Oct 022019

More about mulches

In response to Robin’s article from last week, several people have written in.

Carol Woolcock: “I grow green manure crops using packets of McKenzies legumes (whole green peas, any of the beans and chickpeas) from the supermarket. Very cheap ($1.80 for 375 grams) compared to the small packets of seeds from nurseries ($4.25 for 30 seeds).

Gerard Maloney: “I use rice hulls as a mulch. I can buy a 125kg bag for $55 at a local produce store and they last for years as a mulch and do not mat.” [Editor: has anyone else used rice hulls? If so, email me with your experiences.]

Fay Loveland: “I would like to suggest the use of newspaper as a way to keep garden beds moist. Over the last three months, I have been trialling a no dig garden method developed by permaculturist Morag Gamble and I’m very happy with the results. In this method, layers of wet newspaper are added under the final mulch layer. By having the newspaper as the last layer before the mulch, rather than laid on the ground under the compost layer: the compost layer integrates more rapidly with the existing soil; soil flora and fauna quickly get to work without the barrier in between; the compost layer stays a more moist and stable temperature under the paper layer; the newspaper layer prevents weeds from growing in your garden, including the unwanted seeds from your compost; less nutrients from the compost are evaporated and lost; and the roots of plants can penetrate directly into the soil so stay hydrated longer, can access minerals and have increased resilience and stability.

Thanks Carol, Gerard and Fay!

The Peppertree Place Food Swap is back!

The Peppertree Place Food Swap in Coburg is on this coming Saturday (5th October), 10am-1pm. Listen to live music, enjoy coffee and food from the cafe, pick up a plant from the nursery and don’t forget to bring your empty containers because Roving Refills will be there too. You can also learn more about Kevin Heinze GROW and their therapeutic horticulture model available onsite at Peppertree.

A new community garden is planned in Princes Hill

A new neighbourhood food garden is being established over the summer at North Carlton Railway Neighbourhood House, 20 Solly Avenue, Princes Hill. They are currently inviting people to show their interest. Complete the membership application form by 4th November. Complete the garden committee application form by 21st October. Submit completed forms either by email or in person. You are also invited to attend one of two information sessions at the neighbourhood house so that you can ask questions and meet other gardeners: Friday, 11th October, 6-7pm and Saturday, 12th October, 11.30am–12.30pm.

A ‘kitchen library’ is opening in Carlton

The Carlton Kitchen Library will offer the community an opportunity to loan kitchen appliances and equipment for short periods of time to support their latest cooking project, program or event.” The library will be opening in November at the Open Door Community Outreach Hub, 480 Lygon Street, Carlton. They are on the hunt for forgotten, underused, pre-loved or unwanted quality kitchen equipment that people are willing to donate. Read their wishlist. If you have got something to donate, email Peta to organise pick up/drop off.

Making your own food

Going Green Solution’s latest newsletter is about equipment to make your own food. Read their previous newsletters. Subscribe to their newsletter.

Going Green Solutions, who are based in Hurstbridge, describe their business as “eco-friendly catering & packaging supplies – zero waste, low impact living“. You can buy their products online.

Should you tease out the roots when transplanting?

Angelo Eliades’ latest article is entitled should you tease out the roots when transplanting? Angelo’s answer: no, you should prune the roots instead.

Read more of Angelo’s articles.

Woolworths Discovery Garden

Collect and grow 24 veggies, herbs and flowers from seed. Get one kit for every $30 you spend. Just add water. Watch an unboxing video (while it’s 18(!) minutes long, you get the idea after 4 minutes). The ASRC Foodbank will accept any excess or leftover seed packs – see their collection points. Maybe your community garden or food swap people could act as a temporary bank and then have someone drop them all off. The 24 types of seeds are: basil, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, chamomile, chives, coriander, cress, dianthus, dill, kale, lettuce, onion, oregano, pak choy, pansy, parsley, radish, rocket, snapdragons, spinach, thyme, tomato and viola.

Local food organisations in the news

Backyard Honey, from Surrey Hills, recently featured in The Leader newspaper.

The Yarra Valley visitor site has an article about the markets in Nillumbik.

Not food but interesting

On Sunday, 13th October, 2-4pm at Edendale you can get free advice from experts in energy efficient products, green architects, solar, green roofs, and sustainable building. The event is free but registration is required. Read more and register.

The Victorian Government will implement a state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags from 1st November. The ban will apply to all retailers. It will apply to all lightweight singlet-style plastic bags which have a thickness below 36 microns. Plastic bags without handles, bin liners and thicker ‘department store’ bags will not be banned.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Judy’s visit to Zofia’s garden.

Joke of the week

Submitted by Vince Rozmiarek: If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

Read more jokes.

New events – not cooking

Mind Your Step Festival: Sunday, 20th October, 9am-9pm; Preston.

What: A day filled with yoga, workshops, permaculture, food science, seedlings for sale, visual art installations, crafts, speakers and live music. Rescued vegan food will be available throughout. The workshops will include: Cake and Bake with Compost Crooks, 60 minutes, $5, learn the ins and outs of hot composting; and Permaculture in the City with Clare, 90 minutes, $10, gain an understanding of the history and ethics of permaculture and simple ways that it can be integrated into your urban life. Organised by Urban Garden Collective in collaboration with Lentil As Anything and Food Without Borders.
Cost: Gold coin donation.
Bookings: EventBrite.

CERES urban agriculture micro-business tour: Saturday, 9th November, 9.30am-4pm; various locations.

What: You will visit three urban agriculture businesses. 1. Spoke & Spade in Heidelberg. Sim sells veggie boxes through a regular subscription and delivers some on a bike. The visit will include a tool demonstration. 2. Streetle Street market garden is an urban farm with two locations: Thornbury and Fairfield. Co-farmed by Lucille and Pippa, it provides local people with weekly boxes of fresh, locally grown vegetables. The visit will include a harvesting and packing demonstration. 3. The Mushroomery is a micro mushroom farm in Brunswick. Buttons supplies two restaurants and a farm gate with oyster mushrooms. The visit will include a hands-on experience of preparing a mushroom bucket for growing.
Cost: $90.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute’s 31st annual garden walk: Sunday, 10th November, 9am-5.30pm; Arthurs Creek.

What: 5 gardens to visit. Light lunches and Devonshire teas available. Various art/craft items to purchase including Jane Annois pottery. Plants also available for purchase. Purchase tickets at the hall on the day. All proceeds will go towards the upkeep and restoration of the hall.
Cost: $20.
Bookings: just turn up.

Thrifty gardening: Wednesday, 20th November, 7-9pm; Manningham Civic Centre.

What: This session will show you how you can get away with not spending a fortune on your garden by utilising things you may already have and learning some clever techniques to save money. Topics will include: potting mixes; pest control; fertilisers; seed sowing; seasonal plant propagation; and re-purposing household objects for use in the garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Healthy productive compost and worms: Thursday, 21st November, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.

What: What you will learn: the importance of compost for soil health; how to fix common composting problems; and setting up and looking after a worm farm. Presented by Diana Cotter. Learn how to make great compost, the essential ingredient for a thriving and healthy garden. Look at worm farms and Bokashi as other options. They will also show you how to make a DIY worm farm using recycled products.
Cost: $50.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Intermediate fluid art workshop – cheeseboard and coasters: Saturday, 23rd November, 9.30-11.30am; Yarra Glen.

What: You will leave with a cheeseboard and four coasters of your own to take home. You will learn new techniques and be able to build on your existing acrylic pouring skills. Everything will be supplied and zero artistic experience is necessary.
Cost: $80.
Bookings: by phone (9730 2887).

Edible Forest open day: Sunday, 24th November, 11am-4pm; Dixons Creek.

What: A day to celebrate the new season of the Edible Forest – an acre of permaculture-designed garden filled with edible and medicinal plants. Go along to enjoy a hosted tour, wander through the newly opened Edible Forest nursery, or take part in an express cooking class. Includes live music, wine tasting from their neighbours at Steelsgate Winery, food vans and kids zone.
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Introduction to composting and worm farming: Monday, 25th November, 7-9pm; Lilydale.

What: Join Maria Ciavarella to learn how to start or improve an existing compost system in your backyard, and how to use your compost products for a healthy vegetable garden.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

Growing fruit trees: Wednesday, 27th November, 7-9pm; Manningham Civic Centre.

What: Many of us plant our trees thinking that all we need to do is water them and wait for the harvest. But fruit trees can experience problems such as poor quality fruit, pests and disease. This session will explore what fruit trees is right for your property and the factors to consider for a successful fruit tree harvest ahead of time.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.

New events – cooking

Be healthy class: Saturday, 5th October, 10am-12.30pm; Dixons Creek.

What: Louise will lead you through the techniques and importance of incorporating good gut health into your diet. You will sample and learn how to make fermented foods such as pickling, exploring the art of fermenting your own vegetables, and how to easily introduce these and other fermented foods such as miso into your diet for better gut health.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: their website.

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 18th October, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu (vegan): butter chicken with cumin and spiced rice. Cook Indian by the creek came into existence with the idea of breaking the myth that Indian cooking is complex and difficult to nail. In each session, they will share their traditional recipes and go through the step by step cooking process. The classes are held in a private kitchen.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: Book by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 25th October, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: dahl vada (yogurt and lentil dumpling with chutney, mint and coriander); and chaat and dahl chaat (chickpea salad and yogurt-based street food).
Cost: $65.
Bookings: Book by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Cooking master class – ‘seafood salads’: Tuesday, 29th October and again on Wednesday, 30th October, both 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.

What: Enjoy 3 tasting size courses cooked by chef Bek McMillan, from Gourmet Living, who will demonstrate step by step. All recipes are included. Menu: coconut prawn salad; coriander spiced seared salmon salad; and pannacotta ‘trifle’.
Cost: $42.
Bookings: EventBrite (Tuesday, Wednesday).

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 1st November, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: aloo tikki (potato, peas and dahl plus spices); and vegetarian korma.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: Book by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 8th November, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: chicken biryani with raita.
Cost: $60.
Bookings: Book by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 15th November, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.

What: Menu: chicken methi masala.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: Book by email (cookindianbythecreek@gmail.com).

Sourdough bread making with Nadine Kemp: Saturday, 23rd November, 10am-2.30pm; Lower Templestowe.

What: Learn a simple sourdough technique giving a great and reliable result for the home baker. Learn how to mix and shape your dough and then bake a pre-prepared loaf, giving you the opportunity to taste the result. You will be supplied with a jar of starter, recipes and your dough to bake at home. Bring a clear 4 litre container and an apron.
Cost: $45.
Bookings: by phone (9850 3687) or email (office@livelearnajani.org.au).

Preserving the season’s harvest: Sunday, 24th November, 10am-2pm; CERES, Brunswick East.

What: What you will learn: how to preserve surplus foods; how to make jams; and improve your culinary skillset. Presenter: Jessie Alice, Programme Co-ordinator for The Inconvenience Store. Learn how to make jams, pastes, pickles and the art of basic canning so that you can preserve your home harvest or extend your seasonal produce year round.
Cost: $100.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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