Jul 032019

Nina talks with Just Picked about what happens with all the fruit that isn’t ‘good enough’ to sell

Here’s another vignette from Nina Gormley:

Following on from my discussions with Hans & Maria Hoffman from Just Picked about how they deter fruit bats from their orchard, I asked them about what happens with all the fruit that isn’t ‘good enough’ to sell. The answer is that they donate it to SecondBite and to The Wildlife Rescuers. Donations are weekly and each one is 60-100Kg. Just Picked has been making the donations for around 3 years, which totals a substantial contribution.

SecondBite works with suppliers across Australia to rescue surplus fresh food. The produce is then re-distributed to volunteer-run food programs across Australia which help to support needy people within the local community. SecondBite supports around 1,000 food programs Australia-wide and all food is supplied free of charge. Its headquarters are in Heidelberg West.

The Wildlife Rescuers is a group of volunteers based at La Trobe University specialising in the rescue and rehabilitation of native Australian wildlife in Melbourne. They rescue injured, sick and orphaned wildlife and then release the healthy animals back into the wild. They also seek to educate the public through presentations, the media and information & training sessions. They are associated with the Joey and Bat Sanctuary Melbourne, who are based on Heidelberg Heights.

More on growing persimmon trees in Melbourne

In last week’s newsletter, Robin Gale-Baker discussed growing persimmon trees and suggested that “astringent varieties are more suited to a Melbourne climate than non-astringent varieties.” Mac McVeigh has written in to say that, whilst he agrees with Robin, his experience is that the non-astringent varieties also grow well around here. Robin adds that “Non-astringent persimmons are eaten firm and crisp and have a crunchy texture. They are used in salads or eaten like an apple. Chutney and smoothies can be made from them, and they can be dried (though the procedure is complex). Harvest when they are a rich orange colour.

Community gardening news

Fawkner Food Bowls

Fawkner Food Bowls now has its own page on our website. It is based on a market garden model and is open every Sunday morning for socialising and for buying produce. It also hosts a food swap on the second Sunday of each month. Welcome Kelly and Sally!

Northcote Community Gardens

Northcote Community Gardens have confirmed to me that they have a working bee on the first Sunday of each month, 1-4pm. Please bring a plate of food to share for afternoon tea if you are able to. From henceforth, their working bees will appear in the right hand sidebar of this newsletter.

Edible Hub, Hurstbridge

The Edible Hub in Hurstbridge now has three large compost bins and would like locals to contribute organic waste to help fill them. If interested, email me and I’ll pass your message on to them.

Local food producer news

Blue Pear Pantry, from North Warrandyte, make savoury rolls. They recently won a bronze medal at the Australia’s Best Pie competition.

AVS Organic Foods, from Watsonia North, make a wide range of vegan products including cheese, cream, sauces, pies, black salt and pet treats. You can now buy their products at Oasis Fairfield, as well as many other places around North East Melbourne. See their Local Food Directory page.

Do you live in Banyule or Whittlesea?

Banyule’s community sustainability workshops grant program is now open. Possible subjects include: how to compost; how to establish worm farms; how to generate zero waste; vegetable gardening; and fruit tree propagation). Closing date for applications: 12th August. Read more.

Whittlesea’s The Community Event Funding Program (CEFP) is a new program that will provide funding to groups and organisations who wish to deliver outdoor community run festivals and events. Grants are available in two categories: neighbourhood events (up to $2,000) and festivals and events (up to $20,000). Closing date for applications: 31st July. Read more.

Deborah picks up her free bottle of wine

Some of you may remember that we gave away a bottle of Kings of Kangaroo Ground wine a few months ago. Well, the winner of the random draw was Deborah Nicholson and she has just collected the wine. Here is a picture of Deborah with Ken King. From the picture, it looks like Ken gave himself a bottle as well!

Ben’s Bees’ blog

Ben’s Bees, from Blackburn North, writes one of our most vibrant local blogs, covering a wide range of bee-related topics. On our website, I have now collated links to around 20 of the posts that I have found the most interesting. Example subjects are: The power of bee pheromones, The bee dance, and What’s so special about royal jelly?.

Some interesting articles

Permablitz Melbourne’s hero of the month is the carob tree: “Carob trees can live for over 100 years, grow to 15m and produce a trunk girth of up to 3.5m. You can plant them wherever an olive tree will grow, and their pods are delicious as a chocolate substitute.Read the article.

Newsletter reader Angelo Eliades’ latest article is about how to plant a fruit tree

Moon Rabbit is a cafe in Preston. Watch this video about their journey to becoming a zero waste cafe.

The Yarra Valley visitor site has an article entitled a month of Sundays in Nillumbik on how to spend some time visiting various food-related and cultural things around Nillumbik.

This interview with newsletter reader Katrina Forstner about how she became a ShareWaste superhost is a year old but I have only just seen it.

Every newsletter needs a good picture

Take your choice: pure bread cat or pure bread dog.

Not local but interesting

Education Permaculture Inspiration Community (EPIC), who are based in Sherbrooke, are setting up an online Food, Environment and Waste Alliance. As a first step, they are undertaking an online survey into food, the environment and waste. Read more. Complete the survey.

Not food but interesting

Did you know that the 2019 rubik’s cube world championships are being held in Melbourne next week? Did you know that, according to The Leader (see picture right), one of the best players in the world (Jack Cai) lives in Viewbank? And did you know that Jack holds the world record for solving the ribik’s cube blindfolded? 16 seconds!! Watch Jack in action.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Judy’s visit to the garden of Paula and John Mcleod.

Joke of the week

What do you call a potato that is reluctant to jump into boiling water? “Hez a tater.”

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

The joy of backyard chooks: Saturday, 27th July, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: how to get started with keeping chickens in a suburban backyard; how to house and protect chooks from predators; and how chooks can be used to improve your garden and soil. Presented by Sarah Hardgrove. Keeping a few chooks in the backyard used to be a staple of Australian suburban life, and their eggs made up a healthy part of our diet. But even though our house blocks might be shrinking, a smaller backyard doesn’t necessarily mean an end to raising or enjoying them. In this class, you will find out just how easy it is to keep a few hens as pets and as the ultimate garden recyclers, as well as everything you need to know about housing, protecting and feeding them, and lots of practical ideas on how to live harmoniously with them in your garden. Suitable for those who have never kept chooks before.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Food, fibre and medicine – the traditional uses of indigenous plants: Monday, 5th August, 7.30-9pm; Nunawading.

What: Before white settlement, the Australian bush provided the first nations people all the food, fibre and medicine needed to thrive in this unique country. In this workshop, Richard Rowe from Sustainable Gardening Australia will introduce the gardener to some of the plants used by indigenous Australians and inspire gardeners to grow them in their gardens. Participants will receive an indigenous tube stock plant to take home.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Mould – a cheese festival: Friday, 16th August, 4-8pm and on Friday, 16th August and Saturday, 17th August, 11am-8pm; Meat Market, North Melbourne.

What: This festival will see Australia’s best cheesemakers together for tastings, conversations, demonstrations and drinks. There will be around 40 stalls, including Yarra Valley Dairy.
Cost: $49 (includes all cheese tastings).
Bookings: their website.

Raised garden beds are for everybody: Thursday, 22nd August, 10.30-11.30am; Fawkner Library.

What: A thoughtfully planned garden can be modified to accommodate people with an injury or disability, physical or mental. The goal is to have a garden that can be enjoyed by everyone, including the visually impaired or people in wheelchairs.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Organic propagation of vegetables and herbs: Saturday, 31st August, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: improve your gardening skills; how to produce new plants from seeds, cuttings and division; and seasonal timing for growth. Presenter: Therese Scales. Learn the basics of how to produce new plants from seed, cuttings and division in organic growing conditions in this hands-on workshop. Learns about seasonal timing for growth, heirloom and hybrid seeds, and propagation media using practical examples inside the CERES hothouses.
Cost: $86.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Edible weeds walk: Saturday, 31st August, 10.30am-12.30pm and again 1.30-3.30pm; Merri Creek Trail.

What: What if many of the weeds in our garden were just as edible as the vegetables we tend beside them? What if some of these free, all-too-easy-to-grow uninvited guests were so nutritionally dense that they are just about the healthiest things you could possibly eat? What if many of them also had medical traditions dating back centuries? Well it’s all true! And if you know what to choose, they also taste great. Join Adam Grubb, co-author of The Weed Forager’s Handbook, for a fascinating walk on the wild side, foraging for edible weeds.
Cost: $25 ($20 concession).
Bookings: 10.30am and 1.30pm.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course: every Saturday for 9 weeks, starting 31st August, 9.30am-3pm; Edendale.

What: This 9-week hands-on course is ideal for people considering a career in horticulture. No prior experience is necessary. 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.
Cost: $99 for all 9 sessions ($42 concession).
Bookings: by phone (9433 3744).

New events – cooking

Kombucha – myths and methods: Tuesday, 16th July, 11am-midday; Rosanna Library.

What: Katherine Barling will demonstrate the materials and methods for making your own fermented tea. There will be tastings.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Seafood paella: Saturday, 24th August, midday-2pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill South.

What: Learn to develop Spanish paella using traditional ingredients and equipment straight from the experts at this workshop. Get to know the history of Spain’s most iconic dish and its place in Spanish culture while you indulge your senses in its flavours and aroma.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Vegan brunch cooking class: Sunday, 25th August, 11am-3pm; Smiths Gully.

What: Learn how to create healthy, practical, everyday vegan dishes that look as good as they taste. It will include such dishes as plant-based milks, creamy lemon dream porridge, waffles, pancakes, scrambled tofu, chia puddings and smoothie bowls.
Cost: $100 (includes brunch).
Bookings: their website.

Pickling basics and techniques: Saturday, 31st August, 10-11.30am; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill South.

What: They will show you food preservation, canning, and brine making. Save on food costs while adding new layers of flavour to your dishes with tips and tricks from this workshop.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Fermenting basics: Saturday, 31st August, 10-11.30am; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Fermenting basics will focus on the fundamentals of successfully fermenting at home covering kombucha, sauerkraut, kvass and kefir.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: their website.

Homemade preserves and jams: Saturday, 31st August, 12.30-2pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill South.

What: Learn the fundamental canning techniques you need to master to make homemade jams, pastes, and jellies you can enjoy year-round.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Italian cheesemaking workshop: Sunday, 1st September, 1.30-3.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Learn to use homemade cheese to create a combination of mozzarella stuffed with creamy mascarpone as well as other delectable cheesy delights. Take home your own Mad Millie Italian cheese making kit valued at $40.
Cost: $60 (includes $40 cheese making kit).
Bookings: their website.

Delicious desserts (thermomix): Tuesday, 3rd September, 7.30-9pm; Kilsyth.

What: Learn how to make delicious desserts in your thermomix. You will get to taste all the recipes that they cook on the night.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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