Mar 052019

Cold composting – an article by Marina Bistrin

Cold composting, unlike hot composting, doesn’t require you to keep turning the compost pile. If you’re lazy but patient (like me), it’s perhaps your best composting option. Marina Bistrin is an avid cold composter and gave several talks on the subject during the recent Sustainable Living Festival. She has now written an article for our website. Read the article.

Doncaster Garden Club

Doncaster Garden Club meets in the evening on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, start at 8pm, but with a food swap 7.30-7.55pm. Doncaster Senior Citizen Centre, 895-901 Doncaster Road, Doncaster East. Everyone is welcome. At their next meeting, on 13th March, Mike Dodson from Betta Grower Organic Fertilisers will talk about potting mixes. At their 10th April meeting, Seila Hierk will talk about how to grow Winter Asian vegetables.

There are now 3 garden clubs in our website calendar: Doncaster (2nd Wednesday), Hurstbridge (1st Tuesday) and Nillumbik (1st Monday). It would be good to include more clubs. If you are involved with any garden club, or you know of one that holds regular meetings, email me.

Home Compost Doctors feature in PIP magazine

See the article on the right. Apart from anything else, you will learn what a Yuba Electric Boda Boda Step Through is!

If you live in postcode 3081, you can receive free advice from Home Compost Doctors on how to set up and improve your composting system. Contact newsletter reader Mikoto Araki by phone (0421 654934) or email.

Want to use a Fowlers vacola preserving kit or dehydrator?

Now is the time of year to preserve your fruit and tomatoes. If you are a member of LFC, you can borrow a Fowlers vacola preserving kit or borrow a Fowlers ultimate dehydrator. The equipment is to be picked up and returned to a home in Montmorency for free. Join LFC.

Our next giveaway competition – a bottle of Kings of Kangaroo Ground pinot noir

Ken King would like to give away a bottle of one of Kings of Kangaroo Ground’s best wines, namely their 2017 pinot noir (“an elegant nose of dark cherry fruits with musk and spice overtones“, value $25), to a randomly chosen newsletter reader. To enter the random draw, simply ‘like’ their Facebook page and then email me to say that you have done so. Clearly, Ken would also like it if you also ‘shared’ their page at the same time.

It is easy to buy Kings of Kangaroo Ground’s wines. They are a regular at Alphington Farmers’ Market and Eltham Farmers’ Market. They have an extensive cellar door at 15 Graham Road, Kangaroo Ground – Monday to Friday (sales), 10am-3pm; Saturday (tastings), 10am-5pm; and the first Sunday of the month, midday-5pm. And they have an online shop.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Judy’s visit to Pam Jenkins’ garden.

Joke of the week

Pizza shop slogan: “7 days without pizza makes one weak.”

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Advanced composting: Wednesday, 20th March, 10am-midday; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Facilitated by the Maroondah Council Waste Education Team. Learn about the science of composting, learn some great tips for recycling all your household food and organic waste into compost for your garden, and see a compost system in action. Take along all your composting questions. All participants will receive a free home kitchen caddy to help with collecting kitchen food waste.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9703 5288).

Learn how to make good coffee (2 day): Thursday, 28th March and Friday, 29th March, both 9.30am-3pm; Heidelberg West.

What: This introduction to coffee making will give you hands-on experience making a range of coffees, increase your knowledge about coffee, and teach you latte art skills.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9450 2665).

Heritage apple tasting: Sunday, 31st March, 5-7pm; Petty’s Orchard, Templestowe.

What: Sample the seasonal flavours of the heritage apple collection at an apple tasting afternoon at 5pm. Around 15 varieties will be available for tasting. An orchard tour is included.
Cost: $15.
Bookings: their website.

Healthy eating and nutrition: Wednesday, 3rd April; Eltham Living & Learning.

What: Aimed at supporting people over 55 to live and age well. Presented by Bolton Clark. Learn about nutrition and how to get the most out of every day, plus receive a free booklet of Maggie Beer Foundation recipes.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

What if changing what you eat could improve brain function?: Tuesday, 16th April, 7-8.30pm; Hawthorn Library.

What: Have you ever wondered whether eating chocolate really does improve your mood, if tea and coffee really do boost your energy levels, or if there is such a thing as an ‘afternoon slump’? Join Professor Andrew Scholey, Director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, as he shares his research on how food and beverages can influence cognitive mood and function.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Beginners compost, worm farm and bokashi: Wednesday, 24th April, 10-11.30am; Central Ringwood Community Centre.

What: Facilitated by the Maroondah Council Waste Education Team. By starting one of these organic recycling systems at home, you could reduce the amount of waste in your household garbage bin by 50%. This workshop will provide you with all the information you need to set up and maintain each of these systems at home. All participants will receive a free home kitchen caddy to help with collecting kitchen food waste.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9703 5288).

Creating retrosuburbia in your garden: Tuesday, 30th April, 6-8pm; Ivanhoe Library.

What: Participants will be invited to consider their current garden space and household setup, and start planning for increases in sustainability, productivity and resilience. You will use the ideas in David Holmgren’s book RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future to examine the potential for household-scale food production and the introduction of permaculture food growing strategies. By the end of the workshop, you will have a starting point for designing your garden – and lifestyle – to become bountiful and sustainable.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.

Introduction to horticulture – 9 session course: every Saturday for 9 weeks, starting 4th May, 9.30am-3pm; Edendale.

What: This 9-week hands-on course is ideal for people considering a career in horticulture. 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. You will spend a lot of time outdoors (getting your hands dirty!), along with some time in the classroom learning basic theory and exploring study pathways. The course will be run by Justin Calverley, a horticultural expert with twenty years’ experience. Inter alia, Justin is a lead trainer in adult education at CERES.
Cost: $99 for all 9 sessions.
Bookings: by phone (9433 3744).

Make your own beeswax wraps with Emma Grace: Sunday, 5th May, 10am-2pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps; learn skills that are transferable to the home environment; and bundling techniques. What you will get: take home your beeswax wraps. Presenter: Emma Grace. You will learn how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps for keeping food fresh and hygienic without the use of single-use plastics such as cling-wrap. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will make their own washable and re-usable ready-to-use beeswax wraps.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

New events – cooking

Making pasta with fresh tomato sauce: Saturday, 9th March, 2.30-4.30pm; Heidelberg West.

What: What you will learn: how to make fresh pasta from scratch using a pasta machine and/or with a rolling pin; how to make a simple and tasty tomato sauce in 3 steps; and a bit of history about Italian cuisine. What you will get: simple and easy recipes; tasting of pasta and fresh tomato sauce; tips and advice on variations; and a basic knowledge of Italian cuisine. Facilitator: Veronica Vitiello. You will kneading the dough with your hands and learn how to use a traditional pasta machine. You will experiment with different kind of shapes, including tagliatelle, ravioli, fettuccine and maltagliati.
Cost: $15 ($10 concession).
Bookings: Humanitix.

Cacao, cocoa and chocolate: Thursday, 14th March, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: the process of bean to bar chocolate making. Where does chocolate come from? How is it made?; what makes fine couverture so special; and various flavour characteristics in single origin chocolates sourced from around the world. What you will get: 20 varieties of chocolate to taste and a box of your favourite chocolates to take home. You will taste chocolate made with cacao beans grown in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Madagascar, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and even Australia. You will look at the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate.
Cost: $38.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Ganache and truffles – let’s play!: Thursday, 21st March, 6.30-7.30pm; Eastland, Ringwood.

What: What you will learn: how to temper chocolate to create a shine and crispy snap; how to create ganache; and let your creativity shine through as you decorate your truffles. What you will get: a box of truffles that you have handcrafted; and a starter pack – apron, dipping tool, chocolate, recipes. Once you know how to temper and how to work with chocolate, your imagination will be your only limitation. They will make a ganache for the filling, revealing the small tricks that ensure a smooth outcome.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Home Harvest – pickle making workshop: Friday, 22nd March, 9am-4pm; Hurstbridge Community Hub.

What: Join local home cook Michelle from the Home Grown Kitchen to make pickles and sauces for the Home Harvest Picnic. Learn how to make two varieties of pickles using seasonal vegetables and go away with recipes and a jar of each pickle/sauce. The workshop is open to five people only.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Cooking master class – ‘satay night’: Thursday, 11th April, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

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: Moroccan spiced pumpkin tart; satay chicken medallions; and berry ‘bruschetta’.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Cooking for all abilities (10 sessions): Tuesdays from 23rd April to 25th June (10 weeks), 10am-12.30pm; Thornbury.

What: Facilitator: Catherine Donnelley. Learn cooking skills in this hands on and demonstration class. Using fresh seasonal ingredients and garden produce, learn planning, preparation and presentation skills. This class is supported by program staff as well as an experienced cook.
Cost: $408 ($371 concession; $67 ACFE).
Bookings: by phone (9480 1364).

Cooking for healthy minds (8 sessions): Tuesdays from 30th April to 18th June (8 weeks), 1.30-3.30pm; Thornbury.

What: Facilitator: Catherine Donnelley. Experience and enjoy demonstration and hands-on cooking, sharing recipes and using seasonal produce. This class is for participants living with or recovering from a mental health illness, have a mild disability or a long term condition. Family carers looking for a social connection are also encouraged to attend. HACC-PYP and CHSP supported.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9480 1364).

Cookie cake and fondant cookies with Emelia Jackson: Wednesday, 1st May, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: You will learn: how to make a love heart cookie cake; how to make the perfect sugar cookie that won’t shrink; about fondant – how to colour it, roll and cut it out to perfectly fit your cookie; how to make your own stencils and cut out a large cookie cake; and how to decorate and fill a large cookie cake.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Mexican – delicious everyday meals: Saturday, 4th May, 10.30am-1pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Ana and Gaby are Mexican Aussies with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in cooking Mexican dishes. Immerse yourself in Mexican cooking techniques and culture. This workshop will cover: red rice; fijoles (traditional Mexican beans); and tortilla soup.
Cost: $66.
Bookings: their website.

Early Mothers Day high tea (thermomix): Sunday, 5th May, 4-5.30pm; Kilsyth.

What: They will share their favourite vegan and vegetarian meals in the Thermomix and give some tips on how to adjust some popular Thermomix meals to be meatless.
Cost: $21.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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