Mar 222017

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.

Zucchini pickles

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

Some newsletter readers were spotted in Duang and Rob’s garden in Research. What should they be called? A gaggle (cf. geese)? A rhumba (cf. rattlesnakes)? An implausibility (cf. wildebeest aka gnus)?

Sustainable Table

Sustainable Table is a Melbourne-based organisation that aims to provide Australians with the tools and information to make ethical eating easy. Their website has recently had a facelift.

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.

New events

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.
Cost: $64.
Enquiries: Nathan Liascos by phone (9495 1026 or 0433 955106) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
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.
Where: Edendale.
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
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events. Click here for help in how to view the calendar selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

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