The Natural Distilling Co. creates craft spirits, more specifically gin and vodka, from their own grown hemp plus other locally sourced ingredients. They have been doing so since 2017, when the use of hemp was legalised.
The Natural Food Market sells healthy foods, with a focus on whole foods. Produce is sourced as locally as possible, with a focus on seasonality and freshness. They stock both organically certified produce, as well as produce that follows the similar principles (including no preservatives, no added sugar, no numbers, ethically produced, and clear labelling of where it is grown or produced) but has not been certified.
The range of food includes: fresh, seasonal, organically certified fruit and vegetables; dried goods (pulses, wholegrains, seeds, nuts and dried fruits); various flours; teas & coffees, spreads & condiments; both gluten and gluten-free breads; and refrigerated cabinets full of dairy, tofu, meats & drinks (such as kombucha).
There are no plastic bags in the shop and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers. There is a boomerang bags dispenser for those who've forgotten to bring their own.
Nature's Harvest offers customers who have a preference to natural produce, a complete range of health food products and alternatives to conventional products found in everyday shopping outlets. It specialises in organic and biodynamic produce, grown in ways intended to protect wildlife and the environment. The store stocks a large range of products including organic and biodynamic meat & chicken, organic fruit and vegetables, flours, grains, nuts, local raw honey and freshly ground peanut butter, free of any oils, preservatives or contaminants. Local, free-range eggs, as well as a selection of yoghurts, cheese, tofu, dips, vitamins and health drinks, are also available for purchase. For those with specific dietary requirements, Nature's Harvest also offers a wide selection of gluten and wheat free products including cereals, flours, sweets, biscuits and grains.
This is a communal garden on public housing land associated with the East Preston Community Centre. The garden was established in late 2018 and The East Preston Community Centre, in partnership with DIVRS Urban Food Program, are continuing to develop it. Once fully developed, it will include shared vegetable growing areas, fruit trees, berries, food forest gardens and composting/worm farming facilities.
Local community members are invited to get involved in shaping the garden's look and feel. This is a space where local residents can connect, share, learn and grow food locally. From planting, weeding and harvesting crops to designing what will be planted in the vacant beds – there's plenty to do.
A gardening group, led by the DIVRS Urban Food Program, work in the garden on Thursday mornings, 9am-midday, and it is open to the general public throughout the week. Everyone is welcome to attend the Thursday morning sessions. Occasionally, there are bigger working bees.
Coombe Farm Wines
Yering Station Winery
Notes (in their own words):
Nillumbik Cellars have been trading for over 30 years and are on hand to provide tasting advice. Promoting great local wines are their speciality and they know the area, the wine makers and, most importantly, the local grape-growing conditions. Albert Di Pietro and his staff conduct regular wine tastings. Nillumbik Cellars also has an adjoining cafe, the Vines Cafe, where you can sit and relax after your wine tasting.
Nillumbik Estate is a family owned and operated boutique vineyard and winery in Smiths Gully. The cellar door is open every weekend and offers some of the most breath-taking views in the region across to the Kinglake Ranges, from its elevated viewing deck. Nillumbik Estate offers an extensive range of premium wines including its estate grown Domenic's Paddock Pinot Noir made from 20 year old hand-pruned and hand-picked vines, the Matteo Nebbiolo and Miss 'O' Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Shiraz round off the wine selection. Delicious gourmet pizzas and antipasto platters are also on offer, as well as an extensive range of local produce. Winemaker John Tregambe uses traditional hand-crafted winemaking techniques stretching back generations. The son of Italian immigrants who arrived in Australia in the 1950s, John's interest in wine making was sparked when watching his father practice age-old winemaking techniques in the family home. John also holds Masterclasses providing visitors with an insight into his winemaking and viticulture styles as well as the history of Nillumbik Estate and the region. Each session includes a guided tasting of his fine wines, followed by a delicious antipasto plate and a glass of wine on the deck.
Apples and Sage Organic Wholefoods, Balwyn
Aunt Maggies, Fitzroy
Chirnside Park Health & Wellbeing
Ivanhoe Health Store
La Manna Fresh, Brunswick
Organic Wholefoods, Brunswick
Pachamama Wholefoods, Brunswick
Rhubarb Rhubarb Organics, Preston
Terra Madre, Northcote
Wholefood Merchants, Greensborough
Wild Things Food, Fitzroy North
Notes (in their own words):
No Grainer's mission is to make the world's best grain-free bread, which is also free of pseudo grains and starches. Their bread, which includes almond, loaf, mixed seed loaf and date, raisin & walnut loaf, is:
1. Grain-free - the only flours used are made from almonds, coconuts & chia seeds so they are rich in both nutrients and healthy fats.
2. Low carb - 80% lower in carbohydrates than regular whole wheat bread.
3. Starch-free - whilst starches such as tapioca are technically grain-free, they are also highly refined, high in carbohydrates and will spike your blood sugars in the same way as regular white flour.
4. 100% paleo - the bread contains no dairy, pseudo grains, bean flours or gums. Rather than use bean-based gums to bind the bread, they use organic psyllium powder.
What: The garden has 25 individual plots, some communal areas, a pond, an orchard in the making, and a small recreational park with a basketball hoop. The park has been planted out by the community garden's members with indigenous local plants. They provide space to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits and they share information on all aspects of organic gardening as well as some permaculture principles. They all have different levels of gardening experience and beginners are welcome.
Who: There are around 28 members who manage the garden. All plots are typically allocated, but you can email them to be added to the waiting list. Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend the monthly working bees (see times below). Plots are rented out yearly and first preference is given to Northcote residents. They are all volunteers and the garden is managed through informal consensus with some primary office bearing roles being elected each year.
When: Working bees are held on the first Sunday of each month, from 1pm. Please bring a plate of food to share for afternoon tea if you are able to.
What: The garden is a communal growing space open to all community members, with communal garden beds and a food forest. Although there are no individual plots, there are areas of the garden set aside for growing plants of particular interest or liking. The garden is maintained during regular communal planting, harvesting and working bee days, and gardeners are also encouraged to donate some extra time individually when they can.
Who: The garden is managed by a small group of dedicated residents. Community members can become involved as a friend of the garden (lending support and advice) or as a gardener.
When: Community gardening days are held on the second Sunday of each month, from 10am.
The garden also hosts a food swap on the second Saturday of the month, 11am-midday, organised by the Darebin Urban Harvesters.