Jul 102018

Permaculture in Cuba

Did you know that around half of all vegetables consumed in Havana are actually grown in the city? Marina Bistrin has written a short article for the website on permaculture in Cuba. Here is an excerpt: “After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, trade between Cuba and the Soviet Union stopped and subsidies received from the Soviet Union also stopped (there was an embargo already in place from the USA; their closest neighbour). As a consequence, there were acute food and petrol shortages in Cuba. In reaction, they started growing food and raising animals in the cities and on available land nearby. From necessity, they farmed organically as they didn’t have access to industrial fertilisers and chemicals.Read the full article.

The Inconvenience Store has opened

The Inconvenience Store is Melbourne’s first rescued food, vegan, pay-as-you-feel grocery store. All the food stocked will be food rescued by their Food Without Borders team, mostly donated by local businesses, shops and markets who want to make a change in their food waste. All contributions will be on a pay-as-you-feel basis, and will go towards supporting their food rescue operation. The antithesis of a convenience store. Located at the back of Lentil as Anything, 562 High Street, Thornbury. Open every Friday to Monday, 11am-3pm. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, email them.

Plastic Free July

Although not directly related to food, it is clear that Plastic Free July is supported by many newsletter readers. At last Sunday’s Eltham Farmers’ Market, newsletter readers Penny Grose and Robyn Ball put up a display and were on hand to answer any questions that people might have.

Want a job?

Leaf, Root & Fruit Gardening Services are looking to hire an Edible Landscaper, which will involve implementing their landscape designs. Full time. Must have horticultural qualifications and carpentry skills. Operating out of Burwood. Closing date for applications: 30th July.

CERES is seeking an Urban Farmer to manage two micro enterprises – Honey Lane market garden and Honey Lane eggs. Working with volunteers and students, you will engage and educate the wider community about the benefits of urban food production and community food systems. Closing date for applications: 16th July (at 9am). Read more and apply.

Ben’s Bees in Blackburn North are looking for a Beekeeping Apprentice. Tasks will include: building ready-made beehives; assisting customers set up their own bee colonies; assisting in the transportation of hives; assisting in the removal of honeycomb; extracting honey; repairing hives and hive equipment; re-queening colonies and raising queens; packaging and selling honey and bee-products; cleaning; and admin. Read more and apply.

You might want to apply to lease the cafe at Edendale Community Farm in Eltham. Construction of the cafe, which will be open 364 days a year, will be completed mid-August. Expressions of interest from 22nd July to 16th August. Email procurement@nillumbik.vic.gov.au.

Local food producer news

You can now buy Blue Pear Pantry’s savoury rolls at Fresh Sensations in Mitcham, Jefferies in Croydon Hills, and Park Orchards Cellars. That moves Jefferies up to 4th equal in the league table of shops selling local food.

Food swap news

The Diamond Village (aka Watsonia) Food Swap on Sunday (14th July) has been cancelled.

Growing broccoli and kale

Newsletter reader Nicole Griffiths recently featured in a Sustainable Gardening Australia video about growing broccoli and kale.

Amazing fact of the month

One bee will make 1/2 a teaspoon of honey in its entire life (source: Witch, Herb, Earth & Tea).

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The seasonal edible weed calendar.

Joke of the week

Two burritos are in a microwave and one says “wow, it’s hot in here.” And the other one says “Gosh, a talking burrito!”.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Share the Taste hits the road – free chocolate

What: Look for the Cadbury Dairy Milk RV for games, music and Cadbury dairy milk milk chocolate.
When: Tuesday, 24th July, 3.30-5.30pm.
Where: Coburg.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Permaculture Design Course (12 sessions)

What: Upon successful completion of this 80 hour class, students will receive the International qualification of PDC Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). Completing a PDC is the only way that you can teach, design and use permaculture in your business name anywhere in the world. While the principles are global, they use local plants as examples. Multiple tutors, led by Pete the Permie from Telopea Mountain Permaculture, will cover such subjects as: zones; sectors; soils; water; passive solar; disaster resilience; how to select & design food production systems; selecting the right animals; and community. Skills development areas will include: soils; composting; grafting fruit trees; natural management of fruit and animals; and crop protection. Most of the classes will be held at Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House with 3 at Telopea Mountain Permaculture in Monbulk and one day on the road. Full course is just $495, not $2,500, thanks to a subsidy. Any questions, contact Pete the Permie by phone (0418 665880) or email or at Eltham Farmers’ Market on 5th August.
When: Tuesdays, 9am-4.30pm, 21st August until 4th December (no classes 17th October to 12th November).
Where: Kinglake.
Cost: $495.
Bookings: Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House by phone (5786 1301) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Annual agribusiness dinner

What: It’s again time to gather the City of Whittlesea farming community together, celebrate a successful year and look forward to a fruitful Spring ahead. Enjoy an evening of local food and wine, conversation and music. Dr. Charles Massey, author of the book Call of the Reed Warbler – A New Agriculture, A New Earth will be keynote speaker. Charles has managed Severn Park, a 1820 hectare sheep and cattle property on the Monaro, for 40 years. He will discuss his vision for the future of agriculture.
When: Saturday, 25th August, 6-10.30pm.
Where: Growling Frog golf course, Yan Yean.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Planting traditional indigenous food, fibre and medicine plants

What: Help support the Wurundjeri Tribe and Friends of Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System to restore the entrance to Bunjil Reserve and create a cultural education trail. The site will be re-vegetated with indigenous food, fibre and medicine plants to be used for the rejuvenation of traditional cultural practices such as the Murnong (yam) daisy, which was a staple food source for the Wurundjeri people.
When: Sunday, 26th August, 10am-1pm.
Where: Bunjil Reserve, Panton Hill.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Amazake making and cooking

What: Amazake (aka ama koji) is a traditional Japanese fermented energy drink. Rich in digestive enzymes and nutrition, amazake is also a seasoning for cooking. Learn about amazake and enjoy the flavour, beauty and health benefits.
When: 2 times on Friday, 31st August, 10am-12.30pm and again at 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email (hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com). In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Sourdough bread making workshop

What: Tutor Jenna Farrington-Sear. This workshop will cover basic theory as well as the tactile pleasure of all the steps of making bread from milled flour. Suitable for both novices and those who want to expand their bread making repertoire. Topics to be covered: the essential ingredients and tools of the trade; the principal steps of bread making; Baker’s percentage and hydration; mixing, kneading and folding dough; shaping loaves, scoring and baking; and maintaining a starter. You will take home: a piece of dough which can be baked at home; and a sourdough starter.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning, Panton Hill.
Cost: $59.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Save our citrus

What: Kaye Roberts-Palmer, the founder of Save Our Citrus Melbourne, will show you how to take care of your citrus trees including basic botany, tackling the citrus gall wasp and other pests, pruning, watering and fertilising.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 11am-midday.
Where: Diamond Valley Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green at Kathleen – edible gardening in small spaces

What: An introduction to growing your own vegetables, aimed specifically at container and small space gardeners, which includes types of plants suited to container gardens and hints and tips on getting the most out of your containers.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 11.30am-1pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library, Carlton.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
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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