Nov 022016

More on growing mint

Robin Gale-Baker has written in: “I’d like to add a tip to Helen’s interesting article on mint. Having owned a herb nursery for 10 years, I encountered the rust problem frequently. The article mentions that rust can be cut off but I have found that it is more complicated than that. Rust forms on lower leaves and jumps upward as a result of watering with a hose or watering can or any form of overhead watering. Dead leaves on the soil surface remain rust infected. To produce healthy rust free leaves, first cut all stems back to ground level and then remove them and all dead leaves from the soil and cover with 2-3 cm of fresh soil or potting mix. Within a week, new shoots will be sprouting. This process needs to be carried out annually or whenever rust appears. Generally the end of autumn is a good time.

Dealing with your green bin’s weeds

Marina Bistrin has kindly given us her notes for her upcoming event, What’s in your green bin? Edible weeds and composting weeds and prunings. Click here to read the notes.

Mac McVeigh’s tip of the week

It’s time to get the bird netting out on your fruiting trees and berries, now that the fruit are developing. Also, take the time to smell the roses. Until next time, remember: dirty hand are good hands.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips on our website.

Blueberries, racism, ABC Radio National and the best cook in Nillumbik

As you may know, newsletter reader Duang Tengtrirat won ABC Radio National’s 2015 Pocketdocs audio competition. Listen to her story where she quietly picks blueberries for her business as, all around her, fellow Australians make racist assumptions about her.

Some local foodies in the news

thats-amore-cheeseThat’s Amore Cheese, from Thomastown, were in the 19th October edition of The Weekly Review.




italian-cookingThe Italian cooking workshop at Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill on 19th November is sold out and it is therefore being repeated on 26th November. Click here for the details. Coincidently, the facilitator of these workshops, Janice Mariani, was featured in the 19th October edition of The Weekly Review.

Upcoming Slow Food conference in Mildura

Deb Bogenhuber, from the Sunraysia Local Food Future team, has written in (using the valediction ‘slowly’) to tell us about the upcoming Slow Food conference in Mildura: “The conference, themed ‘Our food, our country: good, clean, fair in our past, present and future’, will be held over 4 days from 17th to 20th November in and around Mildura. It features tours of local smallscale producers, hands-on learning activities, two Slow dinners showcasing our region’s produce, and the inaugural Australian Terra Madre. The Terra Madre is open to the public on Saturday, 19th November. A market in the morning will see Slow Food convivia across the country presenting produce, producers and information about their region – including from Swan Valley in WA, the Hunter Valley, Shoalhaven and Sydney in NSW, and Noosa in Queensland.

“Participatory talking circles will be running during the market, including on the themes of Slow Meat (Lauren & Lachy Mathers, Koondrook), Slow Fish (Kirsten Abernathy, Sustainable Fisheries Victoria), Farmers’ Markets (Miranda Sharp, Melbourne Farmers’ Markets), First Nations river economy (Darren Perry, Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations) and Slow Food Youth. A speakers’ panel in the afternoon will address the conference theme, based on the foundation of this country where First Nations people carefully managed land and waters to maximise sustainable food production.

Everything you wanted to know about GM crops but were afraid to ask

One of the unexpected byproducts of the Donald Trump campaign for President is that I have started reading the New York Times and it is an interesting read, with substantive analysis on many issues. Click here to read a recent article about GM crops. One of the things that the article says is: the whole point of engineering bug-resistant plants was to reduce insecticide use, and it did; by contrast, the whole point of engineering herbicide-resistant plants was to increase herbicide use, and it did. Not surprisingly, Monsanto sells herbicides but not insecticides.

tractorThe picture on the right, which is also from the article, shows what my wife will be buying me for Christmas!

New events

Make ideas a reality in Box Hill

What: Three projects have now been selected by the community as part of The Neighbourhood Project, which is championing community projects in Box Hill. These projects are: a pop-up community garden; a food-sharing event; and A summer cinema and night time activation. The purpose of this event is for members of the local community to help work up the three ideas, as a first step in making them a reality.
When: Wednesday, 2nd November, 6-8pm.
Where: Platform 3 cafe, Box Hill Central.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Whitehorse Council by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Palestinian cooking workshop

What: Led by nutritionist Rasha Tayeh. Inspired by her grandmother’s kitchen, this workshop will take you on a sensory journey into Palestinian cuisine. It will focus on: an introduction to herbal medicine, from selected herbs and spices used in Palestine and the Levant; cooking a two course vegetarian lunch and discussing nutritional benefits of seasonal produce; and learning about herbal infusions for good sleep, digestion and immunity. The workshop is limited to 12 spaces.
When: Saturday, 12th November, 10am-midday.
Where: Ceres.
Cost: $65 (includes lunch).
Enquiries: Rasha Tayeh by phone (0403 843923) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

How to grow and how to cook Spring/Summer Asian vegetables

What: The Asian vegetables to be discussed include shiso, bitter gourd, okra, water spinach and edamame. These can be planted in Spring and are short term vegetables that can be harvested in 2 to 3 months. Find out about crop rotation, what manure is best and the bolting and mixed planting system. Learn authentic Japanese cooking using these Asian greens. Handouts, seedlings and food samples will be available. This workshop will be hands-on; you will cook, eat, laugh and clean up together!
When: Saturday, 12th November, 2-5pm.
Where: Olympic Adult Education, Heidelberg West.
Cost: $10.
Enquiries: Suzanne Crellin by phone (0419 866171) or email.
Bookings: Trybooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Organic food – everything you need to know

What: What is organic food? What are the differences between organic and biodynamic food? Learn about the certification of organic food. Find out more about organic fertilisers and insect sprays. Learn more about nutrition and organic versus non-organic foods.
When: Sunday, 13th November, 10-11.30am and again at Sunday, 20th November, 10-11.30am.
Where: SPAN Community House, Thornbury.
Cost: $10.
Enquiries / Bookings: SPAN Community House by phone (9480 1364) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Foodnotes & Coloursense

What: Part exhibition, part concert, part meditation, Foodnotes & Coloursense explores the intimate intersection of sight, sound and taste. With a program of intoxicating piano music, Luke Howard responds to David Sequeira’s intensely coloured, geometric paintings. The performance also features a suite of ‘tastes’ carefully selected in relation to the paintings and music. Foodnotes & Coloursense uses the science of perception to heighten awareness of the interplay between physical and psychological experiences. A discussion moderated by 3RRR’s Cameron Smith with Dr Renee Beale (curator), Dr David Sequeira (visual artist), Luke Howard (musician) and Dr Simon Cropper (neuroscientist) will follow the performance.
When: Thursday, 17th November, 8-10pm.
Where: Carlton.
Cost: $42.
Enquiries: Melbourne Music Week by phone (9658 9658).
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Beginner’s sourdough – wild yeast workshop

What: Tap into your bread-making skills by learning to make bread from an active living culture. Following a traditional recipe, you will learn to turn flour, water and salt into beautiful bread using a sourdough culture. You will discuss the fermentation process and benefits, look at the required ingredients used in sourdough bread making and use them to follow a basic recipe to create a naturally-fermented bread loaf. Learn to prepare sourdough bread, simple kneading techniques and methods for shaping bread. You will also learn how to maintain and care for your sourdough starter culture.
When: Saturday, 26th November, 10am-12.30pm.
Where: Maribyrnong.
Cost: $45 (includes your own sourdough starter culture, sourdough bread dough, recipe, bread tastings).
Enquiries/Bookings: Gemma Macri by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Italian cooking workshop

What: Led by Janice Mariani. Discover the authentic taste of Mediterranean cuisine, using the freshest ingredients. A tasty three-course menu (antipasto with a difference; salmon lasagne; roasted chicken alla siciliano (deboned and filled) with contour of vegetables; and festive panettone with ice cream and meringue) will be prepared and enjoyed for lunch afterwards.
When: Saturday, 26th November, 10am-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $72.
Enquiries: Living & Learning Nillumbik by phone (9433 3744) or email.
Bookings: Living & Learning website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Sourdough workshop

What: Yvonne Ashby hopes that her passion for sourdough will inspire others to enjoy a good quality homemade bread and a great way to re-live a past time. This will be a hands-on workshop on how to make traditional sourdough bread with the 3 basic ingredients of flour, water and salt. The class will be limited to 6-8 people with a hands-on approach to all aspects of making sourdough, including the tasting for lunch from different variations of sourdough bread that use the basic sourdough recipe being learnt in the workshop (e.g. spelt, fruit & nut, seeded, wholemeal). The cost is inclusive of Yvonne’s continued support whilst the participant is making their own bread at home. The workshop is suitable for beginners who want to expand their bread making repertoire. You will: learn about the required ingredients and tools of the trade; discover the fermentation techniques to optimise the open crumb texture; and learn about the Baker’s Percentage and hydration. During the workshop, you will: mix, knead and fold the dough; learn shaping techniques; learn to score and bake; and learn how to maintain a starter.
When: Saturday, 10th December, 10am-1pm.
Where: Yallambie.
Cost: $85.
Enquiries: Yvonne Ashby by phone (0409 225774) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
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. Click here for help in how to view the calendar selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

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