Jul 012015

Just a reminder that plastic-free July starts today!

Helen’s guide to growing rhubarb – rhubarb is back in fashion!

rhubarbHelen’s article this month is on growing rhubarb. As she says in her introduction: “I often hear stories about a rhubarb plant still vigorously producing, even if planted many years ago. Often the ‘crowns’ are taken to a new home when a house is sold, or handed down through family generations. Rhubarb is becoming popular to grow again – so how is it done?” She then goes on to discuss crowns or seeds, soil & watering, position, harvesting, going to seed and green rhubarb. So, for example, did you know that green rhubarb tastes as sweet as red rhubarb and is often more productive? Read the full article.

Helen’s previous article was on growing garlic. She is the owner of The Mushroom Shed and you can buy her products (mushrooms, mushroom kits and seedlings) from several local markets and outlets, including Eltham Farmers’ Market.

If you want to know what else you can be planting now, have a look at our local planting schedule.

The long term costs of organic compared to intensive farming

Sean Walsh has sent in an article which uses life cycle analysis on organically farmed tomatoes and pears, and intensively farmed wheat, apples and lettuce to show the overall impact of agricultural methods. Click here to read the full article or click here to read a one page introduction.

Another volunteering opportunity

Of all the activities that LFC is involved in, food swaps are close to the core of what we are about. And the people who go to them enjoy them. But they can only take place if there are people willing to organise them. Eltham Food Swap is currently looking for people to help. The swap takes place from 10-11am on the 4th Sunday of each month. You could help a couple of times a year or every month. The role involves greeting people, helping record & ID produce and generally chit chatting. If interested, please email Fay Loveland.

New events

Save our citrus from gall wasps

What: Melbourne’s lemon trees are under attack from the native citrus gall wasp. This is reducing productivity and is slowly killing our beautiful trees. Come along to a free educational talk and learn how to prevent the spread of citrus gall wasp in our suburbs. The presentation will cover correct pruning and other control techniques as well as appropriate disposal methods.
When and where:
Livingstone Community Centre, Ivanhoe, Thursday 16 July, 7-8pm.
Reservoir Neighbourhood House, Reservoir, Saturday 18 July, 11am-midday.
SPAN Community House, Thornbury, Wednesday 22 July, 7-8pm.
Reservoir Neighbourhood House, Reservoir, Thursday 23 July, 7-8pm.
Livingstone Community Centre, Ivanhoe, Saturday 25 July, 11am-midday.
Alphington Community Centre, Alphington, Wednesday 29 July, 7-8pm.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Kaye by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry or their flyer.


What: Experienced local home-cheesemaker from The Hibi Farm, Angelica Cameron, will share the secrets of her simple farmhouse feta. Come along and participate (hands-on) in the cheesemaking process from start to finish, and take home your own block of feta to ripen or eat fresh as it is. This workshop is ideal for beginners wishing to learn how to make cheese in their own kitchen, using basic equipment and easily accessible ingredients. Please arrive 15 minutes earlier to register and settle in, so they can start on time.
When: Saturday, 18th July, 2-5pm.
Where: Olympic Adult Education, Heidelberg West.
Cost: $15 or $10 concession.
Enquiries/Bookings: OAE by phone (9450 2665) or Suzanne Crellin by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

How to grow and cook Winter Asian vegetables

What: Learn from permaculturalist Seila Hierk and Mikoto Araki how to grow and cook winter Asian vegetables. These include Chinese broccoli, bok choy, pak choy, wongbok, Tokyo bekana, shallots or spring onions, tumeric, mizuna, tatsoi, daikon and mustard greens. They can be planted now and are short term vegetables that can be harvested in 2 to 3 months. Learn authentic Japanese cooking using these Asian greens. Handouts, seedlings available and food sample.
When: Sunday, 19th July, 2-5pm.
Where: Olympic Adult Education, Heidelberg West.
Cost: $15 or $10 concession.
Enquiries/Bookings: OAE by phone (9450 2665) or Suzanne Crellin by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

A winter garden

What: Horticulturalist Sandi Pullman returns to answer your big gardening questions. What vegetables can I grow in winter? What colourful plants should I put in the garden for winter? Should I be planning for my spring garden? Bring along all your green thumb questions.
When: Tuesday, 28th July, 7-8.15pm.
Where: Ivanhoe Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Upcoming events from previous LFC News

Over the next week
  • Backyard chooks for beginners: Friday, 3rd July, 10am-midday.
  • Seed saving: Wednesday, 8th July, 10am-midday.
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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