Friday, March 26, 2010

Inspiring Events Coming Up

Our calendar is chock a block with interesting, inspiring and interesting activities over the coming months. You may be interested in joining in too.
This Sunday... March 28th
The annual Petty's Orchard Antique Apple Festival is on Sunday March 28th. There will be over 200 varieties of apples to taste, heritage orchard tours, local produce stalls, cooking demonstrations, great organic food & cider, Rare Breeds BBQ, educational presentations from Vasili (Vasili's Garden - SBS), Peter Allen (Heritage Fruits Society, Mountain Districts Permaculture Group), Adam Donaldson (Snake Gully Cider) and more. The photo shows the "Apple Tasting tent". Thankyou to Belinda ( ) for providing this photo.

 The address is the corner of Homestead & Monckton Rd, Templestowe . For more information phone 0407860320 or email

Eltham College Training Services have put together this series of talks, which start next Tuesday and run to June the 8th. The program is :-
  • March 30 “Securing Our Food Supply: Who needs Supermarkets?” With Graeme George
  • April 27 “Surviving Black Saturday with the help of Good Planning and Design” with us (Andrew and Heather)
  • May 11 “Focus on World Poverty: Feeding the world” with Rick Coleman
  • May 25 “Fish into Food: Unusual Edibles and how to grow them” with Stephen Onions
  • June 8 “ Being Really Water Wise: using your water twice” with Rory Fort
All talks will run from from 6pm to 8 pm and will be held in the Eltham Professional Learning Centre (Eltham College), 1660 Main Road, Research. $5 entry also includes a tea or coffee.
To book a seat or for more information contact ECTS, ( ects@ or Ph 03 9433 9859 or check out their website .
We are helping to present a course called “Alternatives in Food Growing” at Selby Community House. Topics include grafting, composting, bee keeping, fruit tree pruning, harvesting/storing, preserving, tips on vegetable and other food growing. Site visits to be scheduled.
The course is held on Wednesdays 7 to 9.30 pm and runs over 8 weeks
Our presentations are as follows:-
• Wednesday 24th March – Introduction to Compost, Basics of Seed saving and general growing tips
• Wednesday 14th April – Amateur Bee Keeping, Pest management, Choosing & Managing fruit trees
• Sunday 18th April – Site visit – Tenderbreak Farm – Dixons Creek 1.30-5.00pm including Afternoon Tea
For bookings and more information email Tracy at Selby Community House
Perhaps we will see you at some of these events.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Autumn Equinox

The autumn equinox has passed, and so has our annual Autumnfest celebration described in our last post. The weather was kind, the music was great, the displays were interesting and informative, the food was tasty and the products were of great quality. In short, everyone did a wonderful job. We had a great time and we hope you did too. It was a wonderful day with around 35 displays, stalls and entertainers and hundreds of visitors (many of whom had not been to our market previously).
There were many highlights. The music, song and dance lifted the spirits and was very entertaining. The crowd particularly enjoyed our own little Riverdance performance by Irish Dancer Kate Bilton and her pupils (appropriately in the vicinity of Healesville’s River St.).
Another highlight was the songs of the Mountain Country Carol Singers. Their hilarious song about “Fluff” really resonated with the listening crowd. Performances by buskers representing the Healesville Music Festival (to be held in May) also added to a day of relaxing entertainment.

There were many displays focussing on the environment and sustainablity. Kurt van Wyjk’s electric car drew plenty of interest; especially the development cost of $15000 and the extremely low running costs.
The solar and wind power display by Solarquip reinforced the advantages of generating your own power, and Glen was able to give an update on what the Federal Government is now offering by way of financial assistance.

Art, craft and jewellery stalls provided a wide range of decorative items and plant stalls had a good range of garden and herb plants for sale.

The animal displays always attract interest and Amanda’s gorgeous goats certainly did that. This was the first time they had made a public appearance off their Steel’s Creek farm and they really took it in their stride and lapped up the attention. Many children enjoyed the hands on experience of giving them a pat.

 The youngsters also had fun joining in the activities organised by the Arts Council.

The food supplied by our catering stalls was delicious.
There was food for every taste and enough for breakfast and lunch. We could choose between mouthwatering crepes and quiches, exotic Middle Eastern dishes, freerange beef and pork sausages (from the Yarra Valley) and drinks such as hot chai and Mexican hot chocolate (to die for).

All these stalls used organic and free-range ingredients and the aromas from everything being cooked or baked on the spot was so tantalizing to the taste buds.

Of course our regular stalls selling local produce allowed everyone to go home with armfuls of organic locally grown food that they could eat during the coming week.

If you missed this year’s festival, don’t despair we’re going to it all over again next year. However in 2011 it is going to be bigger and better. We are going to apply for a grant from the shire that will enable us to advertise our festival much more widely to attract more stalls and more people.
We intend making Healesville's Autumnfest the "must attend" festival in this area with more entertainment, informative speakers and a focus on preparing our community for the environmental and social changes that are going to affect us in the next few years.
When we have more information we will post it on this site. If you know of anyone else who would like to be kept informed about next year's event please tell them to get in contact. If you like to be super organised you might like to mark next year’s date (Saturday March19, 2011) in your diaries.

Hope to see you then (if not before).
Free Hit Counter