Feb 132019

Welcome to new joiners Alson, Chloe, Christopher, Deb, Emily, James, Louise, Melissa, Monica, Nicki, Nikki and Vasundhara.

Some newsletter readers (well, my wife actually) have suggested that the relevant suburb be added to the lists of upcoming events and I’ve now started doing this. I’ve also changed the format of the new events a bit so that it better aligns with that of the lists. If you ever have any suggestions for how the newsletter could be improved, email me.

Judy has interviewed Katrina Forstner, from Preston

Many of you will have come across Katrina through her native bee hotel workshops (under the banner of Buzz and Dig), through her involvement in ShareWaste, or as one of the prime movers of the Transition Darebin food swaps. Judy Vizzari has now interviewed Katrina as a home grower. As Judy says, “Katrina and her husband, Matthias, have lived with their two small children in their home for five years and during that short time have converted their back yard from a grassy suburban block into a productive food producing forest.” Also, “Katrina’s garden and her life seem to be a blend of practices which complement each other and extend outwards into her community. They include ‘ShareWaste sharing’, composting, worm farming, chicken husbandry and, of course, encouraging native bee populations. Each of these benefits her productive food garden, her family and her community. It’s a cycle.Read the full interview.

Incidentally, Katrina is leading two workshops on Saturday in her back garden in Preston: Attracting native bees on Saturday, 16th February, 10-11.30am; and Composting at home workshop: Saturday, 16th February, 12.30-2pm.

A new food swap in Croydon

3rd Saturday of the month, 9.30am-midday. At Croydon Herbal Health, 2/48 McAdam Square, Croydon, 3136 (the entrance is on Plymouth Road opposite The Good Shepherd Lutheran Primary School). Organised by Croydon Herbal Health. Email: Emily at croydonherbalhealth@gmail.com. Phone: 0432 613475 or 9723 9755. Their Facebook page. Welcome Emily and Monica!

There are now 33 regular food swaps in North East Melbourne – have a look at the list and map. They arguably cover the whole of the area, with the exception of ‘a black hole’ in the middle which roughly coincides with Manningham.

The Fawkner food swap has moved

The Fawkner food swap has moved in both space and time, and is now at Fawkner Food Bowls (corner of Creedon and Lorne Streets) on the 2nd Sunday of every month, 10.30am-12.30pm.

Our recent gin competition

The winner of the random draw for a bottle of Imbue Distillery’s gin is Cara Horner from Epping. In the picture, Cara (left) is receiving her bottle from Imbue’s Mel Sheard (right). Commiserations to everyone else who entered the competition.

Tromboncino grow challenge competition

Each year, Leaf, Root & Fruit organise a tromboncino grow challenge competition – grow the longest tromboncino and you could win a 2-hour onsite consultation. Closing date 29th April. As pictured, last year’s winner was 1.4m long.

Incidentally, I’m not sure why some people call ‘tromboncino’ ‘zucchini tromboncino’: whilst tromboncino is a cultivar of Cucurbita moschata, zucchini is a cultivar of Cucurbita pepo.

There is a really yummy recipe for tromboncino soup on our website. It has rice in it and tastes a bit like potato soup.

Finally, I’ve revamped the overall recipe page on the website. You can now sort or filter the list by any of course, season, author or ingredient.

Want some lactase tablets?

Someone gave me a bottle of lactase tablets but I’m not lactose intolerant. Use by April 2020. If you are lactose intolerant but want to drink some milk, email me and I’ll give you the bottle. If multiple people email me, it will be a random draw.

Yarra Urban Agriculture Strategy – have your say

The City of Yarra have just published their draft strategy for 2019 to 2023. Its four key objectives are:

  • Facilitate access to space for people to grow food.
  • Increase food skills and knowledge through education and training.
  • Build partnerships with other organisations and groups.
  • Advocate within and beyond council to work towards a sustainable local food systems approach.

They are asking for comments on the draft material, closing date 11th March.

If only my Council could produce something along these lines!

Growing turmeric in Melbourne

Helen Simpson’s article Growing ginger and turmeric in Melbourne – can it be done? is one of the most popular pages on our website. Newsletter reader Angelo Eliades has now weighed in with an article entitled Growing turmeric in containers in temperate climates.

Permablitz hero of the month: snow peas and sugar snap peas

These delicious peas should be grown at home, as their sugars convert to starches once picked, so half of the sugars are gone within an hour of picking. You’ve never tasted a snow pea unless you have picked it yourself.Read the article.

This appears to be the first article on the Permablitz website that has been written by newsletter reader Samantha Allemann, who also writes for Pip magazine.

Read about more Permablitz heroes of the month.

Not food but interesting

Community currency information evening – LETS: Monday, 18th February, 7-8pm; Watsonia Neighbourhood House.

What: Go along and workshop what goods and skills you may have to trade with others. Hear about what you can access that may be available locally and through online platforms. Facilitated by Marina Bistrin from LETS Diamond Valley. Light refreshments available.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Imbue Distillery’s Facebook page.

Joke of the week

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

Read more jokes.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Quite a lot of the new events below are from the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which takes place Friday, 8th March to Sunday, 24th March.

New events – not cooking

Insights from one researcher’s journey to understand gardens, health and wellbeing: Thursday, 14th February, 6.30-7.30pm; CERES.

What: From a community-informed, community-based descriptive approach to the launch of a randomised controlled trial. In this talk, Dr Jill Litt, from IS Global in Barcelona and University of Colorado Boulder, will review the research findings from her 10-year community-academic partnership with Denver Urban Gardens and describe the Community Activation for Prevention Study (CAPS), a 4-year randomised controlled trial of community gardens in Denver.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Plant tales and cold ales: Tuesday, 19th February, 6-8.30pm; Brunswick.

What: An evening for plant lovers by plant lovers, with cold ales and plant-based eats being served up in the garden. Hear from Jason Chongue (The Plant Society), Plant Mama, David Irwin (Patient Wolf Gin) and Nick Casey (Howler) on how the power of plants inspire their creative craft.
Cost: $33.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Fruit beer and cheese pairing masterclass: Saturday, 23rd February, 12.30-2.30pm; Thornbury.

What: What you will learn: taste your way through fruit beers from The 3 Ravens under the expert guidance of one of their brewery team and a cheese expert from Harper & Blohm; see behind the scenes of a fully functioning craft brewery; and learn The 3 Ravens approach to fruit beers. What you will get: brewery tour; lunch; and guided tasting of all varieties of fruit beer. From wine grapes, to apricot, blueberries, strawberries and pears, The 3 Ravens love adding some fruit to enhance their brews.
Cost: $65 (includes lunch).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Burnley Brewing tour and tastings: 4 occurrences during March on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, each 6.30-7.30pm; Burnley Brewing.

What: Enjoy the house brews while meeting the brewers at Burnley Brewing and walking through their brewing process, the varied ingredients that go into each beer, and how these additions shape every beer’s taste and appearance. Then, you’ll get a chance to sample the beers during the fermentation phase, poured straight from the tanks of our in-house brewing system. Your will also receive two entrees to accompany your beverages. This event will not only teach you about different beer styles and their origins, but also how to best pair beer with food.
Cost: $28.

The art of Japanese breakfast: 2 occurrences during March on Saturday 9th and Saturday 23rd, both 8.30-10.30am; Collingwood.

What: Traditional Japanese breakfast comprises many small homely dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Guests will observe each element of the meal coming together and explore objects of classic Japanese design. CIBI owners Meg and Zenta Tanaka will share stories and explain the Japanese philosophy of food and its relationship to design before serving a traditional Japanese breakfast.
Cost: $58.

Food as medicine: Saturday, 9th March, midday-4pm; Fitzroy.

What: Join Anada’s Maria Kabal as she explores native Australian ingredients and their ability to heal as well as nourish over a four-course lunch featuring wild meats and seafood and locally-sourced indigenous curative ingredients.
Cost: $78 (includes lunch).
Bookings: their website.

Vegan smokehouse BBQ collaboration: 4 occurrences during March on Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, each midday-2pm; Collingwood.

What: American BBQ institution Le Bon Ton joins forces with Green Burger in this multi-course feast of 100% vegan interpretations of American smokehouse favourites. There will be cocktails plus natural wines paired with each course – smoked hot links, mac and cheese, pulled pork and fried chicken, all completely plant-based.
Cost: $98.

Lygon Street – Si Mangia Italiano (film): Sunday, 10th March, 5.30-7.30pm; Cinema Nova, Carlton.

What: Lygon Street – Si Parla Italiano is a homage to the Italians who changed the way that Melbourne thought about food, drink and dining. Sip a glass of Italian red wine, relish themed canapés and a gift bag as you enjoy a pre-feature discussion about the contribution that European migrants made to Melbourne’s culture before a screening of the documentary. Discover the people, places and (of course) the pasta that made Carlton a cultural epicentre. Narrated by Anthony LaPaglia.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: their website.

A slice of spice (curry meets pizza): Monday, 11th March, at 6-7.45pm and again at 8-9.45pm; 400 Gradi, Brunswick East.

What: Johnny Di Francesco from 400 Gradi and Jessi Singh of Horn Please, Babu Ji NYC and Don’t Tell Aunty fame are joining forces to create the perfect Indian-Italian cross-cultural marriage. Experience the flavour explosion of wood-fired Neapolitan pizza topped with an array of aromatic curries and Indian spices.
Cost: $63 (includes meal).
Bookings: their website.

Richmond Grain Groupies grain crawl: Wednesday, 13th March, 6-9pm; Richmond.

What: Celebrate all things grain as you go behind the scenes of Phillippa’s Bakery, Mountain Goat Brewery and Brogan’s Way Distillery to see how grain is used to create three distinct products. Learn the processes of fermenting wheat for a sourdough culture, brewing malt for beer, distilling grain spirit to make gin, and how to add botanicals to all the products to create subtle nuances of flavour. Tastings too!
Cost: $48.
Bookings: their website.

Great cheese is made in the maturing room: Saturday, 16th March, 4.30-7.30pm; Yarra Valley Dairy, Yering.

What: Join cheesemakers, Jack Holman from Stone & Crow and Yarra Valley Dairy and Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese Co. and Glen Huon Dairy, as they guide you through a tasting of cheeses they have matured in different ways and in different places. Most people would think that cheese is made in a vat. However, it’s the art, craft and science of maturation that is hugely responsible for turning good cheese into great cheese. Taste and compare the same batches of cheese, aged in three different locations.
Cost: $83.
Bookings: their website.

Beale Street BBQ blues (vegan): Saturday, 23th March, midday-2pm and again at 2.30-4.30pm; Brunswick East.

What: Memphis-style cooking, featuring mock meat and vegetables, together with drinks and music. The menu: to start – sweet potato crisps with BBQ salt and jalapeno hush puppies with maple butter; mains – BBQ vegan brisket, southern fried mock chicken, smoked corn, queso fresco & vegan aioli, chipotle mac’n’cheese, and green goddess salad; sweet – banana cream pie and smoked meringue.
Cost: $43.

Worm farming and composting: Sunday, 31st March, 11am-12.30pm; Richmond.

What: Learn about Finbar’s worm farming and compost systems and choose a system that’s right for you. Kath Jones will show you how to keep your system working well, avoid common mistakes and troubleshoot problems.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

New events – cooking

Alpha & Omega – Hellenic masterclass: Saturday, 9th March, 11am-1pm; Kew.

What: Learn how to make Greek mezethes and sweet treats with chef Travis McAuley. Then settle in for a three-course lunch at Hellenic Republic Kew.
Cost: $68 (includes lunch).
Bookings: their website.

Cheese class: Sunday, 10th March, 9.30-11.30am and again at midday-2pm; That’s Amore Cheese, Thomastown.

What: Hosted by That’s Amore’s Giorgio Linguanti. Learn how to make your own Italian cheese from scratch.
Cost: $98.
Bookings: their website.

Veterans vs virgins at Preston Market: Friday, 22nd March, 6.30-10.30pm; Preston Market.

What: Join the excitement as some of Preston Market’s most distinguished veterans take on the new kids on the block in a fun-filled no-holds-barred cook-off. You also get to join in, helping make everything from pasta to paella and seafood to sandwiches while guiding your chosen team to victory and picking up cooking tricks and techniques along the way.
Cost: $83.
Bookings: their website.

How to pull noodles: Saturday, 23rd March, 10-10.45am; Box Hill Central.

What: Watch and participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration of how to pull noodles.
Cost: $14.

How to make the perfect dumpling: Saturday, 23rd March, 12.30-1.15pm and again on Sunday, 24th March, 1.30-2.15pm; Box Hill Central.

What: Watch and participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration of how to make the perfect dumpling.
Cost: $14.

How to make perfect sushi: Sunday, 24th March, 11-11.45am; Box Hill Central.

What: Watch and participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration of how to make perfect sushi.
Cost: $14.

Cooking master class – ‘Spanish inspired’: Friday, 29th March, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

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: pintxos; spicy paella; and torrijas.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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