Posts filed under ‘Food’

Christmas Crafting #2 Preserved Lemons

2012-12-28 18.21.58As 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!

28 December, 2012 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Christmas crafting #1: Pomanders

getting started - whole cloves and a big-arse needle

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

ribbon tied on, cloves underway!

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..

ta da!

ta da!

some extra good oil

16 December, 2012 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Northcote Library Food Garden FIRST PLANTING DAY

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.

http://northcotelibraryfoodgarden.blogspot.com

Peace friends

10 July, 2011 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

Apple Tasting Festival

Join us Sunday 27th March for the Heritage Fruit Society’s Apple Tasting Festival at

Petty’s Orchard
1 Homestead Rd
Templestowe
(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.

Bring your picnic gear, water, sunscreen.

Togetherness: We could meet up for lunch at 1pm at the Yarra River via the arboretum walk between fruit and nut trees.
Transport: It’s a hilly 5km bike ride from Eltham train station, so you keen and fit people, meet us at the orchard gate at 11am. Interested in car pooling? Please contact Marion at marioncin@fastmail.fm if you need a list or wish to offer one.

21 March, 2011 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

The World’s Biggest Eva Vegie Swap

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.

4 March, 2011 at 1:46 pm 2 comments

A-picking we did go

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)

Youngberry pickers

Youngberry pickers

Boysenberries

Boysenberries

Buckets of goodness

Buckets of goodness

Missed out? Wished you could’ve come too? Join our mailing list and next time you’ll know about it!

31 December, 2010 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

TD’s first Made ‘n Thornbury market stall

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.

 

Robynann and customers

Robynann and customers

12 December, 2010 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

Food for Thought: Local Food Forum + Open Space Session

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.

Kirsten Larsen (right) from the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab

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?

Participants gather for the open space session.

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.

23 October, 2010 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment

Local Food Tour

On Saturday 9th of October more than 30 people came on on a tour of local food sites, taking in community gardens, productive backyards, Preston Market and a talk on Preston’s rich food producing history, as publicised in the Preston Leader a couple of weeks ago.

See pictures here!

We met at Sprout, a community garden next to Thornbury station that helps people experiencing homelessness and mental illness get some hands-on skills. The garden plots are communal rather than private, and the garden throws open its gates to the wider community with a market on the first Thursday of the month.

Transition Darebin’s very own Kat Lavers opened our eyes to the useful weeds growing all around us on our way to Angelo’s house. Angelo’s house has an amazingly productive permaculture bursting out of his backyard and he was only to happy to give away tips and even seedlings and cuttings to people inspired to start growing their own.

At Costante Imports on Bell Street we found all kinds of food processing and preserving equipment – which is just what you need if you have a yard as abundant as Angelo’s!

Then we grabbed lunch from Preston market and walked to a nearby park to listen to tales of Preston’s food-producing past from Merv Lia from the Preston Historical Society. You can download a scanned copy of Merv’s notes (PDF, 292 KB).

Finally we had a well-deserved sit down at Motor Mower cafe on Murray Road where we heard about how a cafe can be set up in a low-impact way.

See the map below or download the schedule (PDF, 60KB).

food tour map

10 October, 2010 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

Permablitz #89 in conjunction with Transition Darebin and Permaculture Inner North

Short days, cool weather and a forecast for rain can’t keep keen blitzers indoors. Where there’s a yard to make over, they’re there in spades. Or is that shovels? That was just one of life’s more enduring questions to be debated on Saturday 29th May in Damian’s front yard as its gentle slope was engineered into swales to feed a future orchard. In between chai breaks and a hot vegie feast, an old bath tub was converted into a frog bog, surrounded by relocated rocks and plants, and a new ‘plucking garden’ laid out next to the back door.

There aren’t many social occasions where the guests are asked to bring a plate of rotting food. In this case the bounty of past-it produce went into the compost pile along with a healthy helping of manure, leaves, straw and grass. Paul the compost connoisseur demonstrated the Berkeley hot compost method, the result of which Damian will be able to spread on his new garden in a matter of weeks.

Pre-swales: Maximum run-off

Pre-swales: Maximum run-off

Water catchment for yet-to-be planted fruit trees

Water catchment for yet-to-be planted fruit trees

You can also see the whole day unfold on YouTube.

Thanks to everyone who dug, mulched and weeded. See you at the next blitz!

If you are a Darebin resident who has a balcony, courtyard, back or front garden ready to be transformed into an edible oasis, simply lend a hand at 3 blitzes then get in touch with Transition Darebin! Find blitzes happening near you at www.permablitz.net.

31 May, 2010 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

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