Want some cheap mushroom blocks?
Simon Hughes from Heidelberg Heights has written in: “I have a lot of spent mushroom blocks I will sell for $5 each. Some are $10 as they’ve only had one flush of mushrooms and will keep producing for the next couple of months.” If interested, contact Simon by phone (0468 306615) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Using (or not using) gravel in pots – an update
Following last week’s article, Tracey Bjorksten has written in: “This is a topic that always seems to get people talking, I think because the physics feels counter-intuitive to many. This old research paper has some pictures that illustrate the phenomenon of the perched water table. The degree to which the raising of the perched water table by a layer of gravel is going to cause a problem will vary according to pot size, shape, particle size of potting mix used, watering habits, the tolerance of the plant to waterlogging, etc and I suspect this is a reason why people are reluctant to give up their gravel.”
Angelo Eliades has also weighed in: “The short answer is that generally it’s a bad idea to use gravel at the bottom of plant pots. For a longer answer, see the new article on my website, which goes heavily into the science, delving into the physics and physical chemistry.”
Got any excess fruit?
Dassana wrote in to ask where she could donate her excess tangelos (see picture). I spoke with the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) and they said they would be delighted to receive them. ASRC’s various collection points are listed on their website.
As Dassana said after dropping off the tangelos: “It was a good thing to do. Good for me. Good for the people collecting the donations. And good for the people receiving the donations.”
Free spent coffee grounds for your garden – another update
A third Eltham cafe has now contacted us to offer their spent coffee grounds: Organic Fix, 937 Main Road. Just visit and pick up from Lynn-eva.
It seems like many cafes would like to give their spent coffee grounds away. So, if you want some, my suggestion is that you simply call in at your local cafe and ask.
A new maker of sweet treats – Salt N Caramel
Salt N Caramel, from Mernda, make cake slices, tarts and cookies. You can buy their stuff at
Eltham Community Craft and Produce Market, South Morang Farmers & Makers Market or (on 3rd Sundays) Eltham Farmers’ Market. So, they should be at Eltham Farmers’ Market this coming Sunday. Read their Local Food Directory page. Welcome, Meleena and Riccardo!.
Community gardening news
Food swap news
Peppertree Food Swap
The Peppertree Food Swap in Coburg is back! Saturday, 5th October, 10am-1pm.
St Andrews Food Swap
St Andrews Food Swap has moved and is now at A Local Baker, 83 Burns Street.
Want to look after some bees?
Viola Pythas has posted on Facebook: “I’m posting on behalf of my elderly father, George, who has been a passionate registered beekeeper for approx. 20 years. He has 15 hives between 2 sites in the Donvale/Warrandyte area that he needs assistance to manage this year. He’s offering anyone who would like to learn beekeeping an opportunity for free mentoring to build confidence and experience by helping with spring inspections, splits, harvesting etc. All equipment provided. Just need to be available approximately 1-2 days per week (weather dependent) and eager to learn/help. There’ll definitely be some honey benefits. Please message me if interested.“
Applications for the 2019 Fair Food Week are now open
Fair Food Week will run from 12th to 19th October. You can apply to organise an event. Read more and apply.
Applications for the 2020 Sustainable Living Festival are now open
The 2020 Sustainable Living Festival will run throughout the month of February. You can apply to organise an event, be an exhibitor, play music or volunteer. Closing date: 31st October. Read more and apply.
The Community Grocer stall in Heidelberg West
As the picture illustrates, the first Community Grocer stall in Heidelberg West passed off successfully. I bought some mandarins, which were yum. The stall is every Saturday, so the next stall is next Saturday.
Not local but interesting – Knox Community Gardens
Knox Community Gardens in Boronia will be celebrating their 35th birthday on Sunday, 13th October, 9am-4pm. There will be market stalls, community stalls, kids activities, workshops, music and guest speakers, with more detail hopefully available on their Facebook page nearer the time. The gardens are substantial, with around 150 plots and raised beds of various sizes.
Not food but interesting – Banyule carbon emission reduction plans
Fay Loveland has written in to point out that Banyule Council is running two focus groups to discuss how to reduce carbon emissions, one in Heidelberg on 10th September at 6.30-8.30pm and the other in Greensborough on 12th September at 6.30-8.30pm. Registration is free but essential. As Fay says, “ It would be great if Banyule-based newsletter readers could head along and tell the Council about all the food-related initiatives they are doing to reduce carbon emissions – like growing food at home, buying locally grown food at farmers’ markets, composting waste, etc.”
Permablitz hero of the month – lettuce
“Lettuce is an annual plant, most often grown as a leaf vegetable, and is most often used for salads – yum!” Read the article.
Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?
Joke of the week
Submitted by Cally Beaton: I regret rubbing ketchup in my eyes but that’s Heinz sight.
New events – not cooking
Preparing a Spring/Summer veggie garden: Saturday, 14th September, 12.30-2pm; Buna Reserve Community Garden, Heidelberg West.
What: Facilitated by Robin & Paul Gale-Baker and organised by Transition 3081. There are groups of vegetables that comprise the spring/summer veggie garden. Each needs different soil preparation and pH, some are planted from seedlings and some direct, and they have different watering requirements. This workshop will cover soil preparation, how to test and rectify pH problems, and give tips for the successful growing of each family of spring/summer vegetables.
Edible weeds: Thursday, 19th September, 3-4.30pm; Heide, Bulleen.
What: Join weed forager Adam Grubb and Heide Head Gardener David Murphy for a guided tour of edible weeds in the Heide gardens. Finish with garden-inspired canapes and glass of wine.
Peppertree Food Swap: Saturday, 5th October, 10am-1pm; PepperTree Place, Coburg.
What: The Peppertree Place Food Swap is back! 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.
Bookings: just turn up.
The art of watering: Saturday, 12th October, 12.30-2pm; Bellfield Community Garden.
What: Facilitated by Robin Gale-Baker and organised by Transition 3081. Learn how to assess the watering needs of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and bushes, and plants in pots. Both under-watering and over-watering are a waste of water and it is important to water such that plants grow healthily whilst also conserving water as much as practicable.
Urban chickens 101: Saturday, 12th October, 2-4pm; Central Ringwood Community Centre.
What: Presented by Olwyn Smiley from The Backyard Vegetable and Jess Ness from Bedford Park Community Garden. With so many varieties of chooks, there’s a chook for every size of yard. They are enormously rewarding pets so if you’ve ever considered having them, or perhaps you’ve recently purchased chooks and need a little advice, go along for a discussion on the basics of urban chook raising.
Bookings: by phone (9870 2602).
Kevin Heinze GROW 40th Anniversary Spring Festival: Saturday, 19th October, 9am-3pm; Kevin Heinze GROW, Doncaster.
What: Perennials, herbs, succulents, natives, fruit trees and vegetable seedlings for sale. Also, homemade cakes & preserves, Devonshire teas, secondhand book stall, kids’ corner with face painting, coffee cart, BBQ, jazz band, flower stall, icy poles and KHG merchandise. There will also be a series of workshops: 10-10.30am – worm farming for beginners; 11-11.30am – growing great tomatoes; 12-12.30pm – the art of composting; 1-1.30pm – live lighter – waste and recycling; and 2-2.30pm – fruit tree pruning.
Cost: Free to attend. Workshops are $5 each online or $10 on the day.
Backyard beekeeping: Monday, 21st October, 6-7pm; Coburg Library.
Make your own beeswax wraps with Emma Grace: Saturday, 9th November, 10am-2pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
What: What you will learn: how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps; learn skills that are transferable to the home environment; and bundling techniques. What you will get: take home your beeswax wraps. Presenter: Emma Grace. You will learn how to make and maintain their own beeswax wraps for keeping food fresh and hygienic without the use of single-use plastics such as cling-wrap. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will make their own washable and re-usable ready-to-use beeswax wraps.
Intro to permaculture (3 sessions): on Saturdays 9th November, 23rd November and 7th December, each 10am-4pm, 10am-4pm; Park Orchards.
What: Trainer: Cass Groves. Learn about permaculture design principles to make your garden more sustainable and abundant. The course includes a brief history of permaculture, zone planning, soil health, companion planting, energy and water harvesting.
Cost: $195 ($85 ACFE funded).
Bookings: their website.
Chooks in the city: Sunday, 10th November, 10-11am and again 12.30-1.30pm; Northcote.
What: Led by Jessamy Miller, this workshop will explain all about keeping well-nourished, safe and happy chooks in an urban garden.
Kitchen medicine – the garden farmacy: Sunday, 10th November, 2-4.30pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
What: What you will learn: an introduction to herbal medicine making; plant identification; guidelines for foraging and wild-crafting; medicinal uses for plants; and how to introduce medicinal herbs into the kitchen for medicine. What you will get: a remedy and a seedling. Presenter: Lisa Hodge. Take a walk through the CERES garden beds and bring the wisdom of traditional herbal medicines into a modern context. During this workshop, you will explore traditional and modern uses of the plants and how to introduce these plants into the kitchen as medicine. You will make an item to take home as well as a seedling.
Beeswax wrap workshop: Wednesday, 13th November, 6-8pm; Balwyn North.
What: Learn how to make eco-friendly beeswax wraps. The wraps are made with all-natural ingredients and can be used instead of plastic bags or cling wrap. You will make 4 wraps on the day (2 x small, 1 x medium, 1 x large) and learn how to make more at home. Notes will be provided.
Bookings: their website.
New events – cooking
Lunchbox made easy in the Thermomix: Monday, 30th September, midday-2pm; Chirnside Park.
What: Learn how to make veg and cheese scrolls at a fraction of the cost, healthy muesli bars and muffins. Be a lunchbox warrior. Tastings available on the day. Kids are welcome they will have a playdough station set up on the day.
One meal many ways: Thursday, 3rd October, 10-11am; healthAbility, Eltham.
What: Join healthAbility’s resident qualified chef Mel us for a cooking demonstration and find out how you can create a basic meal into multiple recipe options. Followed by morning tea.
Bookings: by phone (9430 9100).
Kids in the kitchen: Friday, 4th October, 10.30am-1.30pm; Panton Hill.
What: Facilitated by Kerry Meredith from Under The Pickle Tree. Get your kids in the kitchen for spring school holidays. Learn how to make delectable Vietnamese spring rolls ha noi style. Whereas southern rolls are slim, the northern version is fat and filling. Also make an authentic Vietnamese dipping sauce, homemade Vietnamese lime sodas and finish with a coconut ice-cream sundae. Your kids will learn about food safety and hygiene and cook you a delicious meal.
Bookings: their website.
Cook and feast with Audra Morrice: Saturday, 5th October, 11am-12.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.
Thermomix eat well – demonstration-style cooking class: Tuesday, 8th October, 6.30-8.30pm; Eltham.
What: The recipes to be demonstrated are all gluten free and will include: mango muesli with plain yoghurt; seeded tahini crackers; turmeric, lemon and ginger tea; either steamed salmon or hunters stew; white bean dip with chimichurri; quinoa with mixed greens and yoghurt dressing; smoky Mexican bean soup; carrot cake bliss balls; and ricotta and pistachio cheesecake. Tastings will be available throughout the evening. You will also receive a copy of all the recipes.
Vegan cooking demonstration: Thursday, 31st October, 7.45-8.45pm; Brunswick Library.
What: Are you vegan or thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle? Learn how to cook some Italian vegan and gluten-free dishes with Head Chef Edoardo from Shop 225.
Authentic Mexican with Matt Baker from Whe-Eat: Saturday, 9th November, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
What: What you will learn: Mexican cuisine; improve your culinary skills; and work with seasonal ingredients. Presenter: Matt Baker from Whe-Eat. Menu: blackened chicken thighs with quinoa; Mexican corn on the cob; Mexican white bait fritters tortillas with salsa crude; cactus and tomatillos salsa; crispy pulled pork carnitas; and dark chocolate mole.
Vegan cheese making with Nase Supplitt: Sunday, 10th November, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
What: What you will learn: how to make your own vegan cheese; and how to make vegan milks, creamy spreads and dairy-free desserts. Presenter: Nase Supplitt.
Yoghurt and kefir making: Tuesday, 12th November, 7-8.30pm; Hawthorn Community House.
What: Yoghurt and kefir can be a healthy part of our everyday diet. Learn how to make your own fresh yoghurt and kefir, how use it in smoothies, ice-cream, dips or to make kefir cheese. There will be a yoghurt and milk kefir starter to purchase on the day (cost $10 for the yoghurt and $15 for the milk kefir).
Healthy summer eating (thermomix): Tuesday, 12th November, 7.30-9pm; Kilsyth.
What: Don’t wait for Summer to get here before you develop good eating habits. Make the most of the seasonal fruit and vegetables with this summer healthy eating class.
Summary of upcoming events – not cooking
Over the next week
- Herbs: Wednesday, 11th September, 2-3pm; Rosanna Library.
- Steve Morris on Circular Food: Wednesday, 11th September, 7.30-10pm; Doncaster Garden Club.
- Bush foods & herbs for courtyards & balconies: Thursday, 12th September, 6.30-9pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.
- Bee keeping for beginners: Saturday, 14th September, 9.30-midday; Bulleen Art and Garden.
- Australian plants expo: Saturday, 14th September, 10am-4pm; Eltham Community & Reception Centre.
- Edible weeds walk: Saturday, 14th September, 10.30am-12.30pm; Merri Creek Trail.
- Bee hive tour: Saturday, 14th September, 10.30am-12.30pm; Yarrambat.
- Preparing a Spring/Summer veggie garden: Saturday, 14th September, 12.30-2pm; Buna Reserve Community Garden, Heidelberg West.
- Edible weeds walk: Saturday, 14th September, 1.30-3.30pm; Merri Creek Trail.
- Backyard chooks for beginners: Saturday, 14th September, 2-4pm; Edendale.
- Australian plants expo: Sunday, 15 September, 10am-4pm; Eltham Community & Reception Centre.
- Mulch, manure & plant sale plus roving refills: Sunday, 15th September, 1.30-4pm; Pentridge Community Garden, Coburg.
- Lakeside Good Earth Group – the Lilydale community garden project: Monday, 16th September, 2-3.30pm; Lilydale Library.
- Organic gardening for beginners: Tuesday, 17th September, 10am-5pm; Edendale.
Over the next month
- Edible weeds: Thursday, 19th September, 3-4.30pm; Heide, Bulleen.
- Veggie gardening for beginners: Saturday, 21st September, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.
- Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest: Saturday, 21th September, midday-11.30pm; Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
- Beekeeping workshop: Saturday, 21th September, 2-4.30pm; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.
- Getting a harvest – Summer vegetables: Sunday, 22nd September, 9-11am; Hawthorn Community House.
- Getting a harvest – Summer vegetables: Sunday, 22nd September, 11.30am-1.30pm; Hawthorn Community House.
- Introduction to mindful eating: Tuesday, 24th September, 7-8.30pm; Heidelberg Heights.
- Tomato talk, book sales & signing: Thursday, 26th September, 7-8pm; Brunswick.
- Native plants for food and medicine: Saturday, 28th September, 9.30am-12.30pm; Bulleen Art and Garden.
- Growing your veggies from seed: Saturday, 28th September, 2-3pm; Watsonia Library.
- Growing great tomatoes: Saturday, 5th October, 10am-3pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
- Book launch – Plotting at Rushall Community Garden: Saturday, 5th October, 2-4pm; North Fitzroy Library.
- Growing mushrooms in your home and garden (2 day): Saturday, 5th October and Sunday, 6 October, both 9am-4.30pm; Bellfield Community Garden.
- Native pollinators: Monday, 7th October, 7.30-9pm; Nunawading Civic Centre.
- Am I hungry? Mindful eating program (8 sessions): 8 consecutive Tuesdays, starting 8th October, 7-8.30pm; Heidelberg Heights.
- Mental Health Week – food for every mood: Wednesday, 9th October, 6-9pm; Kathleen Syme Library, Carlton.
- 2040, Join the Regeneration (film): Wednesday, 9th October, 7-8.30pm; Hoyts, Greensborough.
Summary of upcoming events – cooking
Over the next week
- Fermenting community garden produce: Thursday, 12th September, 10am-1pm; Coburg.
- Feastival cooking demonstration: Thursday, 12th September, 11am-midday; Thomastown Library.
- Cooking master class – ‘gluten free’: Thursday, 12th September, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
- Cooking master class – ‘gluten free’: Friday, 13th September, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
- Mozzarella and ricotta cheesemaking workshop: Saturday, 14th September, 9-11.30am; Bee Sustainable, Brunswick East.
- Creative Chinese vegetarian cooking: Saturday, 14th September, 10.30am-midday; Watsonia Library.
- Kombucha tea & fermenting workshop: Saturday, 14th September, 10.30am-midday; Central Ringwood Community Centre.
- Asian-inspired cooking demonstration: Saturday, 14th September, 1-3pm; Chirnside Park.
- Food for mind and gut with Mettle + Grace: Sunday, 15th September, 10am-4pm; CERES, Brunswick East.
- Cooking master class – ‘can be vegetarian’: Wednesday, 18th September, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
Over the next month
- Maltese sweets: Thursday, 19th September, 7-8.30pm; Mill Park Library.
- Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 20th September, 6.30-8pm; Diamond Creek.
- Shio koji making and cooking: Sunday, 22nd September, 11am-1.30pm; Preston.
- Vegan brunch cooking class: Sunday, 22nd September, 11am-3pm; Smiths Gully.
- Cook Indian by the creek – kids special: Tuesday, 24th September, 11am-12.30pm; Diamond Creek.
- Cooking master class – ‘foodie favourites of 2019’: Wednesday, 25th September, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
- Nonna & Mum’s homestyle cooking class: Thursday, 26th September, 7.30-10.30pm; Thornbury.
- Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 27th September, 6.30-8.30pm; Diamond Creek.
- Lunchbox made easy in the Thermomix: Monday, 30th September, midday-2pm; Chirnside Park.
- One meal many ways: Thursday, 3rd October, 10-11am; healthAbility, Eltham.
- Kids in the kitchen: Friday, 4th October, 10.30am-1.30pm; Panton Hill.
- Cook Indian by the creek: Friday, 4th October, 6.30-8pm; Diamond Creek.
- All about cakes with Emelia Jackson ‘floral Spring style’: Friday, 4th October, 7-9pm; Gourmet Living, Templestowe.
- No Waste Cook Club: Saturday, 5th October, 10am-midday; North Fitzroy Library.
- Cook and feast with Audra Morrice: Saturday, 5th October, 11am-12.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.
- Farewell Victoria – vegan cooking class party: Sunday, 6th October, midday-4pm; Smiths Gully.
- Thermomix eat well – demonstration-style cooking class: Tuesday, 8th October, 6.30-8.30pm; Eltham.
- Cake decorating (6 sessions): 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starting 8th October, 7-9.30pm; Mitcham.