Jul 042018

A happy story

The owners of the online property transfer system PEXA have now agreed to pay Dani Venn the money that went missing following their cyberattack. See the Nine News article. As newsletter reader Sally Davis wrote in: “Dani got her money back. A Current Affair went into bat for the family … and won.

Community gardening news

The Garden of Plenty community garden at Diamond Valley Library in Greensborough has had numerous raised garden beds made and installed by their local Mens Shed plus garden furniture made from recycled timber.

Local food producer news

Organic Times, from Eltham, make Certified Organic chocolate. You can now buy their chocolate at Farmer Joe’s Market in Eltham.

Blue Pear Pantry, from North Warrandyte, make savoury rolls. You can now buy their rolls at the RiverView Cafe in Warrandyte.

The Eastern Region Food Co-Operative

The Eastern Region Food Co-Operative, a longstanding co-operative with its collection points in Croydon South and Heathmont, is seeking new members to join up and benefit from a combined buying power. Five times a year, non-perishable food like dried fruit, nuts, grains, flour, sugar, beans, lentils, and also honey and peanut butter, are bought in bulk, mainly from NSM in Brunswick. Co-op members order what they need – the quantity can be small or large. There is a roster for members to help out with the logistics. For more information, or a list of the food products available, email Lloyd.

Permablitzed in Rosanna

Newsletter reader Mala Plymin had her garden permablitzed in June and the writeup is now available. As the picture suggests, newsletter readers Marina Bistrin and Yvonne Ashby were also involved.

Seasonal edible weed calendar

I happened to come across this seasonal edible weed calendar on the SBS website. The article was written by North East Melbourne resident Adam Grubb and is apparently an extract from The Weed Forager’s Handbook, which was co-authored by Adam and has now sold 20,000 copies. Adam is also the facilitator of the regular edible weed walks along Merri Creek.

A possible successor to wicking beds

Greg Parsons has written in to suggest that I have a look at the website of Colin Austin, who apparently invented/pioneered wicking beds many moons ago. It is not easy to understand what Mr. Austin is saying but it looks like he is suggesting that wicking beds should be supplanted by something he calls ‘gbiota beds’ to help “provide biology for our gut biome as well as the trace minerals and phytonutrients.

Anyhow, for an easier-to-understand critique of wicking beds, have a look at this article from the Permablitz website.

Want some cheap coffee?

Chris Newman has written in to say that Andres IGA in Watsonia currently has coffee at half price.

‘Crowd harvest’ – winter citrus

Lemon trees are often heavily laden in the middle of winter. Gardeners with excess are invited to give them to one of the not-for profit organisations listed below who will, in turn, provide them to facing food insecurity. DIVRS in Preston, Now and Not Yet Cafe in Warrandyte or STREAT in Collingwood. If you want someone to harvest the lemons for you, contact Cath Lyons (aka Tiny Trowel) by phone (0401 814679) or email.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The article about the cyber-attack against Dani Venn.

Joke of the week

How many grams of protein are in a blueberry pi? 3.14159265359.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Two foods & fibre landscapes

What: Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek invite you to this event. Learn about the Koorie uses for native plants in the Clara Street restoration site and discover its neighbour, the Merri Corner Community Garden, during their open garden session. Free lunch provided. Funded by Melbourne Water.
When: Sunday, 8th July, 10am-1pm.
Where: Merri Corner Community Garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mooroolbark Growers & Weeders present backyard poultry made easy – the how and why

What: Claire Coutts, from the Outer Eastern Permaculture Swap, will ‘tell all’ about preparing secure & adequate accommodation, purchasing suitable breeds, and care & feeding of your flock.
When: Tuesday, 24th July, 2-3pm.
Where: Mooroolbark Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Home composting workshop

What: Learn how composting, worm farming and the use of particular plants can naturally improve your soil. Discover how to compost and worm farm effectively for the best results. Understand how recycling your household and garden organic waste (including dog poo!) can benefit the life within your soil.
When: Saturday, 28th July, 2-4.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Lakeside Good Earth Group presents fun ferments – kombucha tea with Sarah Cowell

What: Learn the health benefits available from making your own kombucha fermented tea. Make it even more delicious with natural herbs and fruit for flavouring. Sarah Cowell will also cover making cashew cheese, other easy home-fermenting and pickling techniques to save money and support gut health! Tastings will be provided in the class.
When: Monday, 30th July, 2-3.30pm.
Where: Lilydale Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing your spring vegetable garden

What: Find out how to prepare your soil and which vegetables to plant in your spring garden with Diana Cotter, who has been introducing people to the benefits and delights of gardening for over 30 years.
When: Monday, 13th August, 11am-midday.
Where: Fawkner Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Set up and maintain a worm farm

What: A worm farm can be one of the best ways to dispose of food scraps and, at the same time, produce vermi-juice (worm tea) and vermicast (worm castings) for use on the garden. Learn how to set up a worm farm and the easiest methods to manage and care for these most hard-working of creatures. This workshop will cover both the theory and practice of worm farming in a household setting. It will be useful for those wishing to recycle household food waste in order to produce worm products for use in the improvement of soil in gardens and pot plants.
When: Saturday, 18th August, 3-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summer-proof your garden

What: Our weather is becoming warmer with more frequent dry spells and extreme heat events and even a relatively short stretch of hot weather can quickly destroy all your hard work. Now is a great time to be planning for heat proofing your garden and making the best use of your water. Jeremy Prentice, from Very Edible Gardens, will provide advice around smart summer garden design, water tank and irrigation solutions, plant choice, sun and wind shelter and soil care. Find out how to have a successful, low maintenance and water efficient garden even throughout the hottest months.
When: Wednesday, 29th August, 7-8.30pm.
Where: Kew Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
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, 30th August, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Ultimate cheese and wine matching masterclass

What: When you combine the expertise of a master cheese maker (Giorgio Linguanti, from That’s Amore Cheese) together with that of a food and wine matching expert (Anthony Nania), you have the recipe for a really informative masterclass. Together they will show you how to serve a variety of cheeses perfectly and match them with the right wine styles. Go and enjoy the flavours and textures of cheeses paired with specially selected wines.
When: Friday, 31st August, 6.30-9.30pm.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: $52.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Chocolate discovery class

What: This class includes indulging in a range of chocolate & truffle tastings, the chance to learn about how chocolate is made, and finding out about the inspiration behind each of their specialty ranges with their European Chocolatiers. Your chocolate education concludes with the chance to create your own personal chocolate bar and delve in giant lollipop making fun.
When: Saturday, 1st September, 11.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $48.
Bookings / Further information: their website.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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