Jan 062016
 

jane edmansonSome important events for your diary

As you will see from the material later on in this post, whilst January will have relatively few events, things then really begin to ramp up in February. I would like to highlight three events of particular note:

  • Jane Edmanson – preparing for winter planting: Diamond Valley Library; Tuesday, 16th February, 11.30am-12.30pm; LFC calendar entry. A real coup for Diamond Valley Library which just shows what a phone call can sometimes achieve (if only I had Taylor Swift’s phone number …). I think this is a “no need to book, just turn up” event, so I would recommend that you arrive early.
  • The Melbourne Tomato Festival 2016: Edendale; Sunday, 21st February, 10am-4pm; festival website. Last year’s event apparently sold out (2,000 people), so book early if you want to go (I’ve already bought my ticket!).
  • Home Harvest Feast 2016: Edendale; Sunday, 28th February, midday-4pm; Nillumbik Council website. The 5th incarnation of this annual event will host 300-400 local growers for a long lunch. Last year’s feast booked out so, if you want to take part, register soon.

8 tips for Summer harvest happiness

Another month and we’re lucky enough to have another article from Helen Simpson. This time, she is giving us some tips for ensuring a bountiful Summer harvest. Her 8 tips cover: mulch; water; shade; succession planting; fertilising; weeding; maintaining your plants; and planning for the surplus. Here is my favourite tip: “watering from underneath rather than above can help avoid powdery mildew on the leaves of zucchinis, cucumbers and pumpkins“. Read her full article.

As Helen mentions in the article, you can, at zero cost, hire our Fowlers Vacola Preserving Kit to preserve your excess produce. Also, the Fowlers Ultimate Dehydrator.

The Bumblebee Foundation

The Bumblebee Foundation is a local, independent and not-for-profit volunteer service that guides and facilities the development of food security systems. They are looking for help from people who know something about any of food security, permaculture, seed production or grant writing. You can read about the Foundation and its activities on their Facebook page. Or you can have a look at this video. If interested, please contact Pauline Crosbie by phone (9751 2635 or 0456 769303) or email.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

New events

Building a chicken coop

What: The chicken coop will be constructed with a mix of re-used parts, including a children’s play set. The design and process involved will be fully explained by John Ferris. Fleur Baker, from Book-a-Chook who is supplying the chickens, will be there too and will be happy to answer all your chicken questions. Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all of the volunteers. Bookings are essential so that they can plan for the day and catering. Also let them know if you have any special dietary requirements.
When: Sunday, 17th January, 10am-4pm.
Where: Wonga Park.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: John Ferris by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving the gifts of the Summer garden

What: Summer brings with it the bounty of delicious fruits and veggies. Learn different preserving techniques so that you can safely enjoy the flavours of summer long after your summer glow has faded! You will make a fruit jam, bottled fruits, pickled vegetables and a chutney or sauce. What you get: all recipes, a ‘preserving basics’ booklet, jars of the 4 preserves that you make, tastings and morning tea.
When: Monday, 18th January, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50 (concession $45).
Enquiries/Bookings: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Watsonia Home Gardening Group

What: The Watsonia Home Gardening Group will meet monthly on the first Saturday to share practical information and to gain hands-on experience on a range of topics relevant to the home gardener. You don’t need to be an experienced gardener. They will have activities that both children and adults can do, whilst they discuss how to help their gardens grow easily and cheaply. Each session will be hosted by a facilitator at Watsonia Neighbourhood House on Market Day, so you can pick up your plants, worm tea, mulch and other goodies for your garden. Or enjoy a sausage from the BBQ. Please contribute your ideas on the Watsonia Home Gardening Group facebook page – also let them know what topics you would like covered in the sessions. See their flyer.
When: Saturday, 6th February, midday-2pm, and each 1st Saturday in the month thereafter.
Where: Watsonia.
Cost: $5 (kids are free).
Enquiries: Marina Bistrin by phone (9434 6717) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Romance month – who loves chocolate?

What: Bruce, from Chocolatier Australia, will lead you through the world of chocolate.
When: Tuesday, 9th February, 11am-midday.
Where: Rosanna.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Rosanna Library by phone (9459 6171).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Yum Cha cooking demonstration

What: Jean, from Jean’s Asian Kitchen, will show you how to prepare traditional fried wontons and dim sim.
When: Tuesday, 9th February, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Greensborough.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Dione Fisher by phone (9434 3809) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cheese-making demonstration

What: Anna Ladner, from Coldstream Dairy, will demonstrate how to make your own cheese. Bookings essential.
When: Wednesday, 10th February, 11am-midday.
Where: Montrose.
Cost: $3.
Enquiries/Bookings: Montrose Library by phone (9800 6490).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

West African cooking with Desiree

What: Looking for some new dishes to enhance your cooking repertoire? Desiree will demonstrate some great tasting dished from West Africa. Bookings essential.
When: Wednesday, 10th February, 2-3pm.
Where: Lilydale.
Cost: $5.
Enquiries/Bookings: Lilydale Library by phone (9800 6457).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Compost concoctions

What: Join gardener Katie Nettelbeck as she discusses ways to improve the health of your soil through fertilising with compost teas and extracts. Learn how to add beneficial micro-organisms and nutrients to your soil and plants. A fact sheet will be provided.
When: Thursday, 11th February, 11am-midday.
Where: Manningham.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Heide Museum of Modern Art by phone (9850 1500) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Let’s cook, the Chinese way

What: Celebrate the new year with a cooking demonstration and tastings, by the Whittlesea Chinese Association. Bookings required as limited places.
When: Monday, 15th February, 1-2.30pm.
Where: Mill Park.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Jack by phone (9437 8189) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Jane Edmanson – preparing for winter planting

What: Join popular Gardening Australia presenter and author Jane Edmanson to learn how to best to prepare your garden to ensure a bumper winter crop starting from valuable soil preparation.
When: Tuesday, 16th February, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Greenborough.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Dione Fisher by phone (9434 3809) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

You say tomato – I say let’s preserve

What: In this workshop, they will cover different preserving techniques, including bottling, dehydrating, making sauces and chutneys, as well as some traditional Italian techniques with tomatoes. What you get: a jar or bottle of all the preserves you make, tastings and recipes, as well as a copy of the ‘preserving basics’ booklet. Morning tea is also provided.
When: Saturday, 20th February, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50 (concession $45).
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Melbourne Tomato Festival 2016

What: The Melbourne Tomato Festival 2016 will be a gathering of local farmers selling produce, speakers, agriculturalists, cooking demonstrations, Italian food, artisan producers, special guests, history, workshops, entertainment and passata making, all celebrating ‘National Italian Day’. Passata making is an Italian tradition aimed at preserving tomatoes for their use throughout the year. The Melbourne Tomato Festival is the key event of the ‘Melbournese Movement’ and is committed to this preservation of food, authentic cooking, customs and traditions.
When: Sunday, 21st February, 10am-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $25 per adult and $10 per child (6-13).
Enquiries: Melbourne Tomato Festival by phone (0484 242604) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: festival website.

Rubbish free lunch box ideas

What: With Kathryn Dean and Emma Dean. Kathryn will talk about the life-cycle analysis of lunch boxes (plastic and stainless steel) as well as other materials like cling wrap and calico bags. Kathryn and Emma will then show you how easy it is to prepare great items perfect for the lunchbox all which don’t require wrapping including muesli bars, muffins and wraps.
When: Wednesday, 24th February, 7-9pm.
Where: Manningham.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Manningham Council by phone (9846 0575).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Home Harvest Feast 2016

What: In its fifth year, the Home Harvest Feast is a celebration of home grown produce and the people that grow it. All growers are invited to celebrate in the harvest and the joys of local food by sharing a delicious community meal created by trained cooks using your home or community-grown product. Note: each registered grower can bring up to 3 guests. .
When: Sunday, 28th February, midday-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Kirsty Merritt by phone (9433 3206) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: Nillumbik Council website.

Eat your way to a happier, healthier you

What: Tired of throwing out your food? Learn how meal planning reduces food waste, reduces clutter and saves time, money and our environment. Tanya Lewis, owner of Eco Organiser & home styling, will help you re-gain control over time and space. She draws her passion for creating time and space from real life experiences. Participants will be encouraged to think outside the square and learn that being organised does not cost the earth.
When: Wednesday, 2nd March, 7-9pm.
Where: Nunawading.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Manningham Council by phone (9846 0575).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Love your soil for a flourishing garden

What: Soil is: home to billions of living things; storer of carbon; filter of pollutants; reservoir of moisture; and the growing medium for the plants that provide our food and our food’s food. This workshop, presented by an expert local garden designer and a soil scientist, will cover such subjects as: how healthy soil helps address climate change; the role of soil in a thriving, water-wise garden; understand soil ecology, grow better produce; and soil types and soil testing. Booking essential. Morning tea provided.
When: Saturday, 5th March, 10.30am-1pm.
Where: Heidelberg West.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Charlie Davie by phone (8470 8405) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing your garden for the Winter bounty

What: Get prepared for winter veggies. There are heaps of cool season veggies that can be started now from seed. They cover soil rejuvenation techniques, crop rotation, varieties of suitable veggies to grow (including garlic) and how to start them all from seed. What you get: seeds sown to take home to continue to grow, with detailed planting and care notes. Afternoon tea is also provided.
When: Saturday, 5th March, 2-4.30pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $40 (Concession $36).
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Passata day: the traditional way

What: Join for a day making tomato passata in our home and garden, as it has been done for generations of Italians in Australia, as well as back in the ‘old country’. This is a fully hands-on day, with you participating at every step so that you can fully understand and savour the whole process. Places are strictly limited. What you get: each participant processes a box of tomatoes each and the resultant bottles are labelled and then given to the participant. Please keep in mind that the processing means that the bottles won’t actually to ready to take home that same day, but can be picked up our home the next day or at your earliest convenience. Morning tea, a pasta lunch made with the fresh sauce and afternoon tea is provided. As is traditional, a glass of vino is also part of the deal.
When: Sunday, 6th March, 9.30am-3pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $125.
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The Great Tomato Taste Off

What: This annual event at the Monty Food Swap gives growers a chance to show off the amazing varieties of tomatoes grown locally, and for all of us to taste the delicious flavours and textures of the real thing. Come, see, taste and vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award.
When: Sunday, 6th March, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Montmorency.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Julie French by phone (0438 115853).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Creating sumptuous raw food & juices

What: Carrie Barnes-Hobson will share her passion for raw food, including the benefits of introducing raw food into your diet. This session is the perfect introduction to raw food and includes a food demonstration, creating a couple of dishes and a raw juice.
When: Wednesday, 23rd March, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Box Hill.
Cost: free.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Artisan pasta: fettuccini and ravioli

What: Learn how to make pasta like an Italian! They will use age-old techniques to make a classic egg pasta, to be transformed into delicious fettuccini. Then, using the basic pasta-making technique, they will turn to making ravioli with a variety of fillings, all made on the day. Choose from vegetarian options, or maybe meat-filled is more to your taste. Or maybe try all the options to make your ravioli, ready to cook for a lovely Sunday dinner. Easy sauce recipes will also be discussed. What you get: all of the fettuccini and ravioli made on the day will be taken home with each participant. Morning tea is also provided.
When: Sunday, 3rd April, 10am-1pm.
Where: Donvale.
Cost: $50 (concession $45).
Enquiries: Maria Ciavarella by phone (0424 083057) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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