Nov 132014

Local food-related events

Festive season planning

What can you do now to make the festive season less of a rush? This question was part of a Transition Banyule evening we attended in a developing a sustainability hub at the Diamond Valley Learning Centre. Pam, from Diamond Creek, has already made a traditional fruit cake and plum pudding. Lily, from Rosanna, has baked many small fruit cakes for presents using old tuna tins. Local ingredients could be dried fruit from the Mildura-Robinvale region, flour from Victorian grain farmers such as Powlett Hill, very local eggs (your own or see the Local Food Directory) and local butter or oils.

It is not too late to plant seedlings such as lettuce and maybe beans to add to the festive meal. If you are not growing your own berries, pick up some now from the markets or local produce stores such as in Hurstbridge and freeze them ready for those yummy fruity desserts. What other local food ideas or recipes do you have for this time of the year?

Using leftovers and not having food wastage

Thank you for the tips that have been sent in so far. We will post them gradually and then store them altogether somewhere on the website.

Sammy from Diamond Creek writes: “Egg whites, can be frozen. As can egg yolks. In my experience, you then can’t use them in the ‘fussier’ baking recipes, but they are perfectly suitable (once thawed) for the more forgiving baking.

“I am told whey can also be frozen, however I have never tried it. I give left over whey to my chooks – they think it’s heaven!

“Lemons! My lemon tree is currently a non-producer. We rescued a friends potted lemon tree that was on the point of death due to neglect, no water, little soil and gall wasp like you wouldn’t believe. So, over the last 18 months, we have been giving it a lot of TLC and pinching out any blossom to help it save its energy for growing. Hence, if I see someone with extra lemons, I take them with open arms. But when you take piles of lemons, you have to do something with them.

“Freeze the juice in ice cube trays – one cube is roughly half a lemon so it works out fine for measurements. Then I grate the rinds and freeze them also. Both turn out quite fresh and we have very useful lemon all year round.

You can also use scooped out lemon halves as slater traps in the veggie garden.”


LFC member Bob will be talking at the Diamond Valley Library on Tuesday November 18, 11:30am-12:30pm about keeping bees.

Frankie, another LFC supporter, is looking for properties in Eltham on which to put a number of beehives. Ideally on a few acres, away from livestock, not visible from road (theft), and with good vehicle access. Between 20-50 hives, therefore not really suitable for smaller properties. If interested, please see Frankie at the honey stand at the Eltham Farmers Market, or contact via

Advanced sourdough workshop

Extend your knowledge of sourdough bread. Learn how to bake different types of loaves, use a variety of flours, and add other ingredients. Sunday Dec 7, 2-4pm. Bookings: Fiona 0412 099397 fiona@riverofplenty.

Working bee

There will be a working bee at Macleod Community Garden Saturday Nov 15 at 1pm. Take gloves and buckets for a cleanup. For more information, contact Robin on 0439 350533.

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