Jun 142017

Mac’s tip of the week

It’s now time to purchase your bare root / deciduous fruit trees, vines and berries. Garden centres and nurseries seem to be well stocked up. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

A maker of muesli and porridge: Magic Muesli

Magic Muesli, from Fitzroy North, make muesli and porridge. Each ingredient is selected for the important role that it plays in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Oats and psyllium are a good source of dietary fibre. Goji berries contain antioxidants and cranberries contain vitamin C. Ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds release the good fatty acids and whole linseeds aid digestion. Walnuts and chia seeds provide essential omega-3. And almonds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, sesame seeds and currants add goodness. The muesli is not toasted and contains no added sugar, no syrups, no juice, no added fats, and no preservatives – just raw and natural. You can buy their products online or at Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market. Read their Local Food Directory entry. Welcome Steve!

A maker of pasta and gnocchi: Take Me Home (Pasta)

Take Me Home, from Coburg, make pastas, gnocchi, pizza bases and pasta sauces. They make everything by hand using traditional techniques and their Italian family’s recipes. They grow as many of their veggies as they can at their farm in Thorpdale (Gippsland) and, apart from that, use local ingredients where possible. You can buy their products at a number of farmers’ markets (Coburg, Fairfield and Slow Food Melbourne) plus a wide range of shops. Read their Local Food Directory entry. Welcome Felicity!

Darebin Information, Volunteer & Resource Service (DIVRS) are now selling seedlings

Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Service (DIVRS) is a non-profit organisation that offers a variety of resources which aim to protect and support vulnerable members of the Darebin Community. Its Urban Food Program is the practical application of goals in home food growing, community gardening, urban food production and integrated approaches to planning urban food programs. One of DIVRS’ initiatives is the growing and selling of trees and seedlings by volunteers. By purchasing and planting these products, you are supporting DIVRS’ activities to protect and preserve the urban orchard for your community and for future generations and increasing your own food security and those who you share with. Read their Local Food Directory entry.

Another DIVRS’ initative is The Darebin Fruit Squad, which is a group of trained volunteers who harvest excess fruit from households in Darebin. Once collected, these otherwise wasted resources are made available to members of the community who struggle to access fresh, nutritious food.

Local food producer news

A Local Baker St Andrews are now offering a $0.50 discount to customers who bring their own coffee cup (Yarra Coffee have a similar offer at Eltham Farmers’ Market). They are also “looking for a passionate, hard working, baker with a love of wild fermentation and wood-fired baking. Apprentices and novices welcome, so long as you’re ready to learn. Hours are negotiable, part time or full time available. Award wages.” Contact Sachin by phone (0430 535494) or email.

Blue Pear Pantry, from North Warrandyte, ready made meals are now available for purchase at Gourmet Living in Templestowe.

Bomba Wood Fired Pizza, from Eltham, will be at the Winter Solstice Festival at Edendale on Saturday, 17th June.

That’s Amore Cheese, from Thomastown, will be at the Truffle Melbourne Festival at Queen Victoria Market on Saturday, 17th June.

A new shop selling Certified Organic food: Organic Fix in Eltham

Organic Fix is a new food store in Eltham (937 Main Road), where all of its products are Certified Organic. Its product range already includes: a wide range of dry goods (see first picture), some fruit and veg (see second picture), various canned/bottled food, and a variety of non-foods (from beauty products to cleaning supplies). Their signage is great (see third picture). Their website has just been launched and they also have a Facebook page. They plan to introduce both an online store and home deliveries in the future. The shop is the brainchild of newsletter reader Lynne-Eva Bottomley. Best of luck Lynne-Eva!

Want to get involved in community gardening in Lower Templestowe?

The aims of the Templestowe College (TC) volunteering program are to increase connectedness with the wider community, to provide support to many of their programs, and to offer opportunity for life-long learning in a beautiful setting. Currently, they have four volunteers helping out in the permaculture gardens. Catharine, a current TC parent, says “I really enjoy working in the permaculture garden, seeing it change each week, meeting others and being part of the TC community.” Catharine has been joined on Tuesday mornings by Jan, who has recently retired and had children who went through TC back in the 80s, and they work with Drew, one of the TC farm staff. Other staff members, John and Caitlin are thankful of the help in the gardens. John says, “I can see the difference, each week something else is done, it’s a real help.” According to Caitlin, “It’s fantastic, we are getting lots of extra jobs done that we didn’t previously have time for.” Anyone can volunteer. If interested, read the role description and then download the application form.

Want to get involved in community gardening in Greensborough?

The Garden of Plenty community garden at Diamond Valley Library in Greenborough is a place for all members of the community who want to engage in sustainable living. The library space is open to the public 7 days per week with access through the library. The produce is available to be shared by the community. They are currently seeking assistance in the coordination of a regular weekly working group to develop the space, plant, harvest, mulch, maintain the worm farm, maintain compost, water, weed, seed save, propagate, stake and fertilise. Around 1.5 hours per week. If interested, contact Dione Fisher by phone (9434 3809) or email.

‘Grow Free’ in the news

In the 12th April newsletter, I briefly discussed the ‘Grow Free’ movement and how it is coming to Melbourne. Well, its founder, Andrew Barker, has just been interviewed for the ABC News website. Thanks for the heads-up, Mario Sist!

Portrait of a garden

Chris Kent has written in to say that you might be interested in watching a film called Portrait of a Garden which is a 100 minute documentary about the owner of a 500-year-old kitchen garden in the Netherlands, and an 85-year-old ‘pruning master’. The film documents their activities for a full year, from winter pruning through to the post-harvest clean-up. As far as I can make out, you can only watch it via iTunes (or AppleTV), for which Chris paid 99c.

Addendum to last week’s discussion about lactose intolerance

Someone has anonymously sent me three bottles of lactase by courier!! If any of you are lactose intolerant but want to drink some milk, just email me and I’ll give you some of the tablets!

Joke of the week

A kid threw a lump of cheddar at me. I thought “that’s not very mature”.

And, as a bonus: I have an addiction to cheddar cheese. It’s only mild though.

Read all of this year’s jokes.

New events

Open Cellars of the Artisan Hills

What: On both 17th and 18th of June. Visit any or all of 9 small family-owned wineries in Nillumbik, each with an individual style, where the grapes are hand-picked and hand-crushed by family and friends in the traditional style, with wines developed on site. This is a chance to sample exquisite wines from the artisan wine-makers of the western Yarra Valley, at wineries not always open to the public. You will also find excellent food to complement the wine, as well as live music and artworks from local artists at some venues. There is no entry fee, or tasting fee, at any of the venues. The 9 wineries participating in June 2017 are: Buttermans Track, Hildebrand Ridge Organic Vineyard, Kings of Kangaroo Ground, Massaros, Nillumbik Estate, Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery, Shaws Road Winery, Wedgetail Estate and Yarrambat Estate Vineyard.
When: Saturday, 17th June and Sunday, 18th June, both 11am-5pm.
Where: Various around Nillumbik.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Citrus information session

What: This talk will take place as part of the Warranwood Food Swap. Do you want an abundant citrus crop at home? Whether you are getting started or you want to know how to care for and maintain your fruit trees, Duncan, from Leaf, Root and Fruit, will share his knowledge and research. Lemons, limes, oranges – citrus galore. Optimal growing conditions, fertilising and pruning for optimum yield as well as pest and disease management. If you have a problematic citrus tree, you can bring along a picture or a leaf to help with diagnosis.
When: Sunday, 18th June, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Warranwood Primary School.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Buzz about beekeeping

What: Buzz with Peter the Backyard Honey apiarist: handle beeswax, propolis and bee-keeping tools; watch live honeybees at work in a fully enclosed perspex beehive; and taste pure raw unheated Melbourne multifloral and Victorian varietal honeys.
When: Sunday, 18th June, 11am-2pm.
Where: Bunnings, Nunawading.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Save energy, save money, make friends workshop

What: Are you worried about rising energy costs? Are you interested in saving energy in your home? Do you want to improve the thermal comfort of your home and your health? Are you keen to do your bit for the environment and meet like-minded neighbours? Sustainable Greensborough, a new Transition group in Banyule, will help you gain the practical skills you need to save on energy usage and costs in your home, as well as give you the chance to meet new friends from your local area. If you are in the Greensborough/Watsonia area, they would love to meet you.
When: Thursday, 29th June, 7-9pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Composting for nutrient rich soil

What: Marina Bistrin will talk about cheap and easy ways to make nutrient dense compost and will show you some ways to recycle materials to make compost bins and worm towers, keeping vermin out. She will also look at how to make the compost more nutritious for your plants and therefore, for you.
When: Saturday, 1st July, 11am-midday.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food know how sustainability sessions

What: The average household in Australia throws away $2,000 worth of food every year. That means that one out of five bags of shopping that is purchased is never eaten. Join Gaby and Jen from Plan Buy Cook to learn some simple ways to reduce the food waste and save you time and money. Bookings essential.
When: Tuesday, 11th July, 11am-midday.
Where: North Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit tree pruning and maintenance

What: Merrin Layden is a horticulturalist who has spent the past 5 years working at The Orchard Project in London teaching urban fruit tree skills. The skills that you will learn from Merrin will be put to use on the day in the farm’s orchard.
When: Sunday, 23rd July, 10am-3pm.
Where: Bundoora Park Farm.
Cost: $64 (includes entrance to the farm).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natural pest control with companion planting

What: What you will learn: learn which plants to grow together, and which ones not to; learn how to solve many common garden problems naturally; and learn how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together). Presented by Angelo Eliades. With companion planting, by knowing which plants to grow together and which ones not to, you can grow stronger, healthier and more productive plants, improve soil quality, and reduce pests and diseases in your garden. Learn which companion plants to add to your garden to solve many common garden problems naturally, and find out how to construct ‘plant guilds’ (groups of plants that grow much better together) for more abundant harvests.
When: Saturday, 12th August, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45 (includes entrance to the farm).
Bookings: / Further information: WeTeachMe.

Grafting and tree sales day (CERES)

What: Learn techniques for grafting or budding fruit trees. Select suitable rootstocks. Have new trees grafted or budded by Heritage Fruits Society members. Buy heritage fruit tree scion wood for home grafting. Buy one-year-old grafted trees. Discuss your fruit tree needs. Their current focus is on apple varieties, so lots of 1-y-o trees and scion from all of their trees. They will also have a few stone fruit trees for sale, and limited stonefruit scion.
When: Saturday, 12th August, 10am-1pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Read some help on how to view the calendar selectively. For example, search for events in a given suburb or set of suburbs. Or search for event of a given type, such as markets).

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