May 232017

Mac’s tip of the week

It’s probably time to harvest your olives. Here’s how to tell: when your olives start to change colour from green to black, it’s time to harvest. Yes, you can wait until they go completely black but they are ripe when they start to go black. Here’s another way to tell: 20 corellas or parrots visit your tree, scoff all the olives and make a complete mess of your garden. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

Editor’s note: there are several different ways of curing olives. For example, see wikiHow or My Green Garden.

Read all of Mac’s tips.

A new maker of meat products in the Local Food Directory: La Villa Salumi

La Villa Salumi, from Montrose, make pork sausages, bacon and smoked smallgoods which they sell at markets. Their sausages contain no preservatives, gluten, rice, rusk or filler; their bacon is slow-cured with maple syrup and brown sugar, then double-smoked in-house; their franks are made using the same quality pork as the sausages; and their kielbasa (polish garlic sausage) is made with pork, beef, fresh garlic, herbs and spices. They will be at Wonga Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday, 27th May. Read their Local Food Directory entry. Welcome Anna and Ben!

There are now 4 makers of meat products in the Local Food Directory.

Two newish markets on the upcoming weekend.

The second Wonga Park Farmers’ Market: Wonga Park Primary School, Saturday, 27th May, 9am-1pm.

The second Really Really Free Market Preston: Railway Reserve Bike Path, Sunday, 28th May, 10am-3pm.

Reservoir Community Pantry

I recently visited the Reservoir Community Pantry and was told all about it by Vicki and Angie. As a result, I have added the pantry to the Local Food Directory.

The phrase ‘community pantry’ means different things to different people. Some (e.g. Murwillumbah and Wollondilly) are not-for-profit shops. Others are seemingly part of major food relief programs.

Reservoir Community Pantry is neither of these things. Rather, it is simply an open cupboard fixed to the outside wall of Reservoir Neighbourhood House to which people can either donate, or freely take, any non-perishable food. In practice, most of the food is bought from a local supermarket using monies from a local grant. It appears that most of the food is taken within a few hours of being placed there. In response, although the Neighbourhood House staff buy most of the produce on a Monday morning, they spread out the timing of its placement in the pantry. Anyone can take anything that they want whenever they want and they don’t need to interact with the Neighbourhood House staff to do so.

On Mondays and Thursdays, the Neighbourhood House also gives away free bread (some of which comes from Watsonia). In addition, on Mondays, there is free soup. And, finally, there is a free monthly lunch on the 4th Wednesday of every month, midday-1pm.

Thanks for all the info, Vicki and Angie!

Arguably, ‘community pantries’ are to non-perishable food what ‘food is free’ sites are to perishable food. The community pantry is therefore complementary with Food is Free Reservoir, which happens to be in the same street (Cuthbert Street).

Local producer news

Blue Pear Pantry meals are now available from the Lettuce Inn, Hurstbridge. Deb also had a stall at the recent Yarra Glen Racecourse Market.

Spice Fusion are back at Park Orchards Farmers’ Market

Sugarloaf Produce are now selling their mushrooms at St Andrews Market.

If you are a local producer and have some news that you would like others to know, email me.

An ode to local mushrooms

From Pam Jenkins:

There’s an amanita phalloides in my veggie patch,
A coprinus comatus in my drive,
One is out to kill me,
The other helps me thrive.

Amanita phalloides
the death cap
Coprinus comatus
the shaggy ink cap


Warrandyte Food Swap in the news

Warrandyte Food Swap featured in the May edition of the Warrandyte Diary. Well done Carol, Tess, Liz and Elise!

Weeding without chemicals or digging

One of our most notable local websites is Deep Green Permaculture by Angelo Eliades from Preston. Angelo blogs regularly, writing substantial articles about all aspects of gardening. The easiest way of finding particular blogs is via his what's new page, so that's the page that you should bookmark. He has also provided DIY instructions for many (around 30) garden activities. Earlier this month, he posted an article about using boiling water to kill weeds. Thanks to Penny Grose for bring this article to my attention.

Joke of the week

Submitted by Gillian Essex: What did one potato say to the other potato on their honeymoon? Let’s have a chat. (Editor’s note: chat potatoes are baby potatoes.)
Read all of this year’s jokes.

New events

Transition Darebin convivial garden – olive harvest

What: Join them for the annual harvest and pick some for yourself whilst talking and sharing all things olives. They will discuss pruning for greater fruit harvest, different varieties and great ways to pickle and eat olives. Take a bucket or basket for your olives (about 3-4 kg capacity) and gardening gloves (if you need them). The cost includes a couple of preserving recipes and a few tasters on the day. Maximum 10 places.
When: Saturday, 27th May, 2-4pm.
Where: Reservoir.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar.

Chutney workshop

What: Lead by their cook, Catherine.
When: Tuesday, 13th June at 12.30pm.
Where: SPAN Community House, Thornbury.
Cost: small.
Bookings: by phone (9480 1364) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar.

Seed: The Untold Story (film)

What: Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. They have been worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seedkeepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. During the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers and indigenous seed keepers fight to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel. Note that this film showing will only go ahead if 60 or more tickets are sold.
When: Wednesday, 14th June, 6.30-9.45pm.
Where: Palace Westgarth, Northcote.
Cost: $22.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar.

Herbal workshop – using food as medicine

What: Using food as medicine is an excellent and empowering way to keep you and your family well through the year. Join Libby Shaw, Naturopath, Herbalist & Nutritionist, in exploring these traditional methods to nourish your body and deepen your relationship with the wonderful qualities of herbs. Learn how easy it is to incorporate them into your every day life. She will show you how to make: a herbal infused vinegar for gut and immune health; herbal infused bliss balls; and herbal syrup to support you through colds and flu.
When: Saturday, 17th June, 3.30-5pm.
Where: Nature’s Harvest, Hurstbridge.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: by phone (0407 338647).
Further information: LFC calendar.

Gluten-free cooking demonstration

What: Guest chef Mimi Biggadike will demonstrate how to make three meals from scratch using gluten-free ingredients: lemon meringue pie with sweet pastry; raw vegan cake with pecan crumb base; and choux buns with fillings.
When: Monday, 19th June at 11am and again on Thursday, 22nd June at 7pm.
Where: Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Cost: $70.
Bookings: by phone (9846 5375).
Further information: LFC calendar.

The Rogue Ginger – zero waste living

What: Listen to Erin Rhoads – aka the Rogue Ginger – as she shares her journey to living a zero waste life.
When: Sunday, 2nd July, 1-2pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: free.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar.

Biochar gardening with Ian Culbard and Adrian Whitehead

What: Join Ian Culbard (the CERES Energy Education Coordinator) and Adrian Whitehead (an educator at CERES) to discover more about this mysterious and highly beneficial soil additive. What it is, a brief history of its use, why it works, and how to use it to benefit soil fertility at home. Also, take some home to try it out for yourself. Biochar is the carbon-rich ‘hull’ of a plant that remains when it is burnt by pyrolysis (without oxygen). This has long been used as a soil enhancer to retain water, improve soil biodiversity and enhance available nutrients that can boost plant growth and potentially utilises agricultural wastes.
When: Saturday, 22nd July, 2-4pm.
Where: CERES.
Cost: $30.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme.

Introduction to permaculture (two day)

What: A two-day workshop, with the first day being on 17th March and the second day being on 24th March. Developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture (permanent agriculture) is a whole system approach to ecological planning and design for sustainable living. This workshop, spread over two weekends, will be beneficial to both those new to the concept of permaculture and for those thinking of undertaking a permaculture design course. You will be introduced to permaculture and gain a basic understanding of the principles and design methods associated with permaculture.
When: Saturday, 22nd July and Saturday, 29th July, both 10am-4pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $115 for the two days.
Bookings: Trybooking.
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 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).

 Leave a Reply