Mar 142018

Greta visits the garden of Marc and Liz Hudson

Greta Gilles has visited the garden of Marc and Liz Hudson, from Heidelberg Heights. Here is how the write up starts: “Marc and Liz moved to Heidelberg Heights in the early 90s. Marc is semi-retired and keeps the garden under some sort of control as well as working a couple of shifts at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital as a Patient Services Assistant (PSA). Liz works fulltime at Austin Repatriation in admin (specifically older people). They both love the opportunity that the Repatriation Hospital gives to interact with the older members of our community. They also volunteer (run a cooking program) with Heidelberg Housing, which is a disabled housing initiative, and are involved with both Rough Trade 3081 and a support network for people returning from volunteer work in closed countries. On visiting, you immediately recognise the garden as a place of refuge with many seating areas scattered around the garden, a space that does a loop around the house. This isn’t solely a food garden and non-edible flowering plants weave wonderfully in amongst the edible. This is a garden many years in the making with so many pockets of interest within it.Read the full write up.

Mac’s tip of the week

Although March is officially the start of Autumn, we are definitely having a late Summer period. With mid to high 30s forecast for next weekend, and still no real sign of rain, don’t rush out to plant your autumn seedlings just yet. To quote myself: “the early bird may find a fried worm“. Better to keep watering or simply prepare your soil for when true Autumn arrives. If you’ve already jumped the starting gun, pull out that shadecloth!

Read all of Mac’s tips.

Looking to move to a beautiful bush block?

Duang Tengtrirat and Rob Reid Smith, who we interviewed a few weeks ago, have decided to downsize. Their delightful 18-acre property at 95 Gumtree Road in Research is therefore up for sale. Click here to read all the details.

They would love it if the property could be sold to a reader of this newsletter. Duang writes in: “Anyone interested in food and sustainability would find our property ideal. We have enjoyed building the gardens and improving the soil, season after season. There is enough fertile soil to grow enough vegetables and fruits to be self sufficient, run a food business, and share with family and friends. The main vegetable garden is on an enclosed tennis court. Established and productive fruit trees are netted and fenced. It would be great if this property continues to reflect sustainable living in the local community.Click here to read all the details.

News about local food producers

Fairfields Food Swap is a new food swap organised by Transition Darebin. The 3rd Saturday of each month, 11am-midday. St. Andrews Church, side garden, corner of Gillies Street & Duncan Street, Fairfield.

Fairfields Farmers’ Market has moved to the Melbourne Innovation Centre, 2 Wingrove Street, Alphington, 3078.

Arthurs Creek Garlic, from Arthurs Creek, and Juanita’s Kitchen, from Preston, will both be at The Herb and Chilli Festival in Wandin North on 17th and 18th March.

AVS Organic Foods, from Watsonia North, and Billy van Creamy, from Fitzroy North, will both be at the Big Vegan Market at the Royal Exhibition Building on Saturday, 12th May.

You can now buy Blue Pear Pantry’s savoury rolls at Eltham Deli

Sim Hanscamp, from Spoke & Spade in Heidelberg West, featured in an ABC article on Melbourne’s urban farmers. The public housing community gardens operated by Cultivating Community were also discussed.

Fresh food delivery company Aussie Farmers Direct has gone into voluntary administration. Click here to read an ABC article on the subject.

Vegetawall: a garden for everyone, everywhere

Vegetawall’s (aka Ariel de Ramos’s) mission is “to help and support people in rented flats and low income households to have their own garden and grow their own fresh, healthy food through saved seeds, home compost and vertical gardens.” They are Melbourne based and facilitate workshops. Their three pillars are:

  • VegetaWall: a vertical garden system which is simple to make, affordable and adaptable.
  • Seed library: a collection of saved seeds, seeds of heirloom plants, and surplus seeds from packets.
  • Compost map: communal composting.

Young Farmers Scholarship Program

Up to $10,000 is available from the Victorian Government for young farmers to study and invest on-farm or in professional development activities. Closing date 24th April. Click here to read more and to apply. Click here to read about the wider young farmers’ programme.

Henry the Hedgehog

Miriam Jans has written in: “I am currently writing a vegan kids books series called Animal Alliance Series – 12 short stories in total, 4 animal main characters and 12 addressed moral values (such as honesty, perseverance, humility, courage and compassion), as well as topics of veganism. And it all rhymes, too! The book’s aim is to teach children from a young age about environmental and moral issues of the modern age, whilst being cute and non-confrontational. As it is still early days, and the first book about Henry the Hedgehog is available for pre-order, I need all the support I can get, as it is important to get the vegan message ‘out there’ to as many people as possible. For more info, have a look at my website or Facebook page.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Greta’s visit to the garden of Maude Farrugia and Neil Erenstrom.

Joke of the week

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Shopping with a conscience

What: What are the issues that reflect the true cost of the products we buy? What are ‘best buys’ for our health, our communities and our planet? How can you find the most sustainable purchase amongst the options available? Go to a workshop by Nick Ray from Shop Ethical (creators of the Shop Ethical Guide) to find out more about the products, companies and related issues that are part of your weekly supermarket shopping adventures. You will explore practical ways to help you in making more ethical choices and lighten your impact. The session will include a trip to the Watsonia IGA to buy some food based what you have learnt, followed by a light meal and discussion. Organised by Sustainable Greensborough.
When: Sunday, 18th March, 2-4.30pm.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: $15 (includes the cost of the food you purchase at the IGA).
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Seed saving

What: With Kat Lavers. Learn how to save seeds. You will save a fortune on seed packets and seedings of course, but over time you will also develop stronger plants that are perfectly adapted to your garden’s microclimate. They will cover all the basics of plant selection, pollination, harvesting, drying, cleaning and storing seeds.
When: Tuesday, 20th March, 6.30-8.30pm.
Where: Fitzroy North.
Cost: $25.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

A taste of harmony – community lunch

What: Learn to cook food celebrated throughout the world. Hosted by local residents from different cultural backgrounds, this event will celebrate the stories, memories and new connections to people and the food that they love.
When: Wednesday, 21st March, 10.30am-2pm.
Where: Heidelberg West.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking master class

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: prawns; grilled salmon; and chocolate mousse tart.
When: Thursday, 22nd March, 7-9pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Building wicking garden beds from IBCs

What: Links Community Group are building a new community garden in Lalor and want to install some wicking garden beds. Attend this interactive, hands-on workhop to learn how to build wicking garden beds from secondhand intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). Matt Odgers from Links Community Group, together with Lalor & District Men’s Shed members, will cover: sourcing IBCs, cutting tips, making the cut IBC safe, protecting an IBC from the sun using wood, and use of basic power tools.
When: Saturday, 14th April, 10am-midday.
Where: Links Community Garden, Lalor.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (0431 896347) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Herbal teas

What: What you will learn: learn about herbal teas; understand how to grow your own tea; and learn about using native plants for herbal teas. Presented by Karen Sutherland, of Edible Eden Design. Herbs have been used for centuries for health benefits and one of the most common ways of taking them was through teas. Karen will guide you through their cultivation requirements and how to use them in herbal teas. Sip your way through some teas during the class to discover some new favourites, including some Australian native herbs.
When: Thursday, 3rd May, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Cooking faster, cheaper and healthier with Duang

What: Need some easy to prepare, low cost meal options for your family dinner? Duang will demonstrate how to avoid food waste, save money and time when preparing delicious lunches and your family dinners. There will be tastings of all dishes and young children are welcome.
When: Friday, 3rd May, 10am-midday.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course

What: This 9-week hands-on course will introduce you to a range of topics in the field of horticulture. Places in the course are government-subsidised, so it is a great starting point for people thinking about turning their passion into a career in horticulture, or simply for home food growers who want to learn more – only $135 for a 9-session course! 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. The course will be run by Justin Calverley,
When: Saturdays, starting 5th May, 9.30am-3pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $135 for all 9 sessions ($78 concession).
Bookings: by phone (9433 3744)
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Vegetable seed saving

What: Led by Ian Culbard, this workshop will cover the knowledge and skills required to produce some of your own true-to-type vegetable seeds. Seed selection, harvesting, processing and storing will all be covered. Samples of a range of locally saved open pollinated and heirloom vegetable seeds are included.
When: Saturday, 5th May, 1-2.30pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kellybrook Cider Festival

What: Scrumpy cider, live bands and lots of food is what the Kellybrook Cider Festival is all about. Set in the historic gardens and vineyards at Kellybrook’s Wonga Park property, the weekend will feature Kellybrook’s scrumpy and other ciders, beers and wines. There will also be tastings at the cellar door. Bring your picnic rug, invite your friends and celebrate the end of apple harvest.
When: Saturday, 5th May and Sunday 6th May, both 11am-5pm.
Where: Kellybrook Winery, Wonga Park.
Cost: $22.
Bookings: EventBrite – 5th May; 6th May.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival

What: Explore the diverse range of stalls showcasing locally-made handcrafts and produce. Children can enjoy the fun rides and adventure play space. The activities will include: roasted chestnuts; poffertjees; Devonshire tea and home made cakes; sausage sizzle; local restaurant food stalls; artisan beer (including chestnut beer!) and mulled wine; coffee, tea and chai; bungy jump trampolines; train rides’ flying swings; petting zoos; old-fashioned kids games; raffles; local handmade crafts; local produce; and live music and performances.
When: Sunday, 6th May, 10am-4pm.
Where: Kalorama Memorial Reserve.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Natural pest control with companion planting

What: What you will learn: which plants to grow together, and which ones not to; how to solve many common garden problems naturally; and 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 May, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleeen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Raw living whole foods with Valentina Rise

What: What you will learn: basics of raw food; make guilt free treats; and learn what super foods are. You will discuss the nutritional benefits of superfoods, and how introducing more raw (natural plant-based) foods into your daily eating regimes can assist in your over-all health. Eating the right foods can help with reducing stress, anxiety and depressive states of being, increase your immunity and gut health and bring greater clarity into your lives. You will learn raw food cooking skills and get to feast on many different foods from savoury to sweet healthy treats (e.g. raw pad thai, raw stir fry, raw caramel slice, raw ice cream, raw lemon slice and raw cheesecake). No refined white processed sugars or products will be used. You will gain knowledge on the best natural sweeteners and produce to use to assist in optimal health.
When: Saturday, 12th May, 10am-3pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Food for thought – finger foods and tapas

What: Local chef, Mellissa Strachan, will present three canapes. Each recipe will cater to a gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian diet. Participants will make these tasty treats and, at the conclusion of the workshop, be able to taste the final products. Apart from sharing some recipes, Mellissa will give some tips and tricks that will help even inexperienced cooks gain confidence in the kitchen.
When: Saturday, 12th May, 10.30am-1pm.
Where: Ringwood Uniting Church.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Edible weeds walk

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 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.
When: Saturday, 12th May, 11am-1pm.
Where: Merri Creek Trail.
Cost: $25 ($20 concession).
Bookings: their website.
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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