Organic provedore (aka shop) and nursery at Monsalvat
This is a temporary pop-up shop selling a variety of food and plants, much of it locally grown. It is open Friday to Sunday each week, from 10am to 4pm, but only until end May. Featured local food producers include: KABUU, Koala Honey, Old Evropa, Sugarloaf Produce and Under The Pickle Tree. It is an initiative by newsletter reader Richard Lee (aka KABUU) and is run by volunteers. The picture features one such volunteer, newsletter reader Karin Motyer.
Achieving success with dehydrating
Last week, Pam Jenkins and Bev Robertson ran some workshops on how to use a dehydrator successfully. Someone told me that their notes were rather good so I asked for a copy. Click here to read their notes.
Click here to borrow our Fowlers Ultimate Dehydrator.
Mac’s tip of the week
“Ok, your pumpkins now look ready … but maybe don’t pick them just yet. The longer you leave them on the vine, the sweeter they will get, and the longer they can be stored. It is best to wait until the vine dies off and the stem to your pumpkin withers and goes brown. Don’t worry if frosts arrive – they will only kill the vines. Pick with as much stem as possible – some people keep up to 1m of vine attached if they plan to store the pumpkin for months. Many growers also keep the pumpkins in a sheltered outdoor spot for up to a week to mature before storing in a cool, dark well ventilated area. Hanging in a bird net sack in a dark shed works well … and it also keeps the rats at bay. Finally, note that most pumpkins are best kept for at least a week or so before eating, although Japs can be eaten as soon as picked. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.”
Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.
Yes, folks, it’s another zucchini recipe. Maria Ciavarella, from My Green Garden, will be demonstrating how to make zucchini pickles at Eltham Farmers’ Market on 26th March. Click here to read her recipe.
Click here for all 21 of our newsletter readers’ zucchini recipes.
Incidently, Maria was interviewed by Clare Bowditch on ABC Melbourne earlier this week on the subject of compost. Click here to listen to the interview (13 minutes). Earlier this month, she was also interviewed on 3WBC on on a variety of subjects (chickens, growing veggies, etc) – click here to listen (36 minutes).
Want some free soil?
According to newsletter reader Adrian O’Hagen, of Permablitz Melbourne fame, you can pick up free soil from Northcote so long as you take at least a cubic metre. Dan from CERES apparently has a lot of certified organic seed raising mix from Grow Better which he only uses once before discarding. Click here to arrange your pickup.
A local entry at The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is taking place from Wednesday, 29th March to Sunday, 2nd April. Newsletter reader Paul Morland will be displaying his Four R’s designed and built garden in the Achievable Garden category. If you are going to the show, he invites you to introduce yourself and say hello.
Paul is a qualified landscaper and designer. He is one of 8 such listed on the resources page on our website.
A picture of some newsletter readers
Melbourne’s best pizza 2017
Good Food have announced their 10 best pizza restaurants of 2017. Half are from North East Melbourne: A Boy Named Sue (St Andrews), Kaprica (Carlton), Lazerpig (Collingwood), Lievita (Northcote) and Postino (Balwyn).
How to make free seed packets (no scissors or glue needed)
Thanks to Cath Lyons for pointing it out; as she said “really cool – so simple!” Click here for a (printable) template that you can use.
The bloke who made this video has actually made a whole bunch of interesting videos about growing food. Click here for his Youtube page.
The Wild Pollinator Count
The next Wild Pollinator Count is from 9th to 16th April. Why not take part? As they say, “You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes.”
Joke of the week
Martin O’Callaghan has submitted the following: What did the papa potato say to the baby potato? “I’m keeping an eye on you.”
Martin also suggested I try and improve upon his joke. Inspired by a recent visit, I’ve come up with: Why can’t you tell secrets in a community garden? Because the sweetcorn has ears and the potatoes have eyes.
On The Bend / On The Mend – Coffee and Beer Festival
What: There’s not much else that Melbournites love more than great coffee and great beer. The event will feature six local breweries and six local coffee roasters collaborating on beers that feature coffee as a key ingredient. The day will also feature live music, coffee and beer workshops, and a raclette cheese bar. Your ticket includes as much beer, coffee and cheese as you can consume within 5 hours! The breweries: 3 Ravens Brewery; Tallboy & Moose; Sailors Grave Brewing; Hop Nation Brewing Co; Blackman’s Brewery; and Temple Brewing. The roasters: Aviary Coffee; Small Batch; Cartel Coffee Roasters; DC Specialty Coffee Roasters; Red Bean Coffee; and Wide Open Road.
When: Sunday, 2nd April, midday-5pm.
Where: 3 Ravens Brewery, Thornbury.
Enquiries: Nathan Liascos by phone (9495 1026 or 0433 955106) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.
Organic gardening for beginners (two day)
What: Want to grow your own healthy vegetables, herbs and fruits but don’t know where to start? Would you like to improve your family’s food security and increase your skills and garden productivity? Part theory and part hands-on, this workshop will help the beginner organic gardener develop the skills and knowledge to start a thriving edible oasis at home.
When: Saturday, 20th May and Saturday, 27th May, both 10am-4pm.
Cost: $115 for the two days.
Enquiries: Edendale by phone (9433 3711) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Edendale website.
Summary of upcoming events
Corrections and clarifications
Olive magic – preserving olives at Massaros is on Saturday, 22nd April and Friday, 28th April, not 1st May.
Over the next week
- Safe preserving techniques – bottled fruit, jams, pickles & relishes: Wednesday, 22nd March, 10am-1.15pm.
- A taste of harmony – food demonstrations and community lunch: Thursday, 23rd March, 10am-2pm.
- Success with a dehydrator: Thursday, 23rd March, 11am-midday.
- Buzz inn – bringing beneficial insects to your garden: Thursday, 23rd March, 6-7.15pm.
- Just Eat It (film) (Edendale): Thursday, 23rd March, 6.30-8pm.
- Healthy productive compost and worms: Thursday, 23rd March, 6.30-9pm.
- Setting up a community garden in Wollert: Saturday, 25th March, starting at 9am.
- Italian cooking workshop (gnocchi): Saturday, 25th March, 10am-1pm.
- Introduction to natural beekeeping (two-day): Saturday, 25th March and Sunday, 26th March, both 10am-5pm.
- Opportunity to set up a community garden in Lalor: Saturday, 25th March, 10.30am onwards.
- Planning your Winter veggie garden: Saturday, 25th March, 2-4pm.
- Thrive Community Garden open day: Sunday, 26th March, 10am-3pm.
- Chute Street planter boxes open day: Sunday, 26th March, 1-2pm.
- Creating and maintaining a wicking bed: Sunday, 26th March, 2-3pm.
- Palestinian cooking workshop: Sunday, 26th March, 2.30-4.30pm.
- Propagation workshop: Sunday, 26th March, 2.30-5pm.
- Preparing your garden for winter and improving your soil: Sunday, 26th March, 3-4pm.
- Easter chocolate novelties workshop: Monday, 27th March, 10.30-midday.
- Beales Road Farm: Monday, 27th March, 11am-midday.
- Beginners’ Italian cheese making class: Wednesday, 29th March, 6-8pm.
- Smarter living – preserving the harvest: Wednesday, 29th March, 7-9pm.
- Love food, hate waste: Wednesday, 29th March, 6.30-8.30pm.
- The Sugarloaf story: Wednesday, 29th March, 7-8pm.
Over the next month
- Beekeeping workshop: Saturday, 1st April, 9-11am.
- Growing fruit and veggies in small spaces: Saturday, 1st April, 9.30am-12.30pm.
- Sourdough bread making workshop: Saturday, 1st April, 10am-1pm.
- Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival: Saturday, 1st April, 11am-5pm.
- The garden farmacy with Lisa Hodge: Saturday, 1st April, 2-4.30pm.
- Open Farm Day: Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-4pm.
- Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival: Sunday, 2nd April, 11am-5pm.
- On The Bend / On The Mend – Coffee and Beer Festival: Sunday, 2nd April, midday-5pm.
- How to make sense of food labels: Monday, 3rd April, 9.30-11am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, 9-9.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, 10-10.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, 11-11.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, midday-12.45pm.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, 1.30-2.15pm.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Tuesday, 4th April, 2.30-3.15pm.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, 9-9.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, 10-10.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, 11-11.45am.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, midday-12.45pm.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, 1.30-2.15pm.
- Easter cupcake decorating (Brunswick): Wednesday, 5th April, 2-3pm.
- Become a junior chocolatier: Wednesday, 5th April, 2.30-3.15pm.
- Sustainable living and gardening: Wednesday, 5th April, 7-9pm.
- The environmental chef with Ryan DeCoite: Thursday, 6th April, 10am-3pm.
- Easter cupcake decorating (Coburg): Thursday, 6th April, 2-3pm.
- Olive magic: Saturday, 8th April, 9.30am-12.30pm.
- Permablitz 196 (Brunswick): Sunday, 9th April, 10am-4.30pm.
- Gardening with kids: Tuesday, 11th April, 10am-midday.
- Fermenting and infusing at home: Tuesday, 11th April, 11am-midday.
- Set up and maintain a worm farm: Thursday, 13th April, 2-3pm.
- Seed raising with Felicity Gordon: Tuesday, 18th April, 11.30am-12.30pm.
- Introduction to home wine-making: Tuesday, 18th April, 6.30-8.30pm.
- The joy of backyard chooks: Thursday, 20th April, 6.30-9pm.
- Artisan pasta – fettuccini: Friday, 21st April, 10am-12.15pm.
- Apple tasting at Petty’s Orchard: Saturday, 22nd April, 2-4pm.
- Olive magic – preserving olives: Saturday, 22nd April, 9.30-11.30am.