed where needed. It is also a good time to prune off more wasp gall on your citrus. Keep an eye on your peaches and nectarines for bud swell as you will soon need to spray to prevent curly leaf.

Do you want some fresh strawberries?

Yarra Valley Gateway Estate grow their strawberries in a hydroponic greenhouse and they currently have a new crop coming into full production. In the middle of Winter! Go along and pick however many you want, $4 for a 250g punnet.

Local food producers in the news

Kangaroo Ground-based winery Kings of Kangaroo Ground and Yan Yean-based fruit and veggie grower Just Picked are both featured in the August edition of Farm Magazine, which is part of the rural Weekly Times newspaper.
kings          just picked

Here is the video to which the Kings of Kangaroo Ground article refers:

And here is the video to which the Just Picked article could have referred (but didn’t):

The Common’s latest Facebook post

Is about milk.

Meet and eat: characters made from fruit and veg – in pictures

Just to demonstrate that this is a highbrow newsletter, have a look at this wonderful array of pictures. My favourite is probably Stephen (the rightmost one below), whilst my wife likes Albert (the leftmost one below).

albert  eva  gilbert  monroe  sylvia  stephen

If you want to have a look at a Renaissance equivalent from 500 years ago, google ‘Arcimboldo’ and search for images.

New events

Introduction to natural beekeeping

What: Suitable for beginners, and ideal for the backyarder, this two-day event will cover such subjects as: equipment, legislation, choosing the location, ongoing maintenance and harvesting. The event is being run by the Natural Beekeeping Group of Permaculture Victoria.
When: Saturday 13th August and Sunday, 14th August, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Mitcham.
Cost: $200 for members of Permaculture Victoria; $250 for non-members.
Enquiries/Bookings: Claire Smith by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit trees for the home gardener

What: Pete the Permie (aka Telopea Mtn Permaculture & Nursery) has been growing thousands of varieties of fruit trees organically for twenty years. Join him in this beginner’s session that will cover the basics of growing fruit in an urban garden. Pete will share his top tips in selecting the species that best suit your situation and purpose. He will also cover soil preparation, maintenance, organic pest control and pruning tips. Finally, go into the draw to win free fruit trees to take home on the night.
When: Thursday, 18th August 6.30-8pm.
Where: Nunawading.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Whitehorse Council Tree Education Officer (Millie Wells) by phone (9262 6333) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Bellfield Community Garden working bee

What: At this working bee, they are looking to: start the pizza oven base; plant several fruit trees; and put up an additional tool shed. Have a look around the garden, see their new shelter and meet the members. They are now fully open new members: $30 for the year, or $15 concession. Please bring a plate to share at afternoon tea.
When: Saturday, 20th August 2-5pm.
Where: Bellfield.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Paul Morland by phone (9440 9247) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving basics: make your own jams, pickles and relishes

What: Learn how to preserve fruit and veggies safely, using a variety of techniques. These techniques can be used on most fruit and veggies so that you learn to make your own preserves, with no artificial additives and nasty numbers. No preserving background is assumed as you go through how to prevent food spoilage using the preserving methods of bottling, jam-making, pickling and making relishes. Dehydrating is also demonstrated. You will cover the jars and lids to use, safe storage and use. All the preserves made on the day get taken home by everyone. What you will learn: how to make jams, pickles and relishes; select and re-use suitable jars and how to sterilise them; and bottle seasonal fruits and vegetables for future use.
When: Wednesday, 31st August, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $70.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.

Artisan pasta – fettuccini

What: 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. 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.
When: Friday, 2nd September, 10am-midday.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.

Spring gardening

What: Get ready for Spring by joining Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden. Her ideas will ensure you have lots of lovely produce to share with your family and friends.
When: Monday, 5th September, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Bulleen.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Whitehorse Manningham libraries website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Great Southern Beer & Cider Festival

What: This event is a great day out if you are a beer and cider enthusiast eager to try a variety of new flavours and some of your old favourites. It is also a great day out for families with plenty of children’s activities and entertainment. Your entry ticket includes: a souvenir tasting glass; an opportunity to experience a range of boutique beer and cider, complimented by a selection of gourmet street food; free admission for children accompanied by an adult; live music; and children’s entertainment.
When: Friday, 30th September 11am-5pm.
Where: Yarra Glen.
Cost: $22.
Enquiries: The event organisers by email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
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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