Feb 142018
 

Marina Bistrin interviews Sim Hanscamp, from Spoke & Spade

Spoke & Spade is a small urban farm in Heidelberg West which grows vegetables and sells them in boxes. Marina met its owner, Sim Hanscamp, at the Heidelberg West Food Swap and then went to his farm to interview him. As Marina says in her writeup of the interview: “Sim is a friendly young man who has started his own business, supported by the government’s New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). He has converted his rental property’s front and back gardens into an urban farm and is using the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model to pre-sell veggie boxes. He also has an honesty box in the frontyard with freshly picked veg and herbs for a donation. And he is growing veggies on a friend’s property in Hurstbridge.” She then goes on to discuss Sim’s objectives, methods and inspirations. Read the full interview.

Contact details, ways of buying Sim’s veggies, and various photos can all be found in the Local Food Directory page for Spoke & Spade. Or you might want to have a look at his website and/or Facebook page. Welcome Sim!

Mac’s tip of the week

Beware the common paper wasp! After years (too many to mention) of daily garden work, I have recently noticed an increase in the numbers of paper wasps nesting in our area. Last summer was my first painful introduction, and then another two nests this summer. Yow! The introduced asian paper wasps (Polistes chinensis) only tend to be aggressive when defending their nests and are otherwise beneficial insects to have around the garden. The adults catch caterpillars to feed the larvae, but otherwise feed on nectar. They form small colonies and make paper nests under tree branches, in shrubs such as westringia, and in the eaves of houses. The nests are shaped like inverted cones, and consist of a cluster of hexagonal cells made from wood fibre mixed with saliva. The wasp larvae are maggot-like and develop inside the papery cells of the nest.

Read all of Mac’s tips.

More RetroSuburbia

Following on last week’s discussion about David Holmgren’s new book RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future, I’m pleased to announce that David will be coming to Eltham to give a presentation. See the event description below and on the website. Thursday, 22nd March, 7-9pm, at Eltham Community and Reception Centre. $10 (but free for both Local Food Connect members and Home Harvest Feastival attendees). Buy tickets.

News about local food producers

Rachael The Pie Lady, aka Yarra Valley Homemade Pies & Cakes, has retired.

Got some time to spare on a Wednesday?

The Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre hosts a free community lunch every Thursday. Most of the food is made from SecondBite offerings. They need a driver to pick up the produce on a Wednesday from Heidelberg West and deliver it to Carlton North. If interested, email them.

Really Really Free Market Preston

The Really Really Free Market Preston is in need of a new home to provide cover for both sunny and rainy days, and that it is easily accessible via public transport. If you have any suggestions, email them.

Have your tomatoes got any pests or diseases?

Newsletter reader Karen Sutherland, together with Penny Woodward and Janice Sutton, is writing a book about growing tomatoes and are searching for high quality pictures to include. They are happy to pay a small fee, or to barter their garden produce. If you have any relevant pictures, contact Karen by phone (0412 567281) or email. Here is a list of the pictures that they are looking for:

  • Deficiencies in leaves: nitrogen deficiency; phosphorous deficiency; zinc deficiency; manganese deficiency; iron deficiency; boron deficiency; or molybdenum deficiency.
  • Bacterial diseases: bacterial canker; bacterial speck; bacterial spot; or bacterial wilt.
  • Fungal diseases: anthracnose; damping off; early blight – target blight; fusarium crown & root rot; fusarium wilt; grey mould on fruit; grey leaf spot; late blight; sclerotinia rot; scerotium stem rot; sooty mould; or verticillium wilt.
  • Viruses: cucumber mosaic virus; tobacco mosaic virus; tomato mosaic virus; tomato spotted wilt virus; tomato yellow leaf curl virus; or tomato leaf curl virus.
  • Pests: budworm; cutworm; fruit fly; harlequin bug; heliothis caterpillar / budworm; leafhoppers & jassids; potato moth; red-eyed bug; rutherglen bug; stem borer; tomato potato psyllid; 26- & 28-spotted ladybird; thrips; vegetable weevil; white fringed weevil; or wireworm.
  • Other problems: catface; cracks in fruit; or heat stress wilt.

Now, here’s a test: there are 48 pest and diseases listed above; without re-reading, how many can you name?

Good things await you

Atika Rea has written in to recommend the film Good Things Await. She says: “I saw this really nice Danish film at film festival a couple of years ago. It gently leads you through a farmer’s life and his husbandship of land and animals. It warmed the cockles of my heart!”

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The menu at Craft Kitchen And Bar.

Joke of the week

What’s the worst vegetable to serve on a boat? Leeks!

Read all the jokes.

New events

Food Fighter – Australian Premiere (film)

What: Ronni Kahn used to run a corporate events company. Then she realised the absurdity of throwing away perfectly edible food and founded OzHarvest. Food Fighter follows Ronni’s crusade as she partners with the United Nations, rubs shoulders with royalty and Jamie Oliver’s juggernaut, rifles through dumpster bins, and holds government to account.
When: Thursday, 22nd February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Cinema Nova, Carlton.
Cost: $35.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permaculture & fish conservation open day

What: The permaculture garden is a central part of Templestowe College’s learning approach, and provides students with hands-on opportunities to tackle the climate challenges their futures will present. You will see urban farming and junk-scaping, along with the breeding program of native fish.
When: Sunday, 25th February, 11am-3pm.
Where: Templestowe College.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Evolution of Organic – Australian Premiere (film)

What: The epic story of the birth of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. The film follows the motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons & daughters who rejected chemical farming and set out to invent revolutionary organic alternatives.
When: Sunday, 25th February, 4-5.30pm.
Where: Cinema Nova, Carlton.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food Fighter (film)

What: Ronni Kahn used to run a corporate events company. Then she realised the absurdity of throwing away perfectly edible food and founded OzHarvest. Food Fighter follows Ronni’s crusade as she partners with the United Nations, rubs shoulders with royalty and Jamie Oliver’s juggernaut, rifles through dumpster bins, and holds government to account.
When: Sunday, 4th March, 4-5.30pm.
Where: Cinema Nova, Carlton.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sensational sourdough at home

What: What you will learn: how to start your own sourdough starter; how to maintain your sourdough starter without lots of waste; and how to use your starter to make, shape and score sensational genuine sourdough bread. What you will get: recipes sheets describing all of the techniques used; a sample of active starter for you to continue to maintain at home; batch of sourdough that you have mixed, for you to take home and continue the process on to baking; and a finished loaf made on the day. Anne, from The Mixing Bowl, will take you from the basics of making your own starter, through to our low-knead technique, using ‘stretch and fold’, the rising process and then the baking. In so doing, Anne will de-bunk a lot of the ‘rules’ surrounding making a good sourdough loaf.
When: Wednesday, 7th March, 11am-3pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $140.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Advanced sourdough at home

What: What you will learn: how to use your starter to make specialty loaves, including hot cross buns; how to use up excess sourdough starter in delicious ways; and making seedy crackers using sourdough starter. What you will get: recipes sheets describing all of the techniques used; half a dozen hot cross buns to rise and bake at home; sourdough starter; and tastings of all the demonstrated loaves, crackers and buns. you know how to make sourdough bread and now it’s time to extend your repertoire. Anne, from The Mixing Bowl, will teach you how to make hot cross buns. You will also learn how to use up leftover starter by making delicious seedy crackers.
When: Thursday, 8th March, 11am-3pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $150.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Asian flavours and recipes re-imagined

What: Flavours of Taiwan, Vietnam, China and Japan will be fused together, plus there’ll be a celebrity chef demonstration. You will be able to taste the dishes and enjoy canapés while you watch.
When: 6 occurrences: 17th March at 10am, 11.30am & 1pm, and on 18th March at 11am, 12.30pm & 2pm.
Where: Box Hill Central.
Cost: $16.
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Create a unique beer for Burnley

What: Burnley Brewing will host this lively yet educational beer and food event where guests become brewers and the new beer is built democratically. Enjoy some of their house brews while learning about the varied ingredients then vote on the ingredients that make the new brew.
When: Saturday, 17th March and again on Saturday, 24th March, both starting 1pm.
Where: Burnley Brewing.
Cost: $55 (includes food and a drink).
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen – Australian premiere (film)

What: Go behind the scenes of the world’s most coveted restaurant guide. With a cinematic take featuring revered chefs, food critics and gastronomes, the film brings the spotlight to Michelin’s judgements, reach and reputation – those who live by its recommendations and those who challenge its very influence on the world of food. After the film, hear from guests Ashley Palmer-Watts (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal), and Samy Mir-Beghin (Cutler & Co) as they talk about the allure, the heartbreak, and the drama of all things Michelin. Moderated by food writer and restaurant critic, Larissa Dubecki.
When: Sunday, 18th March, 4-6pm.
Where: Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn.
Cost: $38.
Bookings / Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Vietnamese cooking and costume show

What: Enjoy a taste of Vietnamese culture with a cooking demonstration with the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association, followed by a Vietnamese traditional costume show.
When: Monday, 19th March, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Italian olive preserving demonstration

What: Teresa Oates, author of the Mangia Mangia cookbooks, will present how to preserve olives.
When: Tuesday, 20th March, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

‘Aussie Street’ – with David Holmgren (co-originator of permaculture)

What: David Holmgren will present his multi-media talk ‘Aussie Street’, a speculative eco-narrative seen through the microcosm of four adjacent houses. His soon-to-be-launched book, RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future, shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. David is best known as the co-originator of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. David’s talk will be followed by a discussion, networking and nibbles. For more information about the book, visit the RetroSuburbia website. An event organised by Local Food Connect, in collaboration with Banyule City Council and Nillumbik Shire Council.
When: Thursday, 22nd March, 7-9pm.
Where: Eltham Community and Reception Centre.
Cost: $10 (but free for both Local Food Connect members and Home Harvest Feastival attendees).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Keeping backyard chooks

What: Keeping chickens is not as difficult as you think. Felicity Gordon will discuss how to set up for your chooks, popular breeds and how to keep your chooks happy and healthy.
When: Saturday, 24th March, 2-3pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

HarvEast

What: 80 local producers will be on show sampling the best the region has to offer There will be a producers’ market, cellar door, beer & wine garden, chef & wine master sessions and live entertainment. Thee will also be activities for children, including Huxtaburger junior burger masterclasses.
When: Saturday, 24th March and Sunday, 25th March, both 10am-8pm.
Where: Eastland Shopping Centre.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

For young people – traditional Italian cooking

What: For young people – suits those aged 10+. Led by Giovani Calandro. Experience and share Italian culture through food. Focus on a single recipe. Hands-on and demonstration preparation of the meal, then enjoy your work at the end of class.
When: two occurrences: Friday, 6th April and Friday, 13th April, both 10am-midday.
Where: Span Community House, Thornbury.
Cost: $36.
Bookings: contact them by phone (9480 1364).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Growing great garlic!

What: The traditional planting times are now outdated due to climate change but there are ways of compensating and producing large, tasty garlic heads. Learn how to do this, when to plant, how to care for your garlic until harvest, and which varieties best suit your needs.
When: Monday, 9th April, 1-3pm.
Where: Macleod.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: by phone (9444 7427 or 0408 733683).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The art of espalier

What: What you will learn: growing espaliered fruit trees; different techniques to make the most of all available space for espalier; and improve your general gardening skills. Presented by Diana Cotter. “Go vertical” is the cry when garden space is limited. Gardening in two dimensions is what espalier is about and this class will cover the different types and how to get them started and then continue to train them into the desired shape. Topics covered include suitable fruit trees, pruning and training techniques.
When: Thursday, 12th April, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
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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