Jan 012019
 

The 2018 Golden Seedling awards – the aftermath

Here’s what Whitehorse Urban Harvest said after reading about their award in the last newsletter: “Wow, thank you!! We’re really chuffed.” ‘Chuffed’ is a word which is clearly associated in some people’s minds with the Golden Seedling awards. For example: “we are very chuffed!” (Sustainable Macleod, 2016); “feeling doubly chuffed” (Paul Gale-Baker, 2017); and “we are not only chuffed but tickled pink” (St Johns Riverside Community Garden, 2017).

Only one person took up my offer to put forward nominations for a Golden Seedling award – Lily Angel wrote in: “I nominate Macleod community garden for the seedling award. We propagated hundreds of seedlings to sell to raise funds to run our garden. We also gave away hundreds of seedlings to community groups and members. We were part of the Macleod Christmas fair where we sold our seedlings. We gave away seedlings to people who donated to our Green Auction and other people who donated goods for our garden. For example, we donated seedlings to someone who donated pavers which we plan to use under our shelter. Hence our seedlings have been spread far and wide!

ShareWaste

ShareWasteconnects people who wish to recycle their kitchen scraps with their neighbours who are already composting, worm-farming or keep chickens. Now you can divert waste from landfill while getting to know the people around you!“. It’s free and easy to use. You can either sign up to receive scraps (in which case, you can specify what scraps you do/don’t want to receive) or you can browse a map of ‘scrap receivers’ and choose who to offer scraps to. There are currently around 130 ‘scrap receivers’ from around North East Melbourne who have registered with the website.

I’ve briefly mentioned ShareWaste in the past but I haven’t given it much attention as no one has ever contacted me since I became a ‘scrap receiver’ a couple of years ago. But, prompted by Morgan Koegel from 3000acres, I’m now finding out that this is because of where I live (Eltham) and that things are much more active both westwards and southwards. For example, newsletter reader Katrina Forstner (Preston) receives scraps from around 30 households.

Got a coffee pod machine?

If so, you might be interested to know that re-usable coffee capsules exist and that one of the major suppliers of such capsules is local to us: Mitcham-based Creama Joe. (For those of you who prefer to get your information by video rather than by the printed word, click here.)

The re-gifting season has started!

First up is a set of salt and pepper shakers, where the salt container looks like a onion and the pepper container looks like a globe artichoke. Pick up in Eltham or at Eltham Farmers’ Market. If interested, email me. First come, first served.

If you have anything that you would like to re-gift, tell me. Anonymity guaranteed!

Micro-nutrients

The picture right is a useful summary of what leaves can look like when particular micro-nutrients are lacking. Plus it is A4 shape so you can print it off and stick it on your wall. Thanks to Greta Gillies for pointing out the original material.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Judy’s visit to Virginia Solomon’s garden.

Joke of the week

Why is an orange smart? Because it concentrates!

Read all the jokes.

New events

Bee hive tour

What: Your tour, led by Nathan Stewart, a professional Doreen-based beekeeper from Maya ‘Xala Honey, will include suiting up in protective gear, lighting a bee smoker, and spending two hours as real life beekeeper. Initially, Nathan will give you some tips on what to look for inside a hive including how to spot the Queen and where to look to potentially witness the birth of a new worker bee. Then, together you will lift the lid of a busy hive, watch bees at work creating honey, pull out a frame of honey ready for extraction, and get up close with more than 100,000 bees! After the lid is closed, you will sample some of the honey direct from the hives while enjoying a refreshing honey tonic.
When: Saturday, 12th January and Saturday, 9th February, both 10.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Rivers of Yarrambat.
Cost: $75 (plus various packages for families).
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Best of 2018 masterclass

What: What you will learn: taste your way through the The 3 Ravens range under the guidance of one of their brewery team; see behind the scenes of a fully functioning craft brewery; and learn The 3 Ravens approach to all styles of beer. Includes lunch.
When: Saturday, 19th January, 12.30-2.30pm.
Where: 3 Ravens Brewery, Thornbury.
Cost: $65 (includes lunch).
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Murundaka Cohousing Community’s garden

What: This communal garden is managed and maintained by the 20 households that are members of the Murundaka Cohousing Community. The space mixes productive and ornamental gardening with social spaces for the families who live at Murundaka. Chooks, vegetables, fruit trees, kids’ play areas and an extensive compost system all perform key roles.
When: Sunday, 20th January, 10-11am.
Where: Heidelberg Heights.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Local Sustainability Fair (Ringwood)

What: The food-related stalls will include: Ben’s Bees; Crema Joe; Eastern Region Food Co-op; Food is Free, Ringwood East; Sustainable Pathways; Tables Community Garden; and The Backyard Vegetable.
When: Sunday, 20th January, 10am-1pm.
Where: Central Ringwood Community Centre.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Clifton Hill rental productive garden

What: Alex and Julia’s garden has undergone a transformation over the past 18 months since they moved into this rental property. From a pile of dirt and weeds, they have attempted to transform every square metre into productive vegetable-growing land. In a confined space, they have endeavoured to create their own compost, improve the quality of the soil, grow (almost) everything from seed, build wicking beds, and incorporate straw bale gardening into the space.
When: twice on Saturday, 2nd February, at 10am and at midday.
Where: Clifton Hill.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Northcote rental productive paradise

What: Despite living in a rental property, Morgan and Christian have transformed their worker’s cottage backyard from just lawn into a fully productive patch complete with beehive, 11 metres of vertical gardening space and potted fruit trees.
When: twice on Saturday, 2nd February, at 10am and at midday.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit for your backyard workshop

What: Justin Calverley will discuss the variety of fruit that can be grown in the backyard, including the level of difficulty, size limitations and training habits. You will also explore the property’s sprawling food forest, orchard and berry patch.
When: Sunday, 3rd February, 10-11am.
Where: Reservoir.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summer fruit tree training workshop

What: Justin Calverley will cover the different pruning methods for common backyard fruit trees with a specific focus on things to do in summer. You’ll see espaliered trees, discussing pruning schedules and learn about managing common pests and diseases.
When: Sunday, 3rd February, 1-2pm.
Where: Reservoir.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
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, 7th February, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking for the Lunar New Year

What: Join Jean from Jean’s Asian Cooking as she demonstrates stir-fry Asian dishes to start the New Lunar Year. Followed by tastings.
When: Thursday, 7th February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Mill Park Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Indigenous plants for food/fibre/medicine

What: The Australian bush provided the first nations people all the food, fibre and medicine needed to thrive in this unique country. In this talk, Richard Rowe will introduce you to some of the local plants used by indigenous Australians and inspire you to grow them in your own garden. This class will cover: Aboriginal connection with the land; examples of food plants; examples of fibre plants; examples of medicine plants; examples of tool, shelter and fire plants; and tips on how to grow these plants at home.
When: Thursday, 7th February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class – all about salads

What: Enjoy 4 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: chilli prawn salad; smoked chicken & pesto salad; Mediterranean veg salad; and fresh berry salad.
When: Thursday, 7th February, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Poppy’s patch

What: Poppy’s Patch started as a father/daughter project when Poppy was aged three. The family decided to use the space on the front lawn to start an edible garden – to not only grow food but teach her where food comes from. To save back-breaking work, they used the no-dig approach so that Poppy could directly layer it herself and learn about how soil is managed. This has helped transform rock-hard northern suburb clay soil into a rich organic loamy soil full of life and nutrients. More recent additions to the garden include multiple compost bins, worm farms and backyard chickens. To ensure Poppy can meaningfully participate in the garden, her father Chad has developed many strategies for her to work independently which he will share on this guided tour. Chad and Poppy’s Instagram account has become a fun documentation of their journey.
When: Saturday, 9th February, 10-11am.
Where: Reservoir.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Coburg secret garden

What: Two years ago, Alanjohn and Zena moved into their rental with the intention of demonstrating that this form of living doesn’t prevent you from utilising your space. They formed a Memorandum of Understanding with the owners and focused on keeping costs down and re-purposing materials. This tour will focus on demonstrating, not only what can be grown in a suburban rental plot, but how tastefully a grass lawn can be transformed into a fully functioning urban farm.
When: three times on Saturday, 9th February, at 10am, midday and 2pm.
Where: Coburg North.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Greg’s garden – productive and organic backyard

What: When Greg moved into the property in 2014, the backyard (around a quarter of an acre) was completely neglected. He saw the potential to exercise his green thumb and expand his passion for growing plants and vegetables. Today, the garden is an oasis full of natives, exotic and colourful plant varieties, as well as a thriving edible landscape. Greg draws on a vast array of new and traditional farming techniques to optimise soil health and create a diverse ecosystem.
When: three times on Saturday, 9th February, at 10am, midday and 2pm.
Where: Fawkner.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green at Kathleen – preparing for autumn harvest

What: Everything you need to know to grow fresh produce at home in Autumn, including what and when to plant, feeding soil and gardening in pots.
When: Saturday, 9th February, 11.30am-1pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kombucha and gut health

What: Dr Gondalia will teach you all the ins and outs of creating great gut health. This workshop will cover the history of kombucha (a fermented probiotic drink), how to make it, what can go wrong with it and how to fix it. You will also learn how to make your brew healthier and more delicious with secondary fermentation flavours, and examine the health benefits such as the detoxifying, antioxidizing and anti-inflammatory effects. You can buy your very own ‘scoby’ with starter tea and a pack of black tea on the night – $30 (cash only).
When: Tuesday, 12th February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Hawthorn Community House.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food know how – zero waste cooking

What: Jessie Allice, from Leftover Lovers, will show you how to avoid food waste by creatively using what is on hand to make simple, yet delicious, every day meals. You will learn how to utilise stem-to-roots of your vegetables, work with scraps and save ingredients for later. You will make your own easy bread and a jar of infused goodies.
When: Wednesday, 13th February, 6-8pm.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summer fruit tree maintenance

What: What you will learn: how to prune to keep trees to a manageable size; how to prune to maximise fruit production in the coming season; and keeping espaliered shapes in check. Watch and ask questions of Angelo Eliades, as he prunes both traditionally shaped trees and espaliered varieties. Convention had us pruning deciduous fruit trees in winter but now the thinking is swinging to doing it straight after fruiting, in late summer or autumn. Techniques are slightly different, so it is wise to see the pruning in action on actual trees.
When: Thursday, 14th February, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing your garden for Autumn harvest

What: While summer is at its peak and it’s too hot to go outside in the garden, spend some time planning your veggie garden for the autumn harvest. In this talk, Nicole Griffiths will cover autumn maintenance activities, what veggies to plant, and how to help them produce a bumper harvest. This class will cover: garden maintenance to prepare for next season plantings; what veggies to grow; tips on watering, feeding and caring for your plants; and pests to watch out for and how to manage them.
When: Thursday, 14th February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summer preserves

What: What you will learn: how to preserve fruit and vegetables for use in the future; how to bottle preserves; and the selection and sterlisation of jars. Presented by Lucy Marasco. Join Lucy to learn the basics of preserving, including the importance of sterilisation techniques, as well as the opportunity to try out some traditional and modern preserving recipes.
When: Saturday, 16th February, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Getting started with sourdough

What: Have you ever wanted to bake sourdough bread at home? It’s easier than you think. In this session, you will explore the history of bread making in this age-old process, the basics of making sourdough, equipment needed, and making your very own starter culture.
When: Saturday, 16th February, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Attracting native bees

What: Katrina Forstner, from Buzz and Dig, will introduce you to the amazing world of native bees and how to attract them into your garden as valuable pollinators for flowers and edibles. The workshop will cover methods for pollination and planning for bee habitat, including bee-attracting plants and how to encourage urban biodiversity. Along with a garden tour and display of ‘bee hotels’, attendees will each make a bee hotel using recycled materials.
When: Saturday, 16th February, 10-11.30am.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Composting at home workshop

What: Through the website ShareWaste, Katrina Forstner processes scraps from around 30 households, all on her small Preston block. In this workshop, Katrina will share her compost system and show you the tips and tricks to succeed with compost in your own home. She’ll talk through different compost methods, the best materials for compost and common problems.
When: Saturday, 16th February, 12.30-2pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Turkish cooking demonstration

What: Learn to prepare traditional Turkish cheese and minced meat pide. Take the recipe to try at home.
When: Monday, 18th February, 7-8pm.
Where: Coburg Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Growing bountiful harvests in small spaces

What: Karen Sutherland, from Edible Eden Design, will walk you through the best ways to grow food in small spaces. The session will cover suitable containers, plant varieties and sunshine requirements for your small area, whether that is a patch, courtyard, planter box or balcony.
When: Wednesday, 20th February, 6.15-8pm.
Where: Collingwood Childrens Farm, Abbotsford.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Tomato relish workshop

What: Not sure what to do with all those tomatoes? Learn from Marie, from Rie’s Kitchen, how to make a great relish for the family to enjoy.
When: Thursday, 21st February, 11am-midday.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Healthy productive compost and worms

What: What you will learn: the importance of compost for soil health; how to fix common composting problems; and setting up and looking after a worm farm. Presented by Sarah Hardgrove. Learn how to make great compost, the essential ingredient for a thriving and healthy garden. Also look at worm farms and Bokashi as other options. They will also show you how to make a DIY worm farm using recycled products.
When: Thursday, 21st February, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to permaculture (two sessions)

What: Facilitator: Donna Livermore. Developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture (permanent agriculture) is a whole system approach to ecological planning and design for sustainable living. This workshop, spread over two weekends, will be beneficial to both those new to the concept of permaculture and for those thinking of undertaking a permaculture design course. You will be introduced to permaculture and gain a basic understanding of the principles and design methods associated with permaculture.
When: Saturday, 23rd February and Sunday, 24th February, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $120 for the two days.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Brewers Feast Festival

What: Brewers Feast is a boutique craft beer and food festival, made by beer and food lovers for beer and food lovers. It will feature around 20 breweries (including cider, wine, fresh juice and homemade lemonade as well as beer). There will also be food and live music. Throughout the day, there will be craft beer education classes, exploring the tastes and flavours of beer pairing with food, cheese, confectionery and other foods. Enjoy free samples while learning more about your beer.
When: Saturday, 23rd February, 11.30am-8pm and Sunday, 24th February, 11am-5pm.
Where: Abbotsford Convent.
Cost: $25-59.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: their website.

No waste cooking workshop

What: Learn how to be creative with veggies and more adaptable in the kitchen so you can save money and reduce food waste. Presented by Open Table.
When: Sunday, 24th February, 10am-2pm.
Where: Melbourne Girls’ College.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Seed saving workshop at The Plummery

What: Learn Kat Lavers’ tips for harvesting and saving seeds ready for the years to come. Also, explore Kat’s garden.
When: Sunday, 24th February, starting at 10am.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving your harvest workshop at The Plummery

What: Learn Kat Lavers’ tips and tricks for preserving with a focus on fruit. Also, explore Kat’s garden and walk-in pantry.
When: Sunday, 24th February, starting at 1pm.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course

What: Working as a team with fellow participants, you will gain a broad overview and practical, hands-on experience such topics as: introduction to plant recognition; propagation; planting; soil properties; environmentally sustainable work practices; and career pathways/further study in the horticulture industry. You will spend a lot of time outdoors (getting your hands dirty!), along with some time in the classroom learning basic theory and exploring study pathways. The course will be run by Justin Calverley, a horticultural expert with twenty years’ experience. Inter alia, Justin is a lead trainer in adult education at CERES.
When: every Monday for 9 weeks, starting 25th February, 9.30am-3pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $99 for all 9 sessions.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3744).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Taste of Malaysia (Peranakan)

What: You will learn to make curry puffs and spring rolls. Participants are required to bring their own chopping board or pastry mat, rolling pin and 10cm round cookie cutter.
When: Tuesday, 26th February, 10am-midday.
Where: North Ringwood Community House.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: just turn up.
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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