Feb 052019
 

A new local drinks producer – Imbue Distillery

Eltham-based Imbue Distillery are a husband and wife team that make hand-crafted gins imbued with stories (and flavours) relating to where they live. They are not afraid to play with flavours and, for example, their first product was gin infused with dandelion, prickly pear, blackberry and fennel, all foraged from the local area. Over time, they plan to expand to other spirits and liqueurs. You can buy their gin online or at: Eltham Deli; Fitzroy Cellars; Liquorologist, Balwyn North; Nillumbik Cellars, Diamond Creek; and Second Home, Eltham. Read their Local Food Directory entry. Welcome Mel and Mick!

Our biggest ever giveaway competition

Mel and Mick would like to give away a bottle of their gin (value $80) to a randomly chosen newsletter reader. To enter the random draw, simply ‘like’ their Facebook page and then email me to say that you have done so. Clearly, it would be good for them if you also ‘shared’ their page at the same time.

I know that many newsletter readers like these sorts of giveaway competitions. If you are a local food producer and would like to give something away via the newsletter, email me.

A volunteer gardening opportunity

Newsletter readers Kim D’Angelis and Jane Glynn have been setting up a veggie garden at Leith Park Retirement Village in St Helena. They are now looking for a couple of volunteer gardeners to help with the upkeep of the wider garden. If interested, email Kim.

Fun facts: orange carrots

Three facts appear to be clear. First, wild carrots were historically purple, yellow or white. Second, modern orange carrots emerged in the Netherlands in the 17th Century and are orange because of their abundance of carotenes. Third, the Netherlands in the 17th Century (and later) was ruled by the House of Orange. What is less clear is the linkage or otherwise between these three facts. Popular anecdote is that orange carrots were purposively developed as a tribute to William of Orange but Wikipedia says: “there is little evidence for this“.

In researching this subject, here are a few other interesting ‘factoids’ that I found out. First, the colour is named after the fruit, rather than the other way round (before the fruit became known in England, the colour was apparently called either geoluread or geolucrog in English). Second, the House of Orange adopted the colour orange simply because the city in France from whence they came happened to have the same name as the colour. Lastly, although the House of Orange has ‘ruled’ the Netherlands for hundreds of years, the Dutch flag contains no orange (it is red, white and blue), anecdotally because the orange dye in the original flags was unstable and turned to red in the period from when they were first made until the time that the colours of the flag were officially decided.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Marina’s interview with Stuart and Christine Rodda.

In last week’s newsletter, we mentioned that Stuart and Christine are giving a guided tour of their garden on Saturday, 9th February, 11am-midday. Well, that tour is now sold out but they are happy to have a second tour at midday if there is sufficient interest. To register your interest in the midday tour, go to their original Eventbrite listing and join the waitlist.

Joke of the week

Why is a carrot orange and pointy? Because if it was green and round it would want to pea!

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Bees wax workshop

What: You will learn how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps for keeping food fresh and hygienic without the use of single use plastics such as cling-wrap. You will leave with two ready-to-use wraps.
When: Thursday, 21st March, 10am-midday.
Where: Whittlesea Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natural pest control with companion planting

What: What you will learn: which plants to grow together, and which ones not to; how to solve many common garden problems naturally; and how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together). Presented by Angelo Eliades. With companion planting, by knowing which plants to grow together and which ones not to, you can grow stronger, healthier and more productive plants, improve soil quality, and reduce pests and diseases in your garden. Learn which companion plants to add to your garden to solve many common garden problems naturally, and find out how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together) for more abundant harvests.
When: Thursday, 21st March, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Buttenshaw Farm (guided garden tour)

What: Buttenshaw Farm is based on organic and permaculture principles with the hope of encouraging beneficial insects and everything working in harmony. Thanks to interspersed flower plantings, native bees (including blue-banded bees), European honey bees and butterflies are residents of the garden. The household seeks to reduce their environmental impact by embracing nature, reducing waste and utilising scraps in the garden system. The productive part of the garden features fruit and nut trees, heirloom vegetables and chickens.
When: Saturday, 23rd March, 10-11am and again at midday-1pm.
Where: Montrose.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

CERES Harvest Festival

What: An annual event to celebrate food across cultures with live music, free workshops on sustainable living, cultural performances, animal displays, giant veggie growing competition and kids activities. Also, food and craft stalls from local and organic makers and designers.
When: Saturday, 23rd March, 10am-3pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $5.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Yarra Valley Beer & Cider Festival

What: The festival allows you to sample some of the boutique beer and cider that Victoria has to offer, with many exhibitors being close to home. Food stalls will be in attendance, combined with entertainment. The festival is an initiative by the Rotary Club of Wandin, in conjunction with some community beer and cider lovers.
When: Saturday, 23rd March, 11am-5.30pm.
Where: Lilydale Showgrounds.
Cost: $16 ($37 with tasting tokens).
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Aussie veggie patch (guided garden tour)

What: Tim’s garden is all about having veggies on hand for everyday use. The property combines a more traditional and formal garden at the front with a more casual one out the back. The garden even has its own instagram page!
When: Saturday, 23rd March, midday-1pm.
Where: Mooroolbark.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cameron Street garden guided tour

What: This garden has been growing food for 35 years, the past 25 under Denise’s watchful eye. Located right alongside the train line, the garden includes fruit and nut trees, berries, vines and vegetables. For a relatively small space, the garden is full of fruit trees ranging from apples to apricots to avocados. A small flock of chickens add to the system underneath a giant walnut tree to the back of the property, and flowers keep bees happy year round. The 40 or so edible plants keeps the family content with vegetables year round and in good stead for preserves.
When: Sunday, 24th March, 10-11am and again at midday-1pm.
Where: Coburg.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Angelo Eliades – create a no-waste kitchen and garden

What: Learn how to recycle all garden and food waste, even the difficult things! This workshop will cover what materials to put into which waste recycling system and how to use the processed materials in the garden. Other topics will include cold and hot composting, worm farming and bokashi composting. All the basics will be covered, as well as tricks, tips and techniques to get faster and more efficient composting of every kind of waste.
When: Sunday, 24th March, 2-4pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing for the Winter harvest

What: What you will learn: crop rotation after summer veggies; growing common and uncommon winter veggies; and seed sowing techniques for winter veggies. Presented by Nicole Griffiths. You will learn how to prepare your garden for a bumper crop right through winter. They will cover what plants to plant over the cooler months and when to plant them, winter garden jobs, soil care and pest/disease management. Bring along your gardening gloves!

When: Saturday, 30th March, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beeswax wrap workshop

What: Join Ben Moore from Ben’s Bees to make your own ecofriendly alternative to plastic wraps.
When: Saturday, 30th March, 10am-midday.
Where: Central Ringwood Community Centre.
Cost: $25 (includes all materials).
Bookings: by phone (9870 2602).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Autumn Harvest Festival

What: Giant pumpkins, music, hot food and market stalls. There will be a selection of the region’s best homemade, homegrown artisans. They will be running cooking, art & craft and horticulture competitions.
When: Saturday, 30th March, 10am-3pm.
Where: Alowyn Gardens & Nursery, Yarra Glen.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green at Kathleen – seed saving and sowing

What: Increase your planting options and veggie yield by saving seeds from previous plants and harvests, and effectively sowing them for maximum benefit.
When: Saturday, 30th March, 11.30am-1pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library, Carlton.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Ringwood Highland Games

What: Learn how to recycle all garden and food waste, even the difficult things! This workshop will cover what materials to put into which waste recycling system and how to use the processed materials in the garden. Other topics will include cold and hot composting, worm farming and bokashi composting. All the basics will be covered, as well as tricks, tips and techniques to get faster and more efficient composting of every kind of waste.
When: Sunday, 31st March, 10am-5pm.
Where: Ringwood East.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Home Harvest Picnic 2019

What: This will be the eighth annual home harvest picnic, where catering students from Eltham High School, under the guidance of a professional chef, produce a shared meal from homegrown produce. You have three options: register as a grower ($0) – supply some of your homegrown produce and receive a prepared basket for you and up to three guests; purchase a picnic basket ($20 for two people); or bring your own picnic ($0).
When: Sunday, 31st March, 4.30-8pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $0-20.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

New events – cooking

Kombucha tea workshop

What: Learn to make your own kombucha tea with Dayle Barnett and take home a scobi to get you started. Dayle is a chemistry major who often has many different brews fermenting in all corners of the house and enjoys experimenting with kombucha, jun, kefir and ginger beer.
When: Sunday, 3rd March, 10.30am-midday.
Where: Central Ringwood Community Centre.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: by phone (9870 2602).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Lunch ideas using your thermomix

What: This class will cover creative lunches whether they be for work, school or on the run. They will demonstrate a variety of creative, healthy or cost saving ideas and you can sample each of the recipes.
When: Tuesday, 19th March, 7.30-9pm.
Where: Kilsyth.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The age-old art of preserving

What: This workshop will give you some confidence to try different styles of home preserving. You will be concentrating on making jams with seasonal and frozen fruit. Bring your apron, your questions and your appetite. All materials supplied.
When: Wednesday, 20th March, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Box Hill North.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: by phone (9899 7660).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Italian pasta making demonstration

What: Hilda and Laurie, authors of Wow, It’s Italian, will show you how to make the perfect pasta using the correct ratio of liquid to flour.
When: Thursday, 21st March, 10.30am-midday.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking seasonal produce with Julie French

What: Join Julie French as she shows you how to best use the produce in your garden to reduce food waste, save money and enjoy the tasty food that she prepares in the library’s kitchen garden.
When: Thursday, 21st March, 11am-midday.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class – health and gluten free

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: roast pumpkin wedges; harissa chicken lettuce cups; and honey bananas.
When: Thursday, 21st March, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cook Indian by the creek

What: Menu: naan bread with chana masala. Cook Indian by the creek came into existence with the idea of breaking the myth that Indian cooking is complex and difficult to nail. In each session, they will share their traditional recipes and go through the step by step cooking process. The classes are held in a private kitchen.
When: Friday, 22nd March, 6-8pm.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cook Indian by the creek

What: Menu: samosa and chutney. Cook Indian by the creek came into existence with the idea of breaking the myth that Indian cooking is complex and difficult to nail. In each session, they will share their traditional recipes and go through the step by step cooking process. The classes are held in a private kitchen.
When: Friday, 29th March, 6-7.30pm.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving your harvest

What: Make the most of the seasonal bounty of fruit and vegetables and learn techniques of how to safely make pickles, jams and bottled fruit. This workshop will be run by Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden.
When: Saturday, 23rd March, 1-3.30pm.
Where: Mernda.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Ramble – preserving food from your garden

What: Knowing different ways of processing and preserving the crops you’re harvesting is essential for budding productive gardeners. Leah will walk you through many of the techniques that she uses in her kitchen to extend the shelf-life of what she harvests including saucing, pickling, dehydrating, freezing and drying. She’ll share some of her tips and tricks for making garden delicacies such as dehydrated figs, cordials, sorbets and ice cream.
When: Sunday, 24th March, 10-11.30am.
Where: Fawkner.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Seasonal ferments – kimchi + kombucha

What: What you will learn: how to cultivate, feed and keep your ferments for long and short term use; how to assess pH, sugar and alcohol levels; and relevant food safety and sanitisation for fermenting. What you will get: comprehensive workshop notes and references/further reading; your own vegetables ferments to take home; and a sampling of fermented food. Lacto-fermentation is a healthful, safe, low energy method of food preservation. Molly Bryson will show you how to make kimchi and kombucha.
When: Saturday, 30th March, 9-11.30am.
Where: Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.
Cost: $85.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Indian Punjabi cooking workshop

What: Tutor Taariq Hassan. Learn how to cook a healthy North West Indian vegetarian meal from scratch using authentic ingredients. The menu will include: daal tadka (spiced lentils); raita (yoghurt based dip); muttar pulao (basmati rice with peas and cumin seeds); chapatti (flat bread); and seviyan (a milk-based dessert).
When: Saturday, 30th March, 10.30am-1.30pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Diamond Creek.
Cost: $66.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

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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