May 172017

Mac’s tip of the week

Its time for you to start thinking about what bare-rooted fruit trees you want to purchase this year, from whom, and when. Mid June is the best time to buy bare-rooted trees but the risk is that your favoured source might have sold out by then, or at least sold their best specimens. So, perhaps you should try and place a forward order with them.

“When you purchase, you must not let the bare roots dry out. Some suppliers will have covered the roots with damp newspaper or sawdust (a process called ‘heeling in’), or even have them potted up in potting mix for you – this means a lot and is good. Otherwise heeling them in yourself can do the trick for a time but it is still best to get them into the ground asap. And don’t sit them in a tub of water until you get around to them – even though dormant, the roots still need access to air.

“Hard pruning in the first year leads to more vigorous growth and better framework. So, try and get the tree pruned at the time of purchase by someone who knows what they are doing. Note that, if the tree in question is an apricot, the pruning should be deferred until leaf sprout to avoid gummosis.

“When planting, look at the colours of the root system and trunk to try and discern the line where the tree was previously planted up to. If in doubt, don’t plant too deep.

“Finally, note that bare rooted almond trees are notorious for not coming out of dormancy. So, keep your receipt!

“Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

Read all of Mac’s tips.

Eastern Region Food Co-Operative (ERFCO)

Working in partnership with Transition Towns Maroondah, ERFCO is seeking new members to join up and benefit from a combined buying power. Five times a year, non-perishable food like dried fruit, nuts, grains, flour, sugar, beans, lentils, and also honey and peanut butter, are bought in bulk, mainly from NSM Food Wholesalers in Brunswick. Food co-op members order what they need – the quantity can be small or large. The collection point is in Croydon South or Heathmont. You bring your own containers or bags, plus scales, and weigh out the food you have ordered. For more information, email Lloyd.

The Community Grocer is now at Fitzroy every Tuesday

With the recent addition of Fitzroy, The Community Grocer now has four locations:

  • Fitzroy: every Tuesday, from 2-6pm at Atherton Gardens public housing estate, 125 Napier Street.
  • Fawkner: every Wednesday, from 9am-12.30pm at the Community Hub, 79-83 Jukes Road.
  • Mernda: every Thursday, from 9am-midday at Mernda Central P-12 College, 70 Breadalbane Avenue.
  • Carlton: every Friday, from 9am-midday at the public housing estate, 510 Lygon Street.

The Community Grocer aims to improve access for people living on a low-income to fresh, affordable food. They do this by running weekly fruit and vegetable markets. Everyone is welcome.

Winter pumpkin carbonara

Every three months at Eltham Farmers’ Market, healthAbility partners with a local chef to show how easy it is to plan and prepare quick and simple healthy meals, which can be made at home using fresh, seasonal produce. At the 14th May market, the chef was Mimi Biggadike and her dish was Winter pumpkin carbonara. Read the Winter pumpkin carbonara recipe.

Joke of the week

How do you handle dangerous cheese? Caerphilly.

Read all of this year’s jokes.

New events

Seasonal cooking: choko (chayote) with Pascale

What: Choko, chayote, winter zucchini … it’s a diverse, easy-to-grow veggie that can be used in anything from soup to apple crumble. Join Pascale as she creates a choko dish. Of course, you get to try it too.
When: Saturday, 20th May, 10-11.30am.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: donation on the day.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Thrifty gardening

What: Maria Ciavarella, from My Green Garden will talk about thrifty gardening and savings in the garden. Preston Garden Club meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Everyone is welcome. Supper is provided. And there is a monthly plant competition.
When: Wednesday, 24th May, 8-10pm.
Where: Preston Shire Hall.
Cost: membership is $15 per year.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Worm farming

What: Felicity Gordon will explore the benefits and necessities for setting up your own worm farm.
When: Monday, 5th June, 1-2pm.
Where: Rosanna Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Change makers (Banyule)

What: How does your connection to nature influence your passion for environmental change? This event will help to energise and connect Banyule residents passionate about protecting the environment. It will be led by HumaNature Connect, with lots of opportunity for thoughtful and action-based discussion on key themes of sustainability. Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 8th June, 6.15-9.30pm.
Where: Heidelberg.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

The world of tea

What: Sarah Cowell, former tea sommelier at Vue de Monde, will provide a tasting and explore tea culture, history, equipment and etiquette from China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Sri Lanka and India.
When: Monday, 13th June, 11am-midday.
Where: Rosanna Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Wild fermentation and sauerkraut workshop

What: Learn about sauerkraut, wild fermentation and how to make your own sauerkraut to ferment at home. Includes cabbage and all ingredients to make your own batch of sauerkraut. Learn the stages of fermentation, how fermentation works, what fermentation is anyway, and why fermented foods are important to humans. You will also receive a comprehensive handout about sauerkraut and fermentation. Please byo large (up to 900ml) wide-mouthed jar, apron, pen (if you’re a note taker) and gumboots (it gets muddy at the garden).
When: Saturday, 24th June, 2-4pm.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mooroolbark growers & weeders present: “home bakers’ Q & A”

What: A panel of four CWA members will answer your queries on all aspects of baking, from cakes, biscuits and slices, to breads and pastries. Bring along your favourite recipes to swap with like-minded bakers. Sample some delicious baked goodies over a cuppa. Bookings essential. Refreshments provided.
When: Tuesday, 27th June, 2-3pm.
Where: Mooroolbark Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

Read some (recently updated) help on how to view the calendar selectively. For example, search for events in a given suburb or set of suburbs. Or search for event of a given type, such as markets).

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