Feb 212018
 

Greta Gillies visits Tuan Pham’s garden

Greta Gillies, together with neighbour Stevie Chy, has visited the garden of Tuan Pham, from Heidelberg West. Here is how the write up starts: “Tuan Pham has lived in his current home in Heidelberg West with his partner and 3 children for the past 3 years. He moved to Australia from Vietnam in the mid 80s and has lived most of the time in this area. He tends to his food garden most days. He is also a member of the local trading group Rough Trade 3081 and previously worked with the local exodus community. Walking into his garden, the first thing you spot is his impressive hanging garden of gravity-defying winter melons. A nylon lattice covers a large metal frame which forms the support structure for his gourd crop which hang freely through the frame like enormous droplets of rain. This ‘winter melon house’ is big enough for someone to walk under and sit to escape the heat, plus it is a place to grow shade enjoying plants underneath. Tuan grows an impressive amount of food for his family in this space.Read the full write up.

Greta is one of our new interviewers, joining Judy Vizzari and Marina Bistrin. She lives in Heidelberg Heights with her partner and young son. She is a geneticist, a community rallier and an environmental and social activist. She also loves working on making her garden a productive and enjoyable space. She runs the local money-free trading group Rough Trade 3081.

Greta’s interviewing approach is somewhat different than the others. Where possible, gardeners write their own bios and answer some set questions before having photos taken. This ensures that their story is represented exactly how they want it to be. She only interviews people in her immediate area, partly because she loves getting to know people in her community more and partly because she doesn’t have a car. Additionally, 3081 is a community-orientated postcode with a hive of food gardens and people happy to share them.

Mac’s tip of the week

With continued summer weather ahead, and minimal rain, your watering duties are not yet over. Where there is still growth and flowering, there is more produce to come so keep the water coming. But for those plants which do seem to be coming to their end (e.g. tomatoes?), you can now reduce the amounts of water so that the plant begins to focus on producing fruit rather than on growing new foliage. When you reduce/stop watering such plants, the fruit will ripen quicker too.

Read all of Mac’s tips.

News about local food producers

Stir Crazy (who sell crackers, shortbreads, oatcakes and cordials) have moved out of the area.

Blue Pear Pantry, from North Warrandyte, have changed direction: “Due to the increased popularity and demand of our savoury rolls, we have made the decision to shift our focus solely to our savoury roll varieties (sausage rolls, Thai chicken rolls and vegan rolls).

PoppySmack, from Warrandyte, will be making a surprise appearance as a stallholder at Eltham Farmers’ Market on 25th February.

A new community food hub is being planned at Alphington (at the Melbourne Innovation Centre). As per a recent article in The Leader (pictured right), it will include a weekly farmers’ market, a commercial kitchen and an urban agriculture growing space. As soon as I know more, I’ll tell you more.

Bulleen Art & Garden (BAAG) is the favourite nursery of many newsletter readers. Its future existence is now under threat from the proposed construction of the North East Link. They are organising a petition calling on the North East Link Authority to ensure that the path the new road takes does not impact BAAG. Click here to read and then sign the petition.

Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival – the preparations begin

The festival will take place between Saturday, 26th May and Sunday, 3rd June. They have asked people to contact them about three aspects:

  • ‘Meet the Makers’: this is a competition to judge Darebin’s best makers of passata, pickled vegetables, preserved olives, etc. If you are interested in entering, contact Amanda Palmer by phone (8470 8306) or email.
  • ‘Homemade Marketplace’: this market will take place on Saturday, 26th May. Click here to read more and apply to be a stallholder.
  • ‘Homemade Umbrella Program’: there will be workshops, demonstrations, seminars and special events throughout the week around the theme of ‘food traditions and sustainable practice’. Click here to read more and register your interest in organising an event.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Marina’s interview with Sim Hanscamp, from Spoke & Spade.

Joke of the week

Why couldn’t the teddy bear eat his lunch? Because he was stuffed!

Read all the jokes.

New events – ‘harvest time’

The two headline events of ‘harvest time’, The Home Harvest FEASTival on 4th March and ‘Aussie Street’ – with David Holmgren (co-originator of permaculture) on 22nd March, have both featured in previous newsletters. Some more ‘harvest time’ events have now been announced.

Robin and Paul’s garden

What: Robin and Paul’s garden is a highly productive back and front yard fruit, berry and vegetable garden designed on permaculture principles. It features raised bed, wicking beds, chooks running in the orchard, a 3 bay compost system and a mud brick potting shed.
When: Saturday, 3rd March, 1.30-2.30pm.
Where: Macleod.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Macleod Organic Community Garden tour

What: Macleod Organic Community Garden was established in 2015, making great productive use of two disused tennis courts at Macleod College. It is gardened communally by members of Sustainable Macleod. It is a water conservation garden with an emphasis on water efficiency and (eventually) self sufficiency. There are a numerous garden areas including 8 wicking beds, a citrus orchard, a stone fruit and apple orchard and an orchard of miscellaneous fruit trees plus kiwifruit and passionfruit trellises. There is also an extensive bank of crate tanks, a 6 bay compost system and a 7 metre polytunnel.
When: Saturday, 3rd March, 3.30-4.30pm.
Where: Macleod.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Guy and Susan’s garden

What: Guy and Susan bought their property in 2012, with the garden being their main reason for choosing it. Their first move was to turn the tennis court into a veggie patch: a regular and flat area, with no trees, and easily irrigated. The veggie patch now comprises 24 raised beds. 10 of these are in crop rotations (a 5-year rotation of legumes-cucurbits-roots-solanums-brassicas), with others for perennials (asparagus, globe artichoke and rhubarb) and herbs. Fruit trees are planted throughout the 1¼ acre garden, some in purpose-built set of terraces. There are currently around 50 fruit trees, 30 berries, and 10 vines. Collectively they cover most of the types of fruit that are commonly grown in Melbourne plus some more unusual species. Come and see the bananas, which are currently ripening! All the veggies and fruit are irrigated, mostly from tanks.
When: Sunday, 11th March, 10-11am and again at 1-2pm.
Where: Eltham.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite – 10am start or 1pm start.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Thrive Community Garden tour

What: Thrive community garden is situated on disused flat land quite close to the Diamond Creek. The first planting of fruit trees was in winter 2015 and other beds of berries, seasonal vegetables and a native area have followed. Join Peter Daams on a tour of the garden whilst he talks about setting up the garden and explains how it has progressed or you are welcome to just have a wander. The Diamond Creek food swap will be taking place at the same time.
When: Saturday, 17th March, 2-3pm.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

New events – other

Gourmet guest at Eastland

What: On the last Thursday of each month, a gourmet guest will create a dish in a live demonstration, using seasonal ingredients from Eastland’s fresh food precinct. The demonstrations will start at 11am and again at 1pm. The February guest is Matt Sinclair – runner up of Masterchef in 2016.
When: Thursday, 22nd February, 11am-2pm.
Where: Eastland, Ringwood.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Make your own bees wax wrap

What: Che Hall will teach you how to make bees wax wraps. Bees wax wraps are used to cover food. They are made of cotton fabric. Che is an active member of Zero Waste Victoria and the convenor of the Watsonia boomerang bag group.
When: Sunday, 25th February, 10-10.30am and again at 10.30-11am.
Where: Bellfield Community Garden.
Cost: $5 (includes material to make your wrap).
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Seed saving

What: With Kat Lavers. Learn how to save seeds. You will save a fortune on seed packets and seedings of course, but over time you will also develop stronger plants that are perfectly adapted to your garden’s microclimate. They will cover all the basics of plant selection, pollination, harvesting, drying, cleaning and storing seeds.
When: Thursday, 1st March, 6.30-8.30pm.
Where: Fitzroy North.
Cost: $25.
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: pesto bruschetta; baked eggs & beans; and chocolate mousse.
When: Thursday, 1st March, 7-9pm.
Where: Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Veggie gardening for beginners (8 sessions)

What: Across the 8 sessions, you will learn how to grow your own vegetables – from soil preparation and propagation to harvest. The course will be facilitated by qualified horticulturalist, Elspeth Brock. Gardening beds will be set aside for the course and all tools, materials and equipment will be available onsite. The sessions and their topics: 4th March: preparing good soil, design & planting seedlings; 18th March: raising seeds and propagating; 25th March: planning and companion planting; 15th April: watering, weeding, mulching and feeding; 29th April: keeping good soil, compost, etc; 13th May: pest control and management; 27th May: harvesting; and 10th June: cooking, rejuvenating beds and crop rotation.
When: 8 sessions, starting 4th March and ending 10th June. All sessions on Sundays, 10.30am-12.30pm.
Where: West Brunswick Community Garden.
Cost: $80 for all 8 sessions.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cheese making class and kefir tips

When: Tuesday, 13th March, 7-9pm.
Where: Organic Fix, Eltham.
Cost: $70 (includes a $40 cheese making kit).
Bookings: by phone (9424 1861) or by person at Organic Fix.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Healthy meals in minutes

What: The average household in Australia throws away $2,000 worth of food every year. That means that one out of five bags of shopping that is purchased is never eaten. Gaby and Jen from Plan Buy Cook will show you how to make tasty and healthy meals from scratch that won’t break the budget or produce food waste.
When: Monday, 19th March, midday-1pm.
Where: Fitzroy North.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Propagating Autumn Asian greens

What: Learn from permaculturalist and school garden teacher Seila Hierk to grow autumn Asian vegetables. These include Chinese broccoli, bok choy, pak choy, wong bok, Tokyo bekana, shallots, spring onions, tumeric, mizuna, tatsoi and mustard greens. They are all short-term vegetables that can be harvested in 2-3 months. Find out about crop rotation, what manure is best, what ‘bolting’ is and the mixed planting. Seedlings for sale.
When: Saturday, 24th March, 11am-midday.
Where: Bellfield Community Garden.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Easter chocolate novelties workshop

What: Join Irene Williams from the Victorian Cake Decorating Society to make your own chicken in a rocky road nest.
When: Monday, 26th March, 10.30am-midday.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mexican cooking class

What: Learn how to make tortillas and create a Mexican feast at home. Learn how to serve them, re-heat them without them becoming cardboard, and how to use day-old tortillas. Juanita from Juanita’s Kitchen will show how the secrets of how they use them in the cafe and how to cook three different meals at home using your tortillas and our products.
When: Wednesday, 11th April, 6.30-8pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $76.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Edible forest gardens

What: John Ferris, from the Edible Forest Garden Nursery, will tell you about the plants and practices that will help you to create your very own food forest.
When: Monday, 16th April, 1.30-2.30pm.
Where: Lilydale Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Traditional Italian cooking (4 sessions)

What: Led by Giovani Calandro. Experience and share Italian culture through food. Focus on a single recipe each week, examining different aspects – history, geography, techniques and language. Hands-on and demonstration preparation of the meal and enjoy your work at the end of class. Kids, adults and vegetarians all welcome.
When: Weekly, starting Monday, 16th April, 6.30-8.30pm.
Where: Span Community House, Thornbury.
Cost: $127.
Bookings: contact them by phone (9480 1364).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Growing heritage apples

What: John Pinniger, from the Heritage Fruit Society of Victoria, will discuss the many heirloom varieties of apples and how to grown them successfully. He will also offer tastings of the in-season varieties.
When: Thursday, 19th April, 11am-midday.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The joy of backyard chooks

What: What you will learn: how to get started with keeping chickens in a suburban backyard; how to house and protect chooks from predators; and how chooks can be used to improve your garden and soil. Presented by Maria Ciavarella. A couple of chooks in the backyard were once a staple part of the suburban quarter acre block and their eggs a healthy part of the diet. Smaller backyards needn’t mean an end to keeping these most versatile of creatures. Join their class to find out how easy it is to keep a few hens as pets and as the ultimate garden recyclers in a sustainable household. They will cover housing, protection, feeding and varieties, as well as practical ideas on how to live harmoniously with them in your garden.
When: Thursday, 19th 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.

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)