Nov 292013

During the last couple of years, Local Food Connect has partnered with some local organisations on food related activities and projects. They include North East Ranges Permaculture, Nillumbik Shire Council, Edendale, Banyule Council, Nillumbik Health, CWA Hurstbridge, LETS Diamond Valley, Transition Banyule, Monty Community Group, local Trader groups, Eltham Rotary, Sustainable Gardening Australia, Bulleen Art & Garden nursery, Village Food Connections and Real Food Catering. We have benefitted from these joint ventures, and hope we can also work together in 2014 to continue to build a healthy and vibrant local food economy. During March 2014, we encourage all of you to celebrate the food harvest in your special organisation. Activities can be advertised on this website.

Local food-related events

Pests in your garden

The Eltham SGA pod is meeting on Sunday Dec 8 at a member’s garden and sharing knowledge about dealing with pests in the garden. Contact Meredith on 9439 8750 0438 398750 if interested in attending.

Marina’s globe artichoke recipe

My favourite globe artichoke recipe is to roast smallish to medium sized artichokes whole with a little bit of olive oil – can just put them in a moderate to hot oven for about half an hour to 45 mins, or until the leaves pull off easily.  You can then cool them down a bit and dip into garlicky salad dressing as you eat it leaf by leaf (stripping off the soft bit at the base with your teeth) – don’t expect to look dainty – this is cave-man territory. The roasting concentrates the flavour and also help them last longer without spoiling. I always leave the stalks on – they are good eating.

I have eaten the roasted artichokes over a week, keeping them in the fridge – good picnic food. You could make them last a bit longer by marinating them in vinegar and salt and a few herbs.”

Thanks Marina!

Book Launch

Greg Foyster is the author of the book Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race, which tells the story of a 6500-kilometre cycling journey up the east coast of Australia exploring simple and sustainable living. He and his partner interviewed some leading figures in sustainability, such as permaculture co-originator David Holmgren and TV presenter Costa Georgiadis. With Eltham Bookshop, they are hosting a special event at Edendale Community Farm, Eltham, on Sunday 1 December, 2.30pm at Edendale Farm, (Gastons Lane, Eltham). Entry: $30.00 – includes a copy of the book, afternoon tea, author talk and a cello performance.

Prepaid bookings are essential, please contact Eltham Bookshop on 9439 8700 or at

Community gardening at Eltham Living and Learning Centre

Come along and get your hands dirty and help to bring the Eltham L&L centre community vegie garden back to life! Whether you are an experienced gardener or absolute beginner, everyone is welcome to join this group, facilitated by Georgina. Share gardening skills, tips and tricks, meet new people, and grow fresh food to share. Mondays and Thursdays, 9.30am-11.30am, from 7 November 2013. Free – Register at the office.Regular attendance not required – drop in when you like. Edible garden, Eltham centre, 739 Main Road, Eltham.

Organic Wholefood’s shop

This is a cooperative in Montmorency recently setup by Jenna and Fi. They have a variety of flours and grains currently available. If interested, please contact Jenna on for a pickup on Thursday Dec 5.

Christmas baking

cakeHaven’t done that for many years. It reminded me of her and of how, from the age of 12, I used to make two cakes each year for her – one cake was for Christmas and one for New Year. I’d mix the butter and dark brown sugar for ages by hand with a big wooden spoon till the mixture was light and creamy. I really appreciate my Kitchen Aid!

Thanks for the memories Grandma.”

Other food activities/information

Bhutan compared with China

Just as I have been reading that the small country of Bhutan is moving towards totally organic farming as part of its GNH (gross national happiness), I heard on the radio this week that China is going the other way. In the past, China’s food supplies have come from small to medium farms mainly located around the outskirts of the cities. Because of the new demands from the growing middleclass, the Chinese government is closing  down these small farms and going to big monoculture type agricultural businesses… more pesticide use, food miles, etc.

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