Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tempe Making Workshop

Our local tempe maker Edward Brand (you may have met him at the Dylesford market and sampled his wares) will teach us how to make some for ourselves, send us home with a fresh block and the ingredients to make several batches.....
We will have a light dinner with tempe and miso soup to sustain and nourish us. Do you want to join us?
Thursday, April 10th 6 to 9pm   $55   Maximum 8 people   venue tba

go here to book

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Equinox dinner and talk by James Henderson

In ten days time we will reach the autumn equinox, what better time to celebrate the universality of the peoples and places of the world than when we all have the same length of day and night?

On Friday March 21st, we will be having a celebratory dinner  with Alexis of Continental House
and local food, including weeds fame, and a talk by James Henderson (from Henderson Clayworks) about earth render, including the presentation of his new book on this subject.

Dinner at 7pm at the Senior Citizens rooms at the Town Hall and James' talk at 8.15pm 

The dinner and talk will cost $17pp.  Book here
HRN events are waste free. We use ceramic crockery, reusable packaging, and take home any food scraps to feed the chooks.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sandor's food frenzy workshop

On Thursday evening, local food enthusiasts flocked to the town hall for the workshop hosted by the world fermentation food expert, Sandor Katz. Once described by the New York Times as "one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene" he was on a month long tour around Australia running workshops in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne. His visit to Daylesford was for one last workshop before flying out to New Zealand the following. Aren't we lucky to be able to host events like this, right on our doorstep. Thanks Sandor !

We were first told the benefits of fermented food such as kimchee, sourdough, miso, cheese, kafir, yoghurt etc. and the cultural importance of these in our culinary history. Native of New York and collector of fermented food techniques from around the world, Sandor stressed the significance of improvisation, using what is locally available, to suit the local conditions, once the fundamentals are understood. 

After a bowl of miso soup, made with locally grown vegs and miso (fermented bean paste made at Melliodora), it was time  to get into action. In frenzied chaos we chopped and shredded carrots, cabbages, cucumbers and other vegs supplied by local organic farmer Rod May, then we salt pickled them, while asking Sandor all sorts of questions about every aspect of fermentation. 

"Don't be afraid of making mistakes and be creative once you understand the basics,"  Sandor said when he had to wind up his four-and-a-half-hour workshop. Everybody seemed to want some more, not too unlike at the end of a good rock music gig. There was no encore, unlike at concerts, but everyone left the hall with huge grins on their faces as well as a jar of freshly made fermented veg. 
No doubt an even bigger grin will return in about a week, when the fermented veg is sampled, with fond memories of the evening. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sandor Katz in Daylesford

Don't miss this unique workshop in Daylesford!!!!!!

                                                      Thursday February 27th  
                                                                  at the 
                                                      Daylesford Town Hall
                                                  5pm - 9.30pm  Cost $220  

For bookings and a local's discount click here

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Art of Fermentation Workshop

        Yes I know,  many of you have been waiting impatiently for this event! Well, here it is..
                                           Hepburn Relocalisation Network presents

                                                      Thursday February 27th  
                                                                  at the 
                                                      Daylesford Town Hall
                                                  5pm - 9.30pm  Cost $220  

the Art of Fermentation:
Come and learn how simple it is to make your own kimchi, kefir, and other fermented delicacies. Learn about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of live-culture ferments, as well as their illustrious history and integral role in human cultural evolution. Empower yourself with simple techniques for fermenting these healthful foods in your home. Be part of the fermentation revival!

Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His book Wild Fermentation (2003) and the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught across North America and beyond, have helped to catalyse a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” His latest book, The Art of Fermentation (2012), is indeed a precious resource. Sandor's reputation precedes him and his fermentation workshops are highly sought after. See more at

And.... you can get a copy of his book from HRN

 Limited places      Bookings close Feb 20th

For bookings and a local's discount click here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Formidable Vegetable Sound System at the Hepburn Hotel last Sunday

Here's just a few pics.....

First up Mal Webb did what he only can do with his looping machine, various trombones,  a mouthful of amazing sounds and a faster-than-lightening brain ........ to the exquisite violin (too beautiful for the term 'fiddle') accompaniment of Kylie,

...... then, after a short break, Mal and Kylie returned to join Charlie to form the The Formidable Vegetable Sound System.

A musical tour of the twelve permaculture principles could sound a bit dry... but, well, you had to be there!

I haven't had so much fun thinking about Catching and Storing Energy, Obtaining a Yield, Using and Valuing Diversity, or any of the other permie principles.

Charlie Mgee, Mal amd Kylie knocked our socks off!

The Formidable Vegetable Sound System was a hit with young and old alike at the Old Hepburn Hotel on Sunday.

Formidable Vegetable Sound System Permaculture: the Musical

Live ukelele quirk and speak easy electro swing with the message of  simple solutions for sustainable living. Don't miss Charlie Mgee and Mal Webb together for inspiration to"garden the funk up' and grow food everywhere.   4pm at the old Hepburn Hotel  $10 and kids free.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Veggie boxes start next Wednesday

For those of you who are not familiar with our CSA,
check us out and order your box by Tuesday if you
would like one. Boxes start this Wednesday, January 8th.

Freshly picked and packed on the day, you can  pick up your box any time between 3.30 and 9pm. Great value

Order here

Charlie Mgee back in Hepburn with Mal Webb!

Just back from a knockout reception at the Woodford Folk Festival, Charlie will be back in town to bless us with his presence and quirky music again but this time with Mal Webb for added craziness.
Grab your friends and head down to the Old Hepburn Hotel on Sunday, January 19th  at 4pm for some family entertainment

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Permies get to work in the Philippines

On the morning of 8 November 2013, category 5 Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made a direct hit on the Philippines, a densely populated country of 92 million people, devastating areas in 36 provinces. Haiyan is possibly the most powerful storm ever recorded. While we debate in relative comfort whether this kind of wild climate event is really a symptom of climate change or not, the poorer and weaker parts of our population gets hit hardest. The full force of the wrath of mother earth.
Yolanda first made landfall at Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, with wind speeds of 235 km/h and gusts of 275 km/h. Rain fell at rates of up to 30mm per hour and massive storm surges up to six metres high hit Leyte and Samar islands. Many cities and towns experienced widespread destruction, with as much as 90 per cent of housing destroyed in some areas. Roads are still impassable, and airports and seaports impaired; heavy ships have been thrown inland. Water supply and power are cut; much of the food stocks and other goods are destroyed; many health facilities are not functioning and medical supplies are quickly being exhausted.

To this devastation, permaculture activists in the Philippines, as well as the wider region, swiftly responded, setting up an aid group, called Permaculture Aid Yolanda (PAY). PAY members and partners gathered in Puerto Princesa, Palawan late November, devising strategies and plans. 
They have since sent out an observation team led by the aid expert Steve Cran, to affected regions, to connect with local partners, locate potential project sites, and identify needs gaps. The group has set up a base camp in the Maia ecovillage. 
The ecovillage will house volunteers and provide training, before deployment to the field. It may also serve as respite for field workers, should the need arise. The ecovillage will also be the training ground for practical permaculture aid and development skills for the locals.
They plan to establish bases in Cebu, Coron, Leyte and Panay.  These base camps will serve as hubs for the provision of aid and relief, community training and facilitation, and field projects. In the long term, regional base camps will be assimilated into the local communities as centres for health, education, and other community needs.

While the conventional crisis relief effort is focused more on getting life back on track as before, permaculture aid sees the devastation as an opportunity to develop a better future, more sustainable and resilient one. Sustainable and long-term solutions to crises require an integrated and holistic model that supports affected communities to rebuild their homes and lives in the short term, with a focus on self-sufficiency and resilience, putting the future back into their own hands.
Basic human needs of food, shelter, water and community are addressed from a framework that equally values the health of the environment in which we live.
PAY will tap into local networks, link and liaise with local groups, so through them they can learn and incorporate local and indigenous knowledges and skills. At the same time, they will bring in some novel ideas and techniques developed elsewhere, such as earthship construction, which will be designed to meet the local areas and conditions.

You too can help these devastated communities in the Philippines to rebuild their lives.
Funds are desperately needed, though PAY is operating on a voluntary basis, and all members are self-funded. HRN already has $1000($500 from the Bill Gammage talk) to donate to kick start a fund-raising effort for PAY.  HRN is happy to act as its local fund raising point. Even the smallest donation is a plus as it is a local group helping themselves so funds go further. Please contact HRN for bank details

PAY is seeking dedicated volunteers from the permaculture community, and related field. Understanding and commitment to permaculture ethics, a willingness to learn, and minimum availability of ideally 3 months is essential. Prior training and experience would be very useful.

As PAY operates on a collaborative basis, they are open to any contacts and connections within existing aid and development organisations active in the Philippines. Corporate partners who may be able to donate goods in kind are also welcome.

You can follow the PermaAidYolanda team here.
If you think you can help, please get in touch with them at