Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fermented beverages

Hi everyone, this month's Culture Club is focused on a wide variety of delicious probiotic-rich drinks including alcoholic root beers, bubbly vegetable tonics and wild food drinks.

Pls bring along your loveliest homemade fermented drinks and favourite second ferments for people to try and be inspired by.

This Friday 30 June at 9.30am there will be a pruning workshop with biodynamic orchardist Ian Clarke at Rod May's Captains Creek Organics farm. Please bring:
  • secateurs
  • a saw
  • loppers
  • water-based paint (in any colour!)
  • a small knife
  • a paintbrush or two
  • an orchard ladder (or step ladder) if you have one
  • a dish to share for lunch
  • warm clothes!
Here are another couple of workshops we thought might take your fancy.

More details here

So many wonderful events to keep us busy and warm. x

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Community hibernal for we wintering diurnal

Hepburn Relocalisation Network organised another winter solstice gathering, which took place on Thursday night at the Senior Citizen's room at the Town Hall. Many of us put our hands and hearts together to decorate the room and make warming food and drink to share. It was another community event open to all, and as the 80 of us arrived we were greeted by the strumming mandolin of Tony Soccio and the brightness of the community bunting.

Michel and Linda led the opening ceremony, honouring the mother, Pandora, Ge, the flowering earth, the goddess, the fermentor of culture, as well as the moon and sun and the more than human.

We were all ages coming together, to grieve and praise life,

to say goodbye to Steven and Maureen,

Maureen in her speech of farewell describes the bare Hepburn plot they transformed into forest over two decades,

and Anthony Petrucci performed Patrick Jones' elegy for Rod May.

The Daylesford Madrigal Singers performed old songs to connect us to our old stories, and Fay White led a sing-a-long along similar lines.

Music, warmth, origin-known food and the love-filled room marked this moment of community immunity, sharing and honouring friends present and past.

Thank you everyone for coming along, and making the solstice such a merry occasion.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

From Apples to Cider - Another Working Bee at Rod May's Farm

Many hands make light work, and the recent working bee out at Rod May's farm was no exception. On Friday another group of switched-on community members showed up to help process some of the apple harvest, share the community spirit, and to celebrate the life of an incredible man.

In the early morning sunshine a cider press was set up, tables were moved outside, and the sound of a dozen knives rang out as all available baskets, tubs and buckets were filled with apple halves. The grinder was plugged in to the solar system, and those apples were promptly turned to pulp. The pulp then moved to the press, where it was wrapped in fabric and squeezed between wooden boards to extract the juice. By lunch time, a huge crate of apples had been turned into a mountain of pulp for the hungry cows, and a large barrel of soon-to-be cider.

The Cider House String Band had us all dancing and grooving as we worked, and definitely added a few extra smiles to the tally.

The day was topped off with another standout HRN community lunch, where everyone present (and even some who weren't) brought along a dish of good, local food to share. Before lunch started we all formed a circle and, holding hands, we stood in silence, reflecting on our memories of Rod, and on his ability to still bring his community together.

In the afternoon the last apples were pressed, and as most people went back to their homes (and for some, their chooks, cows, goats and pigs), a few stayed on to help Steph, Serge and Ogy finish their veggie boxes for the next day's delivery in Melbourne.

The next working bee will be held on Friday the 30th of June for another round of cider-making, and a community pruning bee under some expert instruction. Stay tuned for more info.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Working Bee + Community Dinner

Hi everyone,

We have two reminders to share with you. The first is that there will be another working bee at Rod May's this Friday June 16 from 9.30am. Pls bring a plate of food to share, and warm clothes. The last working bees out on his farm were a joyous reminder of Rod's hard work - to fill the bellies of his community and beyond with organic food. Rod really was ahead of his time, having his farm certified organic 30 years ago. Only this week, a report has been released warning that pesticides on foods are far more dangerous than was originally thought, causing damage to the human brain.

The second reminder is to please book your places for the solstice community dinner next Thursday. We have two musical guests lined up, so we can sing Stephen + Maureen off into the sunset...

We hope you are keeping warm as the colder months set in, and are taking this time to seek much needed rest. It's so easy to get caught up in our busy lives, isn't it? Sometimes finding time for quiet and reflection is harder to find. Be kind to yourselves. x

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Working Bee at Rod's

Thank you to the HRNers and much wider community who met out at Rod May's farm on Friday for a collective working bee, and a much needed collective cry. What a beautiful day! And a beautiful turn up of enthusiastic workers. Some of us helped kraut hundreds of cabbages from out in the fields, others helped rebuild the greenhouse and others helped Steph, Serge and Ogy fill veggie boxes for the Melbourne orders.


Other good folk who couldn't make it provided food for morning tea and lunch which was much appreciated and duly devoured.

We worked and ate and hugged and cried. We mourned and ached and had great conversations. We got a mountain of stuff done, and thanked Rod for bringing us together on such a glorious day.

We are planning another working bee on Friday June 16, to help salve our broken hearts. We will confirm closer to the date, but we are aiming to have a cider pressing day with all of Rod's apples. We hope you will be able to join us.

A memorial for Rod will take place at the Daylesford Town Hall this coming Thursday at 1pm followed by a get together with the family at the farm (89 Kangaroo Hills Rd, Blampied) for more celebrations. The pizza oven will be going and everyone is invited to bring a plate of local food to share, as well as cutlery and crockery. There will be some of Rod's delicious cider to accompany our meal.

We have lost one of our vital elders, but Rod's spirit lives on in each of us and (through us) will continue to nourish the community and beyond.

See you on Thursday..

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

With open hands + open hearts

As most of you have no doubt heard, Rod May passed away two days ago after being in intensive care at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne for a week following his road accident.

We join hands with everyone who knew Rod, his friends, family, colleagues, customers + wider community members to support those closest to him during this raw time of shock, mourning, remembering and deep deep love.

Tributes have been shared far and wide about what a beautiful man our Rod was. We were lucky enough to know him, to embody his kind wisdom with every mouthful of his veggies we took in, that filled our bodies and propelled our actions.

HRNers have been paying tribute to Rod. David Holmgren wrote this beautiful account of Rod's life and the relationship he and Su shared with him, and Patrick Jones wrote this moving poem. Eight years ago Meg Ulman took these photos of Rod's hands:

Your hands too can be this deliciously chocolatey on Friday. A working bee has been organised out at Rod's: Captain's Creek Organics, 89 Kangaroo Hills Road, Blampied (look for the large '89' sign).

There is one more bin of apples to pick and lots of kraut to make with all the cabbages. Come for as long as you can and bring a bite to eat to share. We will have a hot cuppa organised to warm our hardworking hands as well as our bodies.

Please join us from 9.30am and bring a big sharp knife and a big chopping board for cabbage if you can.

It's going to be a big couple of days of kraut making. Don't forget the Community Krauting Day this Saturday from 9.30am - 12 noon. Details here. Cabbage orders close on Thursday June 1.

Sending love to each and every one of you. Be kind, be brave, and please please be careful when you drive in cars.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Community Krauting Day

Come and learn the simple art of wild fermented sauerkraut at

The 2017 Culture Club
Community Krauting Day
Saturday June 3

Once again we have partnered with Glenlyon's Adsum Farmhouse who have grown sugarloaf cabbages especially for the day. So if you don't have your own homegrown cabbages to bring along, you can pre-order Adsum Farm organic cabbages which will be freshly picked the day before the krauting day.

Cabbages are $3 each. Pls email your order to daylesfordcultureclub@gmail.com by Thursday June 1 and pay on the day. Pls bring exact change.

Please bring along:

  • one or more cabbages (if you are bringing your own)
  • salt
  • optional: onion, garlic, chili, spices (coriander, fennel, star anise, caraway etc)
  • large bowl (preferably stainless steel) for pounding into
  • pounding tool - eg. pestle or potato masher
  • grater
  • large chopping knife
  • chopping board
  • wide mouthed jars or crock - size depends on quantity of ingredients you want to make up. About 1 litre is a good size to start with.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Winter Solstice Dinner + a happy-sad farewell

Please join us in a month's time for our yearly winter solstice dinner, and to farewell community elders Maureen Corbett + Stephen Oram as they begin the next chapter of their adventure in Tassie.

As we press publish on this blog post and send it out into the world, we also send much love and support to the May family as they hold the space of healing for Rod, who was involved in a motorcycle accident last night. We wish him a steady recovery. xxx

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Medicinal Ferments

Culture Club is one!!

It's been a year since the very first Culture Club meet-up, and what a beautiful year of healthful community sharing, learning + making it has been. 

As we head into the cold + flu season, we thought it would be a good idea to learn how to make some medicinal ferments to use at home and to give away to loved ones.

Pls bring any mothers, SCOBYs, MK + WK grains and starters along to share.

See you in a week!