Jan 132016

shillinglaw1Shillinglaw cafe in Eltham has re-opened under new management

Have a look at their updated page in our Local Food Directory. Here is their ‘press release: “We are excited to announce that Shillinglaw Cafe has re-opened under new management. Shillinglaw cottage, built in 1859, is historically, aesthetically and socially significant to the shire of Nillumbik and embodies the spirit of Eltham; built by pioneers and saved by locals. It has seen many uses over the years but is now a family-owned and operated cafe with a focus on great coffee, delicious food and friendly service. With a unique refurbishment offering a stylish dining room and coffee area, as well as a rare and delightful alfresco garden with large children’s sandpit, all shaded by a significant old oak tree. Head Chef Bruno Lima and his team have developed an eclectic and diverse menu, offering fresh, good quality, local, free range and organic ingredients where possible, as well as some gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo options. All-day breakfast, delightful lunches, good coffee, local teas and sweet treats as well as a ‘Little Shillings’ menu just for the kids. Something for everyone. Shillinglaw is also fully licensed and will be opening evenings soon – stay tuned. We take bookings and the cottage can also be hired for private functions.

Apart from Louise and Greg Imlach being the first people ever to have sent us a press release(!), they have also asked us to advise on possible local produce that they could use and have already made arrangements with Kings of Kangaroo Ground and Yarra Valley Tea Company.

New recipe: fruit sponge

Fay Loveland has sent in a recipe for fruit sponge and suggests that it might be a good way of using up any surplus stonefruit that you have at this time of year. It also includes gluten-free and egg-free options. Read the recipe.

In total, newsletter readers have now contributed 192 recipes to our recipe database, which is searchable by ingredient, key word, author or course.

Easy ways that you can get a bit more involved in your local food community

I understand that most people are busy so I have been thinking about easy ways for you to get a bit more involved in your local food community without taking up too much of your time. Here is my top 10 list (in ascending order of ‘easiness’):

  1. Recommend this newsletter to others: tell them to sign up at the website signup page. Or they can just drop us an email. If they are in doubt, tell them to read our recent testimonials’ page.
  2. Tell us about an upcoming event: obviously, we can only include events in this newsletter and in the website calendar if we know about them. Just email us the name and date of the event and we can probably find out the rest.
  3. Give us a recipe for the recipe database, like Fay has just done.
  4. Contribute to this newsletter: any food-related words of any length would be most appreciated. Any tips for others? Any questions you would like others’ opinions on? Email us.
  5. Go to your local food swap: food swaps are much easier to participate in than they sound – basically, you just turn up with a bit of stuff, have a chat, and then take home a bit of (different) stuff – read about what a food swap is. There are now monthly food swaps in many of the suburbs in North East Melbourne – check out the full list.
  6. Go to a local food event: just pick one or more from the calendar. For example, there are currently 65 events listed for February.
  7. Go to Eltham Farmer’s Market: all the stallholders are from within Victoria, and around half are from North East Melbourne. Collectively, they sell a complete range of food and, as discussed on the website, their fruit and veggies are at least as cheap as the supermarket. And you can, if you want, come and chat with myself and others at the Local Food Connect information marquee.
  8. Sell your surplus produce at the Community Market Stall: you can read about the stall on the website but the basic idea is that it is a stall at Eltham Farmers’ Market which you can use at zero cost and sell your surplus produce to the public under a Local Food Connect permit.
  9. Help out at the Local Food Connect information marquee: one possibility is to be ‘booth boss’ for a market, from 9am to 1pm, manning the stall, handing out various freebies and answering questions. Another, easier, possibility is to come for a hour or so and keep the booth boss company. If interested, email us.
  10. Help with your local community gardening initiatives: there are a quite a lot of community gardening initiatives in North East Melbourne and many would appreciate more people becoming involved – certainly, the ones that I am involved with (the planter boxes at Eltham). For contact details, see the list of initiatives in Nillumbik and Banyule.

New events

St Johns Riverside Community Garden working bee

What: They plan to assemble a three-sectioned compost bay from the awaiting packing cases. There is still a mound of soil to sift free of couch grass and they also need to insert the brick edging deeper into the ground so that the grass can be mowed. If you are able to pick up any discarded fruit or veggies from the fruit shop to bring for the compost bins, please feel free!
When: Sunday, 17th January, 8.30-10am.
Where: Heidelberg.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Katrina Philip by phone (0422 735213) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permablitz 177 (Surrey Hills)

What: Melissa is a single mum of 3 young girls, and wants to increase her food self reliance. She has already contributed a lot to her local community, helping to co-found the Whitehorse Urban Harvest. She wants to learn how to grow food plants and trees to teach her children about food and plants, so they will appreciate healthy food.
When: Sunday, 24th January, 9am-4.30pm.
Where: Surrey Hills.
Cost: free.
Bookings: permablitz website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Yarra Valley Beer & Cider Festival

What: The focus of the festival will be to allow you to sample some of the finest craft beer and cider that Victoria has to offer, with many exhibitors being close to home. Quality food stalls will be in attendance, combined with entertainment, it will be a great day out for all. The festival is an initiative by the Rotary Club of Wandin, in conjunction with some passionate community beer and cider lovers. Any profits made from the festival will be dispersed back into the community.
When: Saturday, 9th April, 11am-5pm.
Where: Lilydale.
Cost: $10.70.
Enquiries: email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
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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