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:


Kate’s Garden in St Helena

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 10.36.20 am

Saturday 26th October, 10.30–12.00
Kate’s Place in St Helena

Book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 25th October.

Visit Kate’s magical quarter-acre garden in St Helena.

Edna Walling design and permaculture have been Kate’s dream forever, becoming a reality with the arrival of ducks to her large, suburban block in 2010. The garden is a mix of fruit and shade trees, veg, roses, herbs, chooks and ducks. The Eastern garden is her ornamental indulgence. She has a passion (obsession) for trees, birds, wildlife, and Art.

For a sneak peek – https://www.instagram.com/katemccredieart/

Some garden images and captions from Nicole:

Despite the wind, our time at Kate’s was lovely. It made me think of the words of artist, designer, thinker William Morris who created a golden rule saying: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” We could easily say that Kate is achieving this at her place. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience too and NERP are very grateful that she opened her garden and gave us a tour.


Front garden. Roses, herbs, irises and plenty of bee fodder! I have buckets of water everywhere for the wild birds, and my ducks when I have them out there. Also handy to water my pot plants.


Deep red leaves of the Cersis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy,’ and silver foliage of Eremophila nivea – a gorgeous West Australian native I can’t recommend highly enough. Lovely purple flowers, beloved by blue-banded bees! Kate pointed out how lovely it feels too. An unusually soft native.


Front garden looking North. Roses, herbs, and loads of bee food, including soursob and white clover, which are nitrogen-fixing and SO good for the garden!


Front garden. A newly constructed trellis for espaliering some citrus (currently hiding in the nasturtiums). Taking advantage of the thermal mass of the brick wall.


White lavender with peppermint and frankincense scented geraniums.


Drama unfolding.


Front garden looking East towards the Ioensis plena, crabapple, and the still-naked jacaranda. Roses, poppies, salvias, and the pink wisteria tree in the top right corner, which is a type of robinia that is also nitrogen-fixing and great for the soil.


Japanese maples and tree ferns in the Eastern garden with duck pool underneath.


The Eastern garden is a haven of shade trees. A beautiful, cool, peaceful hideaway.


The October Glory maple in the Eastern garden. I think we might have to come back in Autumn Kate!


The backyard or Western garden – fruit trees, free range chooks, and ducks. I didn’t get many decent shots of the numerous fruit trees back here… but there are many and they all looked very healthy.


Blue trumpet flowers of the Iochroma australis, a type of Brugmansia, thriving in the south-west corner of the garden.


Happy hen house.

Sauerkraut Workshop with Marina


Saturday 19th October, 10.00–11.30
at Marina’s place in Macleod

There are only 6 places available so be quick! You can book via TryBooking until 5pm on the Friday 18th October.

If you want to make some sauerkraut to take home, bring some cabbage – red or white and some pure fine salt (about 2 level tablespoons of salt per cabbage) – preferably sea salt, some jars (wide-mouthed ones are better) and Marina should have enough caraway seeds and peppercorns, (which are optional) for everyone.

What Marina uses for the preparation is a deep wide metal bowl that can put up with being pounded, a flat ended rolling pin to help with the pounding/softening process, a sharp knife and chopping board, large deep jars that you can put your hand down into, as the softened cabbage needs to be packed tight to exclude as much air as possible.  Salt is the only essential addition – no liquid is added.  It should be ready in about 3 days.  Thanks to Milica Fraser who taught me (and I forgot who taught her…).

Sauerkraut is one of the probiotics that people are recommended to eat daily if possible.  Consuming a few different types probiotics (cultured or fermented food),  is ideal, for instance kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut is a good combination. Making your own is easy but a little time consuming, however you can make it in batches as it last for a long time and is fun if done with friends while you chat.  Sauerkraut used to be used as a winter food in Eastern European countries when there were few fresh vegies in that season.  It also provides Vit C and was used on sea voyages to help prevent scurvy.

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