Mar 082016

The comparative costs of fruit & veggies

How do you think that the costs of the food at Eltham Farmers’ Market compare with a) the local small shops and b) supermarkets? We have now analysed our third quarterly survey (i.e. late Summer). For the detailed results, click here.

For an overall summary of the three surveys combined, click here. Whilst the results differ somewhat between the three surveys, one thing remains clear: for both veggies and for fruit, the supermarket is NOT generally cheaper than either the farmers’ market or the greengrocer.

It is also interesting that, for most veggies, their cost at the market does not vary by season.

A bonus byproduct of the surveys is documentation of the seasonal availability of fruit and veggies at the market. Click here.

foodshareCongratulations to the Diamond Valley Foodshare

The Diamond Valley Foodshare is one of the most impressive food-related organisations in North East Melbourne that I have had the honour to visit. Based in Greensborough, it packs and distributes thousands of food parcels for people in need of them. I was really pleased to read in The Leader (see graphic right) that they have just received a big grant from the Banyule RSL Trust Fund to buy a refrigerated van. Congratulations also to the Banyule RSL Trust Fund itself, who distributed a total of $300,000 in grants this year.

Eat your pumpkin leaves!

Karen Olsen writes in: “When I look at my veggie patch at the moment all I can see is zucchini and pumpkin plants. I often make stuffed zucchini or pumpkin flowers (ricotta and basil: stuff, dress with olive oil, salt & pepper, then bake in the oven until a touch golden). But sometimes there are not so many flowers. So I tried the same thing with young pumpkin leaves (the whole of the plant is supposed to be edible): they were great! And, of course, it made room for some other veggie patch occupants.

The Great Tomato Tasteoff – results

The winner of the People’s Award for tastiest tomato was Wapsipinicon Peach. (It also won this editor’s award for worst named tomato!)

New events

Good food stories

What: At this meetup, there will be speakers from Free Feed Street Kitchen, Farmer Incubator, Crepes for Change, Tamil Feasts and more. It is a general catch up for all past and present community leaders in sustainability from Banyule and Darebin, plus anyone else who is interested or involved in local experiences of growing, preparing, cooking and sharing food.
When: Thursday, 17th March, 6-8pm.
Where: Northcote.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Charlie Davie by phone ( 8470 8405) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Shaws Road Winery open day

What: Lunch on the verandahs overlooking the Kinglake Ranges, sampling the wines, beer and cider all made on site, while you enjoy a delicious 3 course lunch for $35 or choose from Mezze platter for 2 people, Spicy Lamb and salad and a homemade dessert. The Omaru Alpaca Farm is open the same day – just around the corner, so go and pat an alpaca before you come to the winery!
When: Sunday, 20th March, 11am-5pm.
Where: Arthurs Creek.
Cost: $35 for lunch.
Enquiries: Shaws Road Winery by phone (9439 4144) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Herbs for health

What: Sarah Cowell is a tea sommelier and herbal educator. This session will cover different ways to easily incorporate herbs into your daily lives to enhance your well-being. It will focus on common and accessible herbs – particularly those able to be grown in our gardens – that can aid your physical and emotional health. Go and taste some herbal teas and discover fun and nourishing ways to feel better with herbs.
When: Thursday, 14th April, 7-8pm.
Where: Hawthorn.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Hawthorn Library by phone (9278 4666).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beekeeping taster

What: Beekeeping is an enjoyable and relaxing hobby that has recently undergone resurgence. Learn about the practical aspects of beekeeping in this introductory session. Understand the threats facing bees and how these may affect future food production and how you can assist by keeping a few backyard hives in return for a more productive garden. Bookings essential.
When: Sunday, 17th April, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Whittlesea.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Megan Smithwick by phone (0407 699775) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preserving olives

What: Olives straight from the tree need to be experienced once in your lifetime to show you how incredibly bitter they are! The process of curing – or pickling – olives is needed to draw the bitterness away from the olive flesh and make it edible. Spend a morning with Maria from My Green Garden learning how to cure and preserve olives in a variety of different styles while having fun! Olives will be supplied or you can bring your own olives from your garden. Bookings essential.
When: Sunday, 1st May, 9.30am-midday.
Where: Alphington.
Cost: $35.
Enquiries/Bookings: Alphington Community Centre by phone (9499 7227) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Home composting and worm farming

What: Learn the art of successful home composting and worm farming and how to overcome common problems. Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 5th May, 10-11.30am.
Where: Thomastown.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Sylvia Turk by phone (9401 0509) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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