Fermenting and preserving workshop

fermentingPhoto by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Saturday 4th April,
10am till 3pm

The autumn harvest is upon us! Learn how to preserve your excess produce as healthy pickles or ferments.

Join us for a fun and relaxed workshop that will guide you through the fundamentals of preserving, pickling, and fermenting excess produce from the greengrocer or home garden. Discover ways to use up seasonal fruits, vegetables, and dairy products by turning them into delicious pickled and fermented foods. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria and proven to increase the health of your immune system and gut microbiome.

This workshop will teach you the basics of fermentation and food preservation, as well as simple, tasty ways to make homemade treats such as relish, chutney, kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Produce for the workshop will be picked from local gardens including the community garden at the Hurstbridge Edible Hub, and participants will have the opportunity to take home samples of each recipe made on the day.

What to bring
— 4 x 200ml jars with lids (for your take home samples)
— knife
— apron
— chopping board
— closed-toe shoes

Hurstbridge Community Hub,
50 Graysharps Rd, Hurstbridge VIC 3099

Shared lunch – bring a plate!
(More information on booking.)

$22 (includes take-home samples and booking fee)

TryBooking https://www.trybooking.com/BJCCK
Places are limited to 10, so book early to avoid missing out.

For enquiries or more information, email nerpermaculture@gmail.com
or call Jules Jay on 0400 750 750.

Hosted by NERP (North East Region Permaculture)
NERP is a network of people from Melbourne’s northeast suburbs who love learning about and practising permaculture. NERP members meet regularly in each others homes, and share permaculture skills, knowledge, produce, and enthusiasm. We organise a range of community events including garden tours, workshops, and permaculture projects.


RetroSuburbia Workshop Melbourne


Two-day workshop:
Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 June, from 10 till 4.30

Trainers and facilitators add-on day:
Monday 15 June, from 10 till 4.30

Are you looking to create a more sustainable and resilient household? Wanting to grow more food, reduce your energy use, and enjoy a satisfying, fulfilling life?

Join us for a two-day workshop exploring David Holmgren’s new book RetroSuburbia: The downshifter’s guide to a resilient future.

You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • learn how suburban homes can be transformed into productive, resilient, and ecologically sound places to live, without the need for large-scale investment
  • be empowered to make changes to your own house, garden and lifestyle to increase your family’s sustainability and resilience
  • explore a range of practical retrofits to reduce your use of power for heating, cooling, cooking and other activities
  • discover local, edible plants for the garden, and learn about the importance of climate conditions, soils, and their impact on home food production
  • investigate different lifestyles geared towards sustainability and resilience, and take home positive ideas for change
  • meet and connect with other likeminded people who can motivate and support you on your journey.

Trainers and Facilitators add-on day

Trainers, educators, and community facilitators are invited to attend an extra ‘Trainers and Facilitators’ day at the end of the workshop. By attending this add-on day, you can become a registered retrosuburban trainer, and gain access to extensive training resources along with the opportunity to have your courses listed on retrosuburbia.com.

This extra day will explore retrosuburban themes in more detail, including how they might be applied in community and education activities. It will also be a chance to share your ideas and experiences with other participants working in similar fields. It is expected that participants in the add-on day will have read and be familiar with the material in RetroSuburbia.


Hurstbridge Learning Co-operative,
10 Lacey’s Rd, Hurstbridge VIC (Melbourne’s northern suburbs).

Travelling by car: Plenty of parking is available on site.

Travelling by train: The Learning Co-op is 2.5km from the Hurstbridge station. Transport to and from the Co-op can be arranged for those travelling by train.


Shared lunch each day – bring a plate! (More information on booking.)


Two-day workshop: $250 ($220 concession)
Three-day workshop with trainers add-on day: $400 (no concession)

Bookings: For information, enquiries, or to register your interest, contact NERP at nerpermaculture@gmail.com (preferred), or call Jules Jay on 0400 750 750.


Hosted by NERP (North East Region Permaculture) and presented by Beck Lowe

Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on the RetroSuburbia book as chief editor, researcher and project manager. Since publication, she has also taken on the role of education coordinator. Beck is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels for more than 15 years. She has practical permaculture experience in private and community spaces in inner city, urban and rural areas.

NERP is a network of people from Melbourne’s northeast suburbs who love learning about and practising permaculture. NERP members meet regularly in each others homes, and share permaculture skills, knowledge, produce, and enthusiasm. We organise a range of community events including garden tours, workshops, and permaculture projects.

Learn how to monitor for pests in your garden

Community garden workshop - Hurstbridge Community Hub

Saturday, 8th February, 10am–12pm
Hurstbridge Community Hub
50 Graysharps Rd, Hurstbridge

Due to the popularity for this event we have increased the number of places available by 10.

This workshop will help you identify different insects in your veggie patch, undertake surveillance for these insects and identify insect pests that pose a threat to your produce.

Speakers include:
Callum Fletcher and Maddy Quirk (AUSVEG) – current pests of concern
Jessi Henneken (Agriculture Victoria) – Queensland fruit fly research
Cait Selleck (Agriculture Victoria) – Tomato potato psyllid project and spiders

There will be a garden walkthrough (if weather permits). The workshop will be followed by light refreshments. Brought to you by Local Food Connect (LFC) and North East Ranges Permaculture (NERP) and hosted by Hurstbridge Edible Hub community garden.


Bookings via EventBrite.

Further info:

Start Your Own Veg Seedlings for Winter Harvest


Saturday 15th February, 10am–12pm,
Hurstbridge Hub

A Harvest time event brought to you by Local Food Connect, North East Region Permaculture (NERP) and Edible Hub Community Garden

Starting your own seedlings from seed saves money and lets you access exciting varieties that won’t be available at the nursery. Learn how to start seedlings of winter crops like kale, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, chard, cabbage, fennel, dill and more (the best time to get started is late summer, not autumn!). Find out what makes a good seed-raising mix and how to mix your own using homemade compost. Have a go at making soil blocks and learn the pros/cons of seed trays/modules versus soil blocks.

Have a go at making soil blocks and newspaper pots. Bring your own seeds if you have them and a flat bottomed container to take home soil blocks or newspaper pots. There will be seeds to share and spare punnets.

Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite

Water Management in the Home Garden


10am–12pm, Sunday 16th February
Host: Dan Milne, Montmorency

A harvest time event brought to you by LFC and NERP

The tour will focus on the water systems around the home and will be an opportunity to share patterns and principles of water management, including rainwater, domestic wastewater and runoff. Discussion topics will include: working with rainwater cycles, greywater systems, water storage, controlling watering, using wicking beds, swales and terracing and different approaches to delivering water to plants.

The discussion will be structured around a walking tour of the garden. Visitors are welcome to bring a plate and stay for some food and discussion afterwards.

Cost: $5.00

Bookings: Eventbrite

HomePatch – Lucinda’s Permaculture Garden


10am–12pm, Sunday 23rd February

A harvest time event brought to you by LFC and NERP

Set on 1/3 acre residential block on a south facing gum-tree studded hillside in Hurstbridge, HomePatch Permaculture Garden shows how a large and chaotic array of veggies, fruits, water plants and herbs can thrive in a small space alongside gums, using a combination of above ground beds, mixed plantings and plenty of mulch. Lucinda is also happy to talk about preserving, dehydrating, kombucha, sourdough, and show the many energy efficiency improvements they have made to their 70s home.

Cost:  $5.00

Bookings: Eventbrite

Home Harvest Picnic


Sunday 1 March 2020:
Connect, Grow, Eat, Enjoy –
Home Harvest Picnic 2020

NERP will again have a stall at the picnic and be running a seed-bomb making workshop at which people can make their own seed bombs and take them home for planting. It would be wonderful if any and all NERP folk were able to come on down and say hi on the day, or even get their hands dirty helping out at the stall. 

For those attending the picnic dinner, we’ll be having a group catch-up just near the NERP marquee where all members are invited to come together and eat their Harvest dinner. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other members and share good conversation, amazing homegrown food, and the ubiquitous permie stories and knowledge.

We hope to see you there.
NERP committee

Experience the satisfaction of growing your own produce, and the pure pleasure of sharing and eating it with others! Home Harvest is a celebration of home grown produce and local food.

Join us as a grower and supply some home-grown produce for the wonderful Home Harvest Picnic, to be held on Sunday 1 March 2020 from 3.30 pm to 7pm at Edendale Community Environment Farm in Eltham.

In the week leading up to the Picnic, growers from the community supply home-grown produce, which is turned into a delicious picnic feast by trained cooks. These picnics will then be shared at the joyous community Home Harvest Picnic – a relaxing afternoon including community stalls, music, and family activities.

No matter your level of experience or how green your thumbs are, everyone is invited to take part and get growing!

Not a grower? You can still come along and enjoy the feast! Purchase a prepared picnic for $10 or BYO picnic and attend for free.

All growers and lovers of fresh, delicious food are invited to celebrate in the harvest and the joys of local food.

More information and bookings:


Dan and Liz’s Garden


Saturday 23 November 2019

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Wednesday 20th November.
The tour will focus on the water systems around the home and will be an opportunity to share patterns and observations on capturing, storing and distributing rainwater, domestic wastewater and runoff. Discussion topics might include: greywater systems, tanks, driplines, measured irrigation, restoring the natural water cycle, wicking beds, swales and terracing, drippers, sprays, ag-pipes, etc.

This will also be a good time to enjoy some berries from the garden. Visitors are welcome to bring a plate and stay for some food and discussion afterwards.

See images from previous tour
Bookings and more info at

Guy & Susan’s Garden

house - lavender park - front garden 1

Sunday 17 November
Starting 11am, for around 2 hours.
If sufficient demand, a second session starting at 2pm

Guy and Susan bought their property in 2012, with the garden being their main reason for choosing it. Their first move was to turn the tennis court into a veggie patch: a regular and flat area, with no trees, and easily irrigated. The veggie patch now comprises 24 raised beds. 10 of these are in crop rotations (a 5-year rotation of legumes-cucurbits-roots-solanums-brassicas), with others for perennials (e.g. asparagus and rhubarb), herbs and berries.

Fruit trees are planted throughout the 1¼ acre garden, some in a purpose-built set of terraces. There are currently around 60 fruit trees, 30 berries and 10 vines. Collectively they cover most of the types of fruit that are commonly grown in Melbourne plus some more unusual species (e.g. jaboticas, cherimoyas and bananas). All the veggies and fruit are irrigated, mostly from tanks.

A few years ago, Helen Simpson from The Mushroom Shed visited the garden.
Read her writeup.

Earlier this year, Morgan Koegel from 3000acres visited the garden
Watch her video.

Some specific aspects of interest re food growing:

  • A no kill policy.
  • Use of Certified Organic inputs only.
  • Various methods for easy and effective netting.

Other points of interest:

  • Natives plants throughout the garden.
  • Labelling of all the plants.
  • 25 different species of eucalypt.
  • A battery-based solar system which means that they are effectively off grid for 8 months of the year.
  • Various artwork, mostly by local artists.
  • A fox-proof chook house and run.
  • Insect hotels.

This is not a child friendly space so please enjoy a child-free visit.

To book, and for more detail, please go to:

Sue’s garden in Eltham


Sunday 10 November 2019
Main Rd, Eltham

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Wednesday 6 November.

In Sue’s lovely Eltham garden, visitors will see two wicking beds in the front garden, full of veggies. A forest of elm trees, a three acre paddock of river silt, hazelnut trees planted and a small fenced veggie garden. Bring along a plate to share if you like and Sue will have tea and coffee to share in the paddock!

To book, and for more detail, please go to: