Oct 122016

The video stars competition – wrapup

The winners of both the fifth week’s competition (Kings of Kangaroo Ground) and sixth, and final, week’s competition (Sugarloaf Produce) have now been selected (by random draw). Congratulations, Julie Sutherland and Barb Whiter. Here they are collecting their prizes at Sunday’s market, together with the previous week’s winner, Sandra Rattray.

sarah-rattray julie-sutherland barb-whiter
Sarah Rattray (and family) Julie Sutherland (and daughter) Barb Whiter (and partner)

Sarah writes in: “I wanted to thank you for our prize today. It was extra special because we only have three more Eltham Farmers’ Market days before we move to Tasmania. We have decided to set up a homestead, living more self-sufficiently growing our own vegetables, chickens, quail, maybe a couple of sheep and eventually a house cow, for milk, cream, cheese, yogurt and, after today’s introduction to Quark, it is being added to the list. And bees … how could I forget bees for honey, wax, pollination and more bees. It has been a dream that has developed and ripened over the last year. My husband (Ben) and I have both quit our jobs and sold our Montmorency apartment, ready for departure at the end of November. It is going to be a massive learning curve for both of us, Ben has an engineering/business management background while I am a cardiac sonographer. But it will mean we get to spend more time with our daughter Rose and will be such a family adventure.

“We have loved visiting the Eltham Farmers’ Market most fortnights over the last year to buy the majority of our food. It has been so great eating with the seasons. It’s funny how apples can be such a treat when you know they won’t be available all year or how cream can change fat content/flavour as cows change to have calves. The Eltham Farmers’ Market has allowed us to experience this.

“Special shoutouts to: Schulz Organic Dairy (thank you for helping my 10 month old eat food … I have worked out that if she isn’t keen on something I just add a spoonful of your yogurt and she will eat more. I’m not kidding. And don’t get me started on the cream, it’s the best!); Little Feet Farm (thanks for the chats and introducing us to Paris Market carrots); Heidi Honey (thank you for the best chai and always asking how Rose is doing); and Hazeldean Forest Farm (we have really enjoyed trying all sorts of apples and persimmons and Sunday afternoon has regularly become apple eating and stewing time).

As well as the 6 videos of local farmers that we have produced, I have scoured the Internet and found videos about 13 of other local food producers. You can watch any or all of the 19 on a new local food producer videos website page.

Mac’s tip of the week

Unless you want the seeds or fruit, the time to prune is immediately after flowering. That goes for almost any ornamental plant: prune after flowering to skip the seed development phase and jump straight to the growth phase. If hedge trimming, prune on a dry day so that water weight does not affect the line of your cut. Until next time, remember: dirty hand are good hands.

You can now view all of Mac’s tips on our website – click here.

A thank you from STREAT and FareShare kitchen gardens

bec-scottCath Lyons (aka My Little Trowel) has written in to thank those newsletter readers who went to the STREAT open door for gardeners. As Bec Scott (pictured), CEO of STREAT, said: “thanks to all the gardeners who contributed to day. The herbs, veggies and fruit trees are all flourishing in the Collingwood Cafe area, helping to service their mission to empower homeless youth. Head down to the cafe and have a meal in the garden.

Cath has also provided more information about the FareShare kitchen garden – open day: Saturday, 15th October, 11am-2pm. FareShare is Australia’s largest charity kitchen. Sign up at www.fareshare.net.au/volunteer-registration to be a volunteer at any one of the three FareShare kitchen gardens.

A thank you from the Watch My Waste research project

Dianne McGrath, lead researcher on the Watch My Waste research project, has written in thank us for advertising their recent survey (see the 21st September newsletter): “some of our respondents have told us that they heard about our survey from your newsletter. So a HUGE thank you! You have helped contribute to the around 300 people who have done the survey, which has ensured the survey will be powered sufficiently for statistical significance.

Fitzroy Community Food Centre

Dana Thomson has written in to highlight the Fitzroy Community Food Centre project, which does indeed look rather interesting. In summary, “The Fitzroy Community Food Centre (FCFC) brings people together around food. The projects offered through the kitchen help people to access fresh food, learn about growing and preparing food and also provide opportunities to share food in a spirit of conviviality. The FCFC addresses issues of food security, healthy food education and skill building, social isolation, multicultural understanding, food waste and community connectedness.” and “This innovative concept will create the first centre of its kind in Australia”. The project is being undertaken by Cultivating Community and appears to be being led by one of our newsletter readers, Peta Christensen.

That Sugar Film: a must see film

Jill Fleming has written in to say that That Sugar Film is a must see film: “The film has had an amazing effect on everyone that I know who has seen it. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the effects of sugars on the health and wellbeing of our children and the community. I would also recommend organising a local screening, perhaps with Damon Gameau personally introducing it.” My wife (Susan Palmer) has also seen it and agrees. Is there anyone out there willing to organise a screening?

pirate-foundersInternational non-food days

Jenny Shaw has written in to point out that we have all just missed International Talk like a Pirate Day (19th September). Apparently, on that day one can choose ‘pirate’ as the language in a Google search! And it is a holiday for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (aka the Pastafarians) who, inter alia, assert that the cause of global warming is a decline in the number of pirates over the years.

Montmorency: volunteers wanted for Kitchen Garden Program

The Kitchen Garden Program at Montmorency South Primary School offers students the opportunity to grow and harvest food from their own school garden and then prepare that food, sharing it with their class. Their established garden and kitchen facility make this both an enjoyable and a rewarding learning environment for the children in years 3-6. The continuation of the program relies on the support of volunteers. You do not have to be a green thumb or a masterchef! You will work with a small group of children guiding them with either a garden task (1 hour) or cooking from a recipe (2 hours).

The program runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday over a fortnight rotation. You may want to volunteer once a week – or once a term. Note that a valid working-with-children check is required. If interested, contact either Jenna Farrington (garden) by phone (0406 738220) or Cathryn Hulme (kitchen) by phone (0419 322782).

Urban Agriculture Forum presentations now available for download

See their website – scroll down past all the self-spruiking until you get near to the bottom of the page.

top-hundred-acresTop Hundred Acres in the news

Top Hundred Acres were featured in the 11th October edition of The Leader.

New events

Co-op’s seedling sale and exchange

What: Support your community greenhouse. Buy seedlings real cheap or, in exchange for a couple of hours of hands-on fun work, people can take plants home for free. It is open to all in the local community and it is great fun for kids of all ages as there is an adventure playground to explore.
When: Saturday, 15th October, 10am-midday.
Where: Hurstbridge Learning Co-operative.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Michelle Labrin by phone (0402 400624) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Attack of the clones: a Pinot Noir master class

What: Pinot Noir has a finicky, thin skinned, slightly onerous and moody personality and it is a pain to work with. So, why bother making it? Because, according to Robert Parker, when it’s great, Pinot Noir produces the most complex, hedonistic and remarkably thrilling red wine in the world. This master class will explore all things Pinot Noir. There will be pre-release barrel tasting, museum stock and reserve wine open for tasting.
When: Saturday, 22nd October, 11am-12.30pm.
Where: Helen Hill’s Estate in Coldstream.
Cost: $35 (includes wine and matched share plates of food).
Enquiries / Bookings: Helen Hill’s Estate by phone (9739 1573) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Produce with a Purpose: Spring garden party

What: They will be planting spring veggies and harvesting beetroot, kale, rhubarb and snow peas.
When: Sunday, 23rd October, 11am-3pm.
Where: Produce With A Purpose, Lower Plenty.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Louise King by email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

What’s in your green bin? Edible weeds and composting weeds and prunings

What: Learn how to deal simply and chemical-free with different weeds so that they don’t grow again when put through your compost. Also learn about edible weeds. After this you will know how, with a little bit of time, weeds can easily be kept for your garden rather than put into the green bin. Even woody waste can be used as Hugel bed culture – forming a nutrition and moisture-holding base for garden beds – rather than being put into the green bin. You will also discuss efficient composting techniques and how to make your compost more nutritious, noting that Council compost often contains high proportions of wood-chip waste that does not have a lot of nutrition for your food garden but is fine for other garden areas. Notes will be provided.
When: Saturday, 5th November, midday-2pm.
Where: Watsonia Neighbourhood House.
Cost: $5 (kids are free).
Enquiries/Bookings: Marina Bistrin by phone (9434 6717) or email.
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, 12th November, 10am-1pm.
Where: Yallambie.
Cost: $85.
Enquiries: Yvonne Ashby by phone (0409 225774) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Building veggie beds from pallets

What: Have you ever wanted to learn how to make things for your garden, how to use hand tools or how to reuse wooden pallets as a building material? In this workshop, you will learn about: how to source used timber pallets; using hand tools safely; how to breakdown timber pallets to basic building materials; veggie box design options; how to build a veggie growing box; wicking boxes — what they are and how they work; and how to convert a plain box into a wicking box. Workshop participants will be split into teams of 3 or 4 to build the veggie boxes.
When: Sunday, 4th December, 12.30-4pm.
Where: Templestowe College.
Cost: $49.
Enquiries: Sustainable Gardening Australia by phone (8850 3050) or email.
Bookings / Further information: Weteachme.

Christmas cookie decorating

What: With Christmas around the corner why not make your own packaged cookies to give as gifts to friends and family. Learn how to decorate cookies using fondant icing and different techniques. You will be provided with the cookies and equipment to decorate and package them.
When: Tuesday, 6th December, 2-3pm.
Where: Coburg Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland Council by phone (9353 4000) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Christmas cake decorating

What: Irene, from the Victorian Cake Decorating Society, will provide tips and tricks for decorating your Christmas cake. Bookings required.
When: Thursday, 8th December, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Thomastown Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Thomastown Library by phone (9464 1864) or email.
Bookings: their website.
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 effectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

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