Tuesday, September 11, 2018

October Culture Club (plus a whole heap more)

Culture Club has another special guest coming to share knowledges. Introducing Monique Miller. Monique will be discussing her ideas on fermentation and presenting a workshop:

Saturday 6th of October, 9.30am - 12.30pm 
Senior Citizen's Room (behind the Daylesford Town Hall).
This is a FREE event open to all community members.

Monique is a generalist. She divides her time between bush land management, teaching edible weed & fermentation workshops and facilitating the permaculture design course at CERES in Brunswick East.

She has been teaching fermentation for more than four years, teaching from Confest to Bairnsdale.
On her days off she enjoys cleaning her house (no, really) and drinking a gratuitous amount of tea while gardening.

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Thank you to everyone who came along to September's Culture Club, especially Nicole Azzopardi, who so very generously shared her story, recipes and ferments with us. If you would like to order Nicole's book, The Alchemy Cookbook, please let us know as we are putting in a bulk order.

Have a look at these beautiful photos taken by the ever-wondrous Mara Ripani at the September Culture Club:

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This is a reminder that you need to book your place out the upcoming Equinox dinner by this coming Thursday!!

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On Sunday October 21, we are organising a special event called Land for Life at the Daylesford Town Hall. A conversation with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren (author of RetroSuburbia) and US food movement scholar-activist Eric Holt-Gimenez (author of A Foodie's Guide to Capitalism) as they offer insights into how to develop a deep engagement and long-term commitment to regenerative and just economies. More details to come...

Friday, September 7, 2018

Annual community spring equinox dinner

Did you know that the word "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length?

Come and help celebrate the coming spring equinox with a community dinner as we rejoice the blossom and buds and warmer weather, and are reminded that this is the time of the year when Rod May and Su Dennett would dream up the vegetable season ahead.

Thursday September 20 at 7pm
The Woodshed, 21a Raglan Street, Daylesford

Tickets are $20 (plus booking fee) for a main meal and dessert. Kids under 10 are free.
Food lovingly prepared by Spade to Blade.

Sorry for the late notice but bookings for the dinner close Thursday September 13.

The entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Mosquito Story Slam.

Storyteller Anne E Stewart is looking for contestants: storytellers have 5 minutes to win over the audience with a story. No notes, no props just you and the audience! Annie is looking for contestants with a personal story to tell, connected to the Hepburn Shire…and the theme Marking the Seasons.

If this sounds like you please get in touch with Annie: anne@anneestewart.com.au or mobile: 0408 550 945.

All stories will be recorded for a podcast and inclusion on Hepburn Community radio.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The alchemy of ferments

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder that Culture Club is on this Saturday at the usual time of 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Senior Citizen's Hall behind the Daylesford Town Hall. As usual, this is a free event.

Our very special guest this month is Nicole Azzopardi, author of the Alchemy Cookbook.

Most recipes in The Alchemy Cookbook are GAPS diet friendly. For those not familiar with it, GAPS  stands for Gut And Psychology Syndrome. The GAPS diet focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to gut flora and replacing them with nutrient-dense food.

Here is a little of Nicole's story:

“Our little girl Stevie Rose was diagnosed anaphylactic to egg, nut and sesame at 11 months old. As time went on we discovered that the hives she kept presenting with were also intolerances to a whole range of foods. Stevie began to display what I can only describe as autistic-like tendencies – banging her head on the ground, terrified of noises, melt downs all day and night - but at the same time she would have these hives everywhere. I knew that it had to be food related for her.”

Stevie Rose began the GAPS Diet without egg, nuts or sesame at age two. Her family were astonished to see Stevie improve steadily as time went on.

“I can’t explain this phenomenon and indeed I think there are a lot of scientists doing their best to get to the bottom of this immune system related disorder,” Nicole says.

“However, as a journalist, research came naturally to me and we tried to educate ourselves as much as possible. I watched numerous lectures and read peer reviewed paper after peer reviewed paper on how our gut microbiome could possibly influence a number of functions within the body. I also learned that 80 per cent of the immune system was found in the gut wall. So I asked myself, if the gut wall was under less stress, could that benefit then flow on to the immune system?”

Fast forward two years and Stevie Rose is a happy, healthy 4.5-year-old. She displays no autistic tendencies, no longer requires epipens, has no known food intolerances and on last check with her paediatric allergist in 2014, had only a 2mm peanut allergy.

“What happened to Stevie was frightening but her gift to us was that we discovered cooking from scratch, the joy of getting into our garden, the creativity of making our own veggie ferment combos and the soothing qualities of a good home made chicken stock,” Nicole says.

“We went back to the age-old tradition of lacto-fermenting our vegetables, we enjoyed the Sunday roast and meat and three veg. Desserts were simplified, fruit-based and delicious.

“I was amazed to see our daughter begin to thrive by eating this way and I could not in good conscious not begin to chronicle the experience for anyone who might need to see it in pictures. I hope this book offers hope and courage and inspires all people to get back into their kitchens and really enjoy making beautiful, home cooked food for their families.”

Nicole will be talking about her experience on Saturday at Culture Club and will also be showing us how to make some of the ferments from her book. She will also have some books for sale.

See you then!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Repair, don't despair!!

Hi everybody, there are two meetings scheduled for Thursday August 16 (sorry for the late notice!) to get the ball rolling on setting up a Daylesford Repair Café. How exciting!

The meeting times are:

  • 1.00pm - 2.30pm at the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre and 
  • 6.30pm - 7.30pm at the Senior Citizens Room
We all have things that need repairing. How wonderful it will be to have an active space to share skills and tools and materials.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Eating the Earth: why the food movement is unstoppable

Industrial food production and farming are key drivers of environmental destruction, from rainforests to reefs, and water supplies to climate change. Charles Massy, Tammi Jonas and Dr Jonathan Latham discuss how regenerative agriculture can turn Australia's economies around and revitalise rural communities. Refreshments included in the ticket price.


Tammi Jonas is resident meatsmith at Jonai Farms, where she and her family of ethicurean farmers raise pastured rare-breed pigs and cattle. Jonai Farms is engaged in the solidarity economy of community supported agriculture-CSA, feeding 80 member households each month. Tammi is president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, where she advocates for ethical and ecological farming, and everybody's right to determine food systems. She is also chair of the AFSA Legal Defence Fund, which supports farmers dealing with inappropriate regulation and planning. Tammi has been writing about food culture since 2006 at her blog, Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics, and has been widely published in both academic and general texts.

Charles Massy is an author and farmer with a focus on transformative and regenerative agriculture. His latest book, Call of the Reed Warbler, challenges the way we farm and grow food, and puts a lens on the vital connection between soil and our health. Using his personal experience as a touchstone ~ from an unknowing, chemical-driven farmer with dead soils, to a radical ecologist carefully reviving a 2000 hectare property back to biological health ~ Dr Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the profit-obsessed global corporations driving it. And in a brilliant series of narratives he shows how innovative farmers are finding new and profitable ways, and returning the earth to health.
Dr Jonathan Latham is an international food advocate and crop scientist based in New York. He is executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, and editor of Independent Science News. The Project’s peer reviewed biosafety papers provide critical analysis of new technologies in the public interest. He is also the director of the Poison Papers, which reveals extraordinary collusion between governments and polluters. Dr Latham is author of scientific papers in diverse fields including virology, ecology, genetics and molecular biology. He is a biologist and biopolitical theorist, and talks frequently at scientific and regulatory conferences. He has written for Truthout, Salon, MIT Technology Review, Resilience and the Guardian.

Tickets here.

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In case you missed the memo, there will be no Culture Club this month (tomorrow), but please join us in September where special guest Nicole Azzopardi will be joining us to discuss her new book, The Alchemy Cookbook.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ancestral ferments

Hello microbial hosts,

We hope you are keeping well + warm.

Just wanted to let you know that there will be no Culture Club in August but we are ridiculously excited that author and foundational food advocate Nicole Azzopardi will be joining us to host September's Culture Club on Saturday September 1 from 9.30am - 12.30pm at the Senior Citizen's Room behind the Daylesford Town Hall. As usual, this will be a free event. No bookings are necessary.

Here is Nicole with her gorgeous family:

About Nicole.
After searching for the most nutrient dense, healing food she could find to help heal her eldest daughter’s damaged digestive system, journalist, author and foundational food advocate Nicole Azzopardi, found the very best medicine came from rediscovering some of our oldest traditions. Simple, elegant and beautiful, the practice of culturing vegetables, making stocks and hearty soups and stews has provided the restorative qualities she had searched for. Nicole’s parents were born in Egypt. Her mother is Maltese/ French and her father is Maltese/Greek. She draws on the traditions of all of these cultures and more in her book, The Alchemy Cookbook, to create a delicious array of every day foods that nourish and heal. Her family business, Mumma Care, supports families who are keen to reclaim their inheritance of knowing how to cook foods that soothe, support and heal. She teaches ancestral cooking classes and runs retreats on Victoria's Surfcoast, Australia. 

Nicole will be joining us to teach some of her favourite ferments from The Alchemy Cookbook. Nicole will also have copies for sale + signing on the day.

See you then!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Solstice dinner wrap up

Thank you to the 50 or so people who gathered at the Masonic Hall on Friday night to help celebrate the winter solstice, great company, wonderful music, scrumptious local fare, thought + emotion provoking poetry, and a deep sense of community spirit.

THANK YOU to Mara Ripani for taking these photographs.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Community Winter Solstice Dinner

Hello rugged-up wintry friends,

We are hosting our annual community solstice dinner this coming Friday night and we hope you can make it:

7pm Friday June 22 
Daylesford Masonic Hall 
16 Vincent St

PLEASE NOTE we are not gathering in the Senior Citizen's Hall but in the Masonic Hall.

Please bring a dish of your homegrown produce, or made with as many local ingredients as possible, and a candle, a song to sing or a poem to read. As with all HRN events, this dinner is a single-use plastic free event.

RSVP by Wednesday June 20
Email bookings hrn@internode.on.net Or via Facebook: Hepburn Relocalisation Network

Entry by gold coin donation.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Flu shot ferments

Let's build community immunity! Stay well this winter by strengthening your immune system with an array of easy to make wild fermented foods + drinks. Come and learn how at our next monthly free Culture Club event:

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Our annual Winter Solstice community dinner will be held on Friday June 22 at 7pm at the Daylesford Masonic Hall. More details to come.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sourdough workshop wrap up

Wowsers! What a wonderfully wonderful sourdough workshop we had on the weekend!
Again, a big thank you goes to our presenters Alison + Katy, Chris + Loïque, and to the people who brought in loaves and toppings to share.

The talented illustrator Brenna Quinlan took these notes, which you can click to enlarge. Thank you Brenna!! You can follow Brenna's adventures via @brenna_quinlan

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Song Keepers

Doesn't this film sound wonderful?

If you would like to attend the screening, we encourage you to join our car pool. Whether you are offering or seeking a lift, please meet at 5.30pm on Friday at the Albert St community garden (beside the library). We will leave at 5.45pm to arrive in Kyneton at 6.15pm in time to park, get our tickets and settle into our seats. Hope you can join us!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Scrumptious sourdough: gluten free + CSB

How do I make a sourdough starter?
How do I keep it alive?
Is it OK to put my starter in the fridge?
How much starter do I need to use?
Can I make GF sourdough bread?

Come along to our June Culture Club to find out the answers to all these questions, plus more.

This exciting workshop will be in three parts:

First up, the talented Katy + Alison from Daylesford's Two Fold Bakehouse will be talking all things bread, grain, milling and baking, and why they decided to run their business as a CSB - Community Supported Baking - and what that means in real terms for them and their customers.

Second up we are thrilled to have special guests all the way from Hepburn, Chris + Loïque, who are avid home bakers who specialise in the art of gluten free sourdough baking. Yes, it can be done! Come and learn how.

Calling all bakers: how do you make your sourdough? What water to flour ratio works for you? Please bring in some of your home baked sourdough bread to share + discuss. And perhaps any baking books you have found useful.

Hope you have an invigorating week. See you all on June 2!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

In partnership with...

HRN is excited to announce that we have teamed up with several organisations we feel are doing hugely important work. 

The first partnership is with the Central Vic Climate Action, Hepburn Wind, SHARE and Localising Leanganook to present a screening of Stop Adani followed by a Q&A with recently returned blockaders from central Victoria.

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The second partnership is with Z-NET Hepburn Shire who is currently seeking 1,000 households to complete their Zero Net Emissions Survey, which you can take here.

Would you like to be part of Hepburn Shire's journey to zero-net emissions? Z-NET would like to hear how we, the residents of Hepburn Shire, currently use energy in our homes. How can the community as a whole manage the transition to renewable sources and zero-net emissions?

To help create a meaningful community profile the first step is to take the household survey.

So far over 400 households having already completed the survey. However, they would like to reach 1000 households to create a more meaningful and representative profile of our community. If you haven’t already done so, please let Z-NET know about energy consumption in your household by filling in the Z-NET.

You can take the survey here.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Pink Lake salt collecting

We have decided to cancel the salt collecting adventure and will reschedule later in the year.

Pickles? Olives? Kimchi? Kraut? Sourdough? Table salt?

Whatever you use your salt for, you are invited to join the Daylesford Culture Club community fermenters on our salt collecting adventure on Saturday May 5.

Here's the plan

  • 8.00am board bus at the Daylesford Bridport St bus stop.
  • Drive to the Pink Lake, Dimboola Vic, stopping along the way for a toilet break.
  • Arrive approx. 11.30am
  • Collect salt and enjoy shared picnic lunch at the lake or at the Dimboola Nature Conservation Reserve.
  • 2.00pm board bus and drive from Pink Lake to Daylesford, stopping for a toilet break on the way back.
  • Arrive back in Daylesford approx. 5.30pm


Tickets are $30 and are limited to 57.
Book your seat on the bus here.

What to bring?

  • Your own containers to collect salt, with lids that seal shut. Please label all containers.
  • A shovel or trowel.
  • Sun hats + sunnies as the lake is bright and harsh on a hot day.
  • A dish to share for lunch.
  • A picnic blanket, plate, cutlery and filled water bottle.

HRN acknowledge the Barengi Gadjin Land Council as the traditional custodians of the country we will be gathering salt on. HRN promises to treat the sacred land with our deepest respect.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Rhythm of the Beet

The beet goes on!

Please join us for a pink stained April Culture Club as we praise, honour and delight in the delicious vegetable that is beetroot.

Thank you to Captains Creek Organic Farm for supplying us with the beets, which you can purchase in advance and take home with you to chop, grate and experiment with, armed with the new knowledge you will learn during the workshop:

Saturday April 7 
9.30am - 12.30pm
Senior Citizens room (behind the Daylesford Town Hall)
Cost: FREE!

The cost of the beetroots is $3/kg. Please send your orders to daylesfordcultureclub@gmail.com by Wednesday April 4 with the number of kilos you'd like to buy. Please bring exact change on the day and a bag for your beets.

The workshop is a hands off workshop. The beets you purchase are to take home and ferment.

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Jordan and Antoinette from Happen Films are coming to Daylesford this Thursday night to screen their latest film, Living the Change

The screening will be followed by a Q+A and a shared supper. 

Entry is $5 + a plate of local fare. 

More details here, and a great interview with the filmmakers here.

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Picture: David Geraghty

For our May Culture Club we are hiring a bus to take us to the Pink Lake in Dimboola for a salt collecting expedition. The date is Saturday May 5. The departure time will be 8am. We are still finalising the details but the cost will be around $30/pp. BYO buckets with well fitting lids. Watch this space for more details!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Living the Change film screening & Q+A

Exciting news! Jordan and Antoinette from Happen Films will be visiting our shire later this month. During their stay we will be screening their latest film, 'Living the Change', and will have a Q+A with them afterwards, followed by a shared supper. Entry is 5 bucks.

Here are the details:

Here's the trailer: (If you are reading this in your inbox, you can click through to the trailer here.)

No need to book, just come along, but having said that, best get there on time as this event will sell out. We hope you can make it.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fermenting seasonal produce

Greetings microbial hosts,

Culture Club is on the move in March. We have been invited to participate in the Macedon Ranges Sustainable Living Festival so we will be running our monthly workshop from there. The festival will be held on the corner of High and Forest Streets in Woodend. The hour long Culture Club workshop will take place in the Workshop Space.

MRSLF is being run in conjunction with the Woodend Community Farmers' Market. Festival goers can stock up on fresh local produce, wander among the many exhibits, join a free workshop, watch presentations on a variety of sustainable living topics, enjoy roving performances, movie screenings and more.

See you there!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Community Pickling Day wrap up

Wow! What a fabulous turn out we had for our annual community pickling day. Thank you to everyone who helped make the event such a huge success. The biggest thank you of all goes to this gentleman, Edward from Adsum Farmhouse in Glenlyon, who grew us 115kg of the most wonderful gherkins.

And thank you Mara Ripani for once again capturing the energy of an HRN event and the beauty of the participants. Not only did Mara come along and demonstrate how to peel garlic but she pickled 8kg of gherkins while also taking these beautiful photos: