May 162018

News about local food producers

PoppySmack, from Warrandyte, sell Asian sauces. You can now buy their products from Farmer Joe’s Market, Eltham and FoodWorks Research as well as the 20 or so other local places listed on our website.

You might have noticed that Poppysmack get mentioned quite a lot in this newsletter. The reason is that Hanh Truong, its owner, emails me whenever she has news. If you are a local food producer (or community garden participant, or whatever), you can also get your organisation mentioned if you email me with your news.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

For the second week running, the most popular link was the picture of the naked female gardeners. Furthermore, the majority of the people who clicked the link were men even though only 20% of the total newsletter readership is male!

It is not often that the same link is the most popular for two weeks in a row. Indeed, it has only happened once(!) before: two years ago when the Eltham Farmers’ Market dog gallery was being created.

Permablitz’s ‘hero of the month’ – garlic

It is the season for colds and flu so what better way to make it through than chewing down on what you grew: garlic!” Read the full article.

Read all Permablitz’s heroes.

Joke of the week

Customer: “Do you have spaghetti on the menu today?”
Waiter: “No, I cleaned it off.”

Read all the jokes.

Corrections and clarifications

Last week’s description of the Mexican spice for beginners workshop was wrong. Here is what it should have said:

Mexican spice for beginners

What: Ana and Gaby are Mexican Aussies with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in cooking Mexican dishes. This workshop will cover Mexican pickles (with or without chilies), 2 salsas and guacamole. Enjoy and learn more as part of a discussion on Mexican food culture, chilies and eating customs.
When: Saturday, 26th May, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Living & Learning, Panton Hill.
Cost: $63.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

New events

Beekeeping workshop

What: If you are new to keeping bees, this information session will help answer some of the most important questions before you start.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 10-11am.
Where: Kerrimuir Neighbourhood House, Box Hill North.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: by phone (9899 7660).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fish farm walkabout at Finns

What: Take a tour of one of Manningham’s little known Aboriginal aquaculture areas on the Yarra, with local historian Jim Poulter and a local Wurundjeri man, Dale. Because Aboriginal technology was often invisible to European eyes, extensive aquaculture areas, like the ones at Finns Reserve and the Warrandyte Township, tended not to be recognised. Jim and Dale will lead a brief excursion along the riverfront at Finns, so that people will be able to see the area with new eyes and a new understanding. Hear about, and see for yourselves, this historic 200 metre long fish trap, eel trap, yabbie nursery and freshwater mussel farm area. Join Reconciliation Manningham for this event in National Reconciliation Week.
When: Saturday, 2nd June, 10-11.30am.
Where: Finns Reserve, Templestowe.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beeswax wraps workshop

What: If you want to stop using plastic cling wrap, then homemade beeswax wraps are a great alternative. Use them to cover food and keep it fresh, plus they’re reusable and can easily be refreshed if the wax starts to wear.
When: Tuesday, 5th June, 1-2pm.
Where: Box Hill South Neighbourhood House.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: by phone (9898 8270) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Herb basket workshop

What: Recycle an old basket into a herb garden. All materials supplied.
When: Thursday, 7th June, 1-3pm.
Where: Box Hill South Neighbourhood House.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: by phone (9898 8270) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Open Cellars of the Artisan Hills

What: Visit any or all of the family-owned wineries in Nillumbik, each with an individual style, where the grapes are hand-picked and hand-crushed by family and friends in the traditional style, with wines developed on site. This is a chance to sample exquisite wines from the artisan wine-makers of the western Yarra Valley, at wineries not always open to the public. You will also find excellent food to complement the wine, as well as live music and artworks from local artists at some venues. There is no entry fee, or tasting fee, at any of the venues. The participating wineries include: Buttermans Track, Easthill Estate, Giammarino Wines, Hildebrand Ridge Organic Vineyard, Kings of Kangaroo Ground, Nillumbik Estate, Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery, Punch, Shaws Road Winery, Wedgetail Estate and Yarrambat Estate Vineyard.
When: Saturday, 16th June and Sunday, 17th June, both 11am-5pm.
Where: various around Nillumbik.
Cost: purchase wine and food as you want.
Bookings: just turn up.
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: Sunday, 17th June, 11am-1pm.
Where: Merri Creek Trail.
Cost: $25 ($20 concession).
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Gut health with Lindy Cook

What: Most of us have heard about gut health and maybe know the basics … but what’s all the fuss about? Gut health is not just about digestion; how happy our belly is affects everything, from our mood, brain function, sleep and weight to our allergies and immune system. Making sure we have a thriving gut is important for health. Run by Linda Cook, this session offers practical dietary and lifestyle tips to nourish and support your gut microbiome, thus supporting good health, well being and productivity.
When: Thursday, 21st June, 6.30-7.30pm.
Where: Doncaster Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mouth watering sweet and savoury preserves

What: What you will learn: how to bottle fruits and vegetables for future use; how to make jams and pickles; and how to select and re-use suitable jars, and how to sterilise them. What you will get: recipes all of the preserves made; small jars of all the preserves prepared on the day; and tastings. Presented by Maria Ciavarella. Learn how to preserve fruit and veggies safely, using a variety of techniques. No preserving background is assumed as you go through techniques on how to prevent food spoilage using bottling, jam making, pickling and dehydrating. As well, there will be a hands-on component which will include making jam with frozen berries, a Middle-Eastern inspired vegetable pickle, and bottled seasonal fruit.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Green at Kathleen: thrifty gardening

What: This workshop will demonstrate how you can get away with not spending a fortune on your garden by utilising things you may already have and by learning some clever techniques to save money.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 12.30-1.30pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Blogger Cat Woods explores resources around plant-based living

What: Cat Woods will discuss blogs, websites and library resources dealing with plant-based diets and health.
When: Saturday, 23rd June, 2-3pm.
Where: Fitzroy Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Fruit tree pruning

What: Facilitated by Justin Calverley. Learn the why, when and how of deciduous fruit tree pruning. As well as the theory around pruning, some of this workshop will be spent in the Edendale orchard where there will be hands-on pruning practice. So bring along your secateurs and wear some suitable outdoor boots, clothes and gloves.
When: Sunday, 24th June, 9am-1pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Amazake making and cooking

What: Amazake (aka ama koji) is a traditional Japaense fermented energy drink. Rich in digestive enzymes and nutrition, amazake is also a seasoning for cooking. Learn about amazake and enjoy the flavour, beauty and health benefits.
When: 2 times on Friday, 29th June, 10am-12.30pm and again at 2-4.30pm.
Where: Preston.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by email ( In your message, please include your name, contact number, email, requested date and time.
Further information: their website.

Winter kid’s gardening – insect hotels

What: What you will learn: how to make an ‘insect hotel’; how ‘good bugs’ can help you to look after your veggie patch and garden; and how to encourage good bugs in your garden. What you will get: your own insect hotel garden feature. Many insects actually act as ‘garden assistants’, helping to pollinate crops and control pest populations. By nurturing and encouraging these ‘good bugs’, you can make your job as a gardener that much easier and also reduce your use of pesticides and other chemical sprays. In this hands-on class, you will meet some commonly found garden bugs and learn how to make your garden more welcoming to the helpful ones. You and your child will work together to create an ‘insect hotel’ – a piece of wooden garden art that doubles as a hibernation and nesting place for beneficial insects.
When: Tuesday, 3rd July, 10-11.30am.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Bare-rooted trees

What: Hurstbridge Garden Club. Titch – Flemings on bare-rooted trees
When: Tuesday, 3rd July, 7.15-9.15pm.
Where: Hurstbridge Community Hub.
Cost: $4.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The environmental chef

What: What you will learn: about the food industry; making environmentally sustainable food choices; and how to prepare your own low-impact lunch. What you will get: lunch; and sustainable recipes. In a world full of amazing indulgent recipes and glossy cooking television programs, Ryan DeCoite, ‘the environmental chef’, will encourage participants to understand where their food comes from as well as creating awareness of what effects food industries have on the ecological environment that sustains us. Learn about the food industry with practical and interactive examples, create your own environmentally friendly lunch and take home ecologically sustainable recipes and information.
When: Wednesday, 4th July, 10am-3pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
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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