Posts filed under ‘Food’
Fruit Squad ready for summer fruit harvest in Northcote
Fruit Squad is a project that involves volunteers picking backyard fruit and giving it to SecondBite, an organisation that redistributes fresh, nutritious food to those in need via hostels, rooming houses and community services, many located in Darebin.
With the summer seasons fruit ripening fast, the Fruit Squad is currently looking for back yard trees to pick. If you live in Northcote, in the area bounded by Separation Street, St Georges Road, Grange Road and Heidelberg Road, and would like to register your fruit trees for harvesting, or want to pick your own which we can collect, please call Jika Jika Community Centre on (03) 9482 5100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fruit Squad is an initiative of Transition Darebin in partnership with Jika Jika Community Centre, with support from Darebin City Council.
For our first gathering of 2013, we are teaming up with Urban Reforestation, who are hosting a workshop called “The Art of Community Gardening” at the Old Apple Tree. It will be more of a discussion than a one-way workshop – people with all levels of experience and interest are welcome – whether you are an old hand or just finding out about community gardens.
If anyone has not come across the Apple Tree before, it’s a bit of a local icon. A very big, very old apple tree right next to the railway line which has been lovingly documented by photographer Cat Wilson, and adopted and given a new lease on life by locals including TD members and people in the neighbourhood, most recently led by Urban Reforestation members, who have spruced up the area, adding seating, a planter box and other plants. And started a facebook page for the Apple Tree.
After the workshop there will be a hands-on working bee, giving the apple tree and surrounds some TLC.
And then a picnic which will double as our first TD gathering of the year. Perhaps we may even bring out the TD banner, which still needs a little more painting to be complete, and features our apple tree inspired by… you guessed it – the Old Apple Tree.
Saturday 12 January
10.30am morning tea and meet up!
11am Workshop and advice sharing on setting up a community garden. Tips
include: engaging community, creative design ideas, working with local
council and ongoing maintenance.
12pm Working bee at The Apple Tree Herbert Street! Putting some
creative design ideas into action.
1pm Yummy vegetarian picnic lunch – please bring a vegetarian plate to share. Come and meet with TD peeps and the locals around the Apple Tree.
Cost: by donation.
For more details and to RSVP for the workshop see http://www.urbanreforestation.com/community-gardens-2/workshop-the-art-of-community-gardening/
As foretold… today after coming home from TD berry picking, I followed this method to preserve some already long-in-the-tooth lemons. I also used left over cloves from the pomanders, bay leaves from a food swap, and Murray River salt.
I guess I won’t know if it worked until I’ve let them sit for a few weeks and see if they develop the ‘harmless white mould’ referred to… harmless has a comforting ring to it – I’m sure I can just scrape it off if so, right? Don’t take my advice on that, seriously, I eat borderline stuff all the time, my stomach’s used to it.
Oh, and some of my pomanders did develop mould =( I think I might have to try again and find a dryer, cooler place to store them while they season… definitely taking them to work in a sealed container was a bad, bad idea…
Anyway the one experimental thing I did today was to use some of the nicer looking peels of the lemons that I squeezed for juice. I just put more salt in each half-lemon peel, then tucked another one on top and repeated and squeezed into a smaller jar.
Let’s see how it goes!
Christmas Crafting Part 1: Making Orange and Clove Pomanders
For the last few Christmases I’ve been making my own little Christmas gifties. Two years ago I had bags of lemons from the tree and so make lemon cordial (thanks to a winner recipe from Julie from the Plummery Food Coop). Last year I had bags of boysenberries, blackberries and logan berries from Sunny Creek Organic Berry Farm from our TD berry-picking excursion – if you want to join this year’s excursion, email Rachel.
What was hanging around this year? My lovely housemates had buckets of oranges and lemons so I decided on a very traditional Christmas decoration/gift – pomanders of oranges, studded with cloves. I’m not sure where I first heard of these but it was as a child, and I’ve always been rather enchanted by the concept. They smell good, they look good, and they are
meant to ward off moths too, so you can hang them in your
cupboards after the holiday season – they last for years apparently, just sort of drying out and wafting their goodness around.
So, how to make pomanders? Here’s the recipe I used.
I did a couple of things slightly differently – I didn’t bother with the masking tape, just put the ribbon straight on, and
I rubbed oil directly on the oranges for extra pungency and preservation (I used orange blossom, cinnamon and sandalwood). Oh and one other thing I found, and it could be because my oranges were already… seasoned, shall we say… I often didn’t need any piercing implement,just pushed the cloves straight in.
Preserved lemons will be Part 2, if I’m not sick of the sight of citrus by then..
SATURDAY JULY 16th from 10am-3pm
Come down and help out, as we dig, plant and chatter around the new jewel in Northcote’s crown.
You are welcome to donate healthy seeds, cuttings and plants and to be part of the fun watching a dirt pit transform into the garden of Eden.
Check out the Northcote Library Food Garden Blog for up-to-date info.
Join us Sunday 27th March for the Heritage Fruit Society’s Apple Tasting Festival at
1 Homestead Rd
(Melways 22 A12)
Entry benefits the Heritage Fruit Society – $10 adult; $20 family; $2 child.
Talks by Alana Moore (chooks), Permablitz, apple tasting, stalls (info, food & drink), trees & fruit for sale; children’s activities.
Been looking for a chance to offload those excess tomatoes and pick up some apples?
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in conjunction with CERES Urban Orchard, Yarra Neighbourhood Orchard and Cultivating Community are holding “The World’s Biggest Eva Vegie Swap”.
Annerliegh will be there trying to rally a li’l support for the northern produce share movement. If you’d like to come along and just hang with her….awesome.
You can bring pretty much anything including fruit, veg, preserves, bottled delicacies etc.
When and where? Saturday 12th March City Square, corner Collins & Swanston Streets (next to the Town Hall) 10am – 2pm
Be there or be pear.
Early yesterday morning, a group of 12 adults and 6 children set off for a berry picking adventure. We went up the windy road to the lower hills of the Strzelecki ranges and found that the Sunny Creek Organic berry farm was a little cooler than the highway we had transcended from.
The day started with a talk on the history and setting up of the permaculture designed property by one of the owners, Phil. We learnt of the importance of frogs and bees to the organic berry farmer, why currants will grow under chestnut trees but raspberries won’t, and how to tell a golden raspberry plant from a red raspberry, even before it fruits. Most importantly for our purposes on the day, we learnt how to judge a berry for immediate eating versus one for keeping a few days or freezing.
Then it was time to pick and be merry. Everyone had a bucket to fill, and there were oodles of beautiful plump berries to be had – silvan berries, boysenberries, youngberries, blackberries (all types of brambles), a rainbow of raspberries (yellow, red, purple and black) some red currants and a smattering of blueberries.
It was a perfect temperature for picking and we were in under the nets reaching for large clusters of berries, some so ripe that they fell off their stalk as soon as they were touched (then you had to ferret in the undergrowth to save them!). Of course a fair amount of berry grazing was done along the way, encouraged by the owner, who suggested we savour the sharper, more acidic, less ripe fruit and compare it with its more fully ripened and darker neighbour.
The owners gave us a lovely spot to have morning tea and our picnic lunch, and the children had a lovely time seeking adventures in the nearby bush and looking for tree frogs in the pond.
After weighing and packing our bounty, we wandered our separate ways home with our berry treasures, some stopping off in Yarragon on the way for a cuppa, and others checking out the new foal on a local farm, all determined to add one or two varieties of berry to our gardens next spring.
Perhaps the apple season will take us for another venture up into the hills– cox’s orange pippins and Canadian cider apples await. We will keep you posted re picking season for the apple crop and highly recommend the quality of the berries and berry picking experience at Sunny Creek.
Rachel and Jos
(on behalf of the fun_raising group)
Missed out? Wished you could’ve come too? Join our mailing list and next time you’ll know about it!
Made ‘n Thornbury, an initiative of Thornbury Women’s Neighborhood House, held its final community market for 2010 on Saturday 11 December and Transition Darebin was among the stallholders, selling home-made produce, crafts and Christmas decorations and a selection of home-grown herbs, vegies, seeds and seedlings, all provided by Transition Darebinites.
It was a fun day, not least because we got to check out the other stalls. There are some seriously creative craftswomen in Darebin. We also discovered that fresh rhubarb is in high demand so it’s a good thing this reliable perennial is growing in many of our gardens.
The next Made ‘n Thornbury market will be in autumn. We hope to be there again. Thanks to the wonderful Maz, Rachel and Kelly for suggesting and organising our presence at this one.
Transition Darebin hosted a forum on the future of food in Preston on the 23rd of October 2010 at Preston Shire Hall.
After a welcome from Mayor Vince Fontana Michelle Darebin from the City of Darebin’s Environment team updated us on how people in Darebin are faring with food security and what the City of Darebin council is doing on food availability and sustainability. Guest speaker Kirsten Larsen from the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab reported on what climate change and the end of cheap oil means for food in Australia.
Over lunch participants met some of the groups in our area who are involved in exciting food-related projects before participating in an ‘Open Space’ session to explore the question: how will Preston feed itself over the next twenty years?
Here is a summary of what participants talked about during this session (PDF, 56KB).
Transition Darebin thanks the City of Darebin for supporting this event.