Nov 232022

Thanks to the people who have contributed to this week’s newsletter: Alison Jones, Anna Hetyey, Beth Ciesielski, Emma Hemsley, Helen Simpson, Jess Ness, Katrina Philip, Lisa Conley, Megan Goodman, Nick Rose and Sarah Willits.

As the nights get shorter, so do the newsletters.

Yes, you did know!

Last week, Nerida Kirov asked where she could buy some collard greens (aka colewart) seeds.

Anna Hetyey: The Seed Collection for georgia southern collards or Seeds of Plenty for morris heading collards. Note that Seeds of Plenty are local, being based in Eltham.

Emma Hemsley: New Seeds.

Community Grocer Carlton has re-started

Community Grocer’s Carlton market has re-started. Every Friday, 8am-midday, at the rear of 510 Lygon Street.

Per the Community Grocer website, “The Community Grocer is a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs fresh produce markets and programs to increase social, economic and physical access to fresh food.

Some videos

A 1 minute video by Jon Buttery on how Banyule Council’s environmental grants have helped St Johns Riverside Community Garden in Heidelberg, including for new garden beds and a gazebo.

A 1 minute video by Paul Gale-Baker on how Banyule Council’s environmental grants have helped Macleod Organic Community Garden, including for water tanks, poly tunnels and wicking beds.

A 7 minute video by Simone Boyd on celebrating Spring garlic, which is garlic that is harvested early.

Every newsletter needs a good picture

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the most famous painters from the 16th Century. In contrast to his Reniassance counterparts, Bruegel often painted non-religious, everyday scenes. This one, dated 1566-69, is called The peasant wedding.

The Age Good Food Guide Awards 2023

In the Age Good Food Guide Awards 2023, a number of restaurants around North East Melbourne were awarded ‘hats’.

3 hats
  • Minamishima in Richmond.
2 hats
  • Cutler & Co. in Fitzroy.
  • Greasy Zoes in Hurstbridge.
  • Ides in Collingwood.
  • Kazuki’s in Carlton.
1 hat

By suburb:

  • Brunswick East (Etta).
  • Carlton (Carlton Wine Room, Di Stasio Carlton, Lagoon Dining, Scopri).
  • Carlton North (Enter Via Laundry).
  • Coldstream (Oakridge Winery).
  • Collingwood (Hope St Radio, Smith & Daughters, Smith St Bistrot).
  • Fitzroy (Marion, Poodle Bar & Bistro).
  • Fitzroy North (Lagotto, Matteo’s, Public Wine Shop, The Recreation Bistro & Bottleshop, Ryne).
  • Northcote (Vex Dining).
  • Reservoir (La Pinta).
  • Richmond (Jeow).
  • Yarra Glen (Heartswood, TarraWarra Estate).

Not local but interesting

Newsletter reader Alison Jones has written in.

I love reading the varied, informative articles even though I live and garden in Oakleigh.” [Editor: that’s a good start, Alison!]

Ashwood High School has decided, at short notice, to close its community garden of 16 years in order to site two new portables. We [the organisers of the garden] believe that the garden plays an important role in the local community because it is communal, open to all, and we can teach people how to grow food according to permaculture principles. By contrast, many of the other community gardens in South East Melbourne are allotments with long waiting lists. We also believe there are other places that the portables could be located.

Sign the petition to save the community garden.

Meg’s garden this month

The rocket has gone to seed, but it is so loved by the bees that I can’t bear to pull it out. It will have to make way for the summer crops, but for now I am enjoying the pale heads interspersed with the purple flowers of the sage. The sage is a key ingredient in the make ahead Christmas stuffing that I prepare for Christmas each year (see recipe below).

Despite the very wet spring, I have been planting out eggplant, capsicum, chillies, tomatoes and beans in anticipation of warming weather. The rain has given everything a good start in the veggie patch, but it has unfortunately affected the stone fruit. I have what appears to be brown rot on the cherry and peach trees this year, so I am pruning to open up the trees to air and thinning and discarding affected fruit. Fingers crossed.

Make-ahead prosciutto-wrapped Christmas stuffing

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small green apple, finely diced
250g pork mince
250g sausage mince
1½ cups breadcrumbs
⅓ cup diced prunes
⅓ cup shelled pistachios
¼ cup finely chopped sage
salt and pepper to taste
10-12 slices of prosciutto

Lightly grease a 14cm by 24cm rectangle loaf tin. Line with prosciutto across the middle leaving the overhang along the sides of the tin.

Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft, add the apple and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add the minces, breadcrumbs, prunes, pistachios, and sage. Season well.

Press the mince mixture into the prepared tin and then fold over sides of the prosciutto. Bake at 180degC for about 35-40 minutes.

Cool for about 20 minutes before turning out. Alternatively, can be frozen in the tin and re-heated for Christmas day.

Read other recipes by Megan on our website.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The most popular link in the last newsletter was Nillumbik’s Community Grow Guide by Angharad Neal-Williams.

Angharad promoted the existence of the guide at the last Eltham Farmers’ market (see photo right).

As Sarah Willits from Greenhills Neighbourhood House in Greensborough said: “That grow guide is amazing! Please thank the author.

b33e661f-c100-4ebe-9ffa-847952e0da4e.jpgJoke (or pun) of the week

Did you get a bowl of soup with that haircut?

Read more jokes.


Regular activities over the coming week

Farmers’ markets
Food swaps
Community gardens

Upcoming face-to-face events – not cooking

Regenerative urban design: coupling food reconnection with pollinator biodiversity in the public space; Thursday, 24th November, 4.45-7pm; free; CBD.

Dr Barbara Ribeiro will share insights from the Regenerative Urban Design project at Monarch Park in Waharoa (NZ), which reconnects people with place while feeding pollinators at the same time. Following Barbara’s presentation, Kelly Donati, from Sustain: The Australian Food Network, will present the findings from their Growing Edible Cities and Towns report, which included a mapping and survey of the urban agriculture sector in Victoria and which provided a roadmap for moving forward.

Twilight pop-up plant sale plus summer veggie growing tips; Thursday, 1st December, 5-7pm; free; Pascoe Vale South.

Karen Sutherland’s plant sale of edible and other native plants including: creeping saltbush, dwarf lilly pilly, evergreen clematis, flax lilies, hop goodenia, inland pigface, mat rush, midyim berry, native mint, native thyme, native violet, nodding saltbush, running postman, strawberry gums and yam daises. Most plants $6 each or 2 for $10.

Banyule’s Urban Food Strategy – community co-design workshop; Saturday, 3rd December, 9am-12.30pm; free; Greensborough.

Banyule City Council, in partnership with Sustain, is developing an Urban Food Strategy. At this workshop, they will share the findings from their research thus far, collectively develop a shared vision for Banyule’s urban food system and explore the key drivers for local food system change.

Summer fruit tree pruning with Chris England; Saturday, 3rd December, 10am-1pm; $65 ($22 per hour); Richmond.

Using the demonstration fruit trees in the orchard of the Burnley Gardens, you will learn to summer prune fruit trees to get maximum fruit. Chris will also demonstrate how to get fruit on espalier fruit trees. This is a small group workshop, where you will ‘have a go’ under an expert’s watchful eye. Suitable for either beginners or as a refresher for experienced pruners.

Train the trainer masterclass: Queensland fruit fly; Saturday, 3rd December, 1-3pm; free; online.

You will learn a wide variety of control and management options for Queensland fruit fly that you will be able to apply in your own community. There will also be an opportunity to role play and practice your community education skills during the latter part of the workshop. After this training, participants will be asked to commit to running their own Queensland fruit fly session(s) based on the knowledge gained. Facilitated by Bronwyn Koll. Organised by Whittlesea Council.

How to manage garden vandals; Saturday, 10th December, 10am-midday; $15; Ringwood.

What to do about possums and other garden vandals. Organised by Central Ringwood Community Centre.

Mushroom growing 101; Wednesday, 14th December, 6.30-9.30pm; $145 ($48 per hour); Collingwood.

You will learn the practical skills to grow a never-ending supply of mushrooms yourself, gaining the knowledge to create a self-sufficient, closed-loop ecosystem. You will also learn the 4 step lifecycle of mushroom cultivation, tips for harvesting and alternative applications for different growing mediums and species. Tutor: Eric Fenessy from Uncle Steezy’s Hot Sauce.

In November
In December
Regular events

Upcoming face-to-face events – cooking

Festive fix with thermomix class; Sunday, 27th November, 2-4pm; $40 ($20 per hour); Preston.

The menu will feature: pink lemonade; hazelnut brioche; turkey breast roulade with apple & sage stuffing with gravy; German cinnamon stars; salmon filo spiral; and oriental brown rice salad. Presenter: Teresa Assi.

Pizza masterclass with Antonio; Tuesday, 6th December, 6-8.30pm; $70 ($28 per hour); Eltham.

You will learn: how to make dough by hand; stretching techniques; how to use a pizza paddle; and pizza classico (classic style pizza in the oven) & pizze fritte (fried pizza). You will make both savoury and sweet pizzas, and you will get to cook and eat the pizzas.

No coconut Thai; Sunday, 11th December, 10am-2pm; $160 ($40 per hour); Panton Hill.

Presenter: Kelly Meredith from Under The Pickle Tree. This menu will introduce you to the flavours of northern Thai food. On the menu will be: grabong (northern Thai pumpkin fritters with karchai, a rhizome with a flavour not unlike saffron); khao lao (crispy rice ball salad with an Asian mushroom medley and nam jinn dressing); gaeng som bplaa (sour orange fish curry with fresh peppercorn and bamboo); and nam prik noom (green chilli and coriander dip served with vegetables and sticky rice). You will learn: how to make roasted rice powder essential for nam jinn sauce; how to make a curry paste from scratch; how to cook perfect sticky rice; and how to balance sweet salty, sour flavours essential for Thai cooking.

In November
In December
Regular classes

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