Connecting gardens, groups and growers to create a more resilient food future in Darebin

Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival events in the Homemade Food and Wine Festival 9 – 15 May

The program for the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival is now available. It features a great range of workshops, demonstrations and special events celebrating food traditions and sustainable food. Get inspired to explore all things homemade! For all the details and to book visit

The program includes a ‘mini’ Backyard Harvest Festival featuring the following 4 events hosted by our very own passionate home food growers and preservers:

Cooking with Quinces: Saturday 14 May, 2pm (90 minutes)

Private kitchen and garden in Northcote

Autumn is quince season and during this intimate workshop, Backyard Harvest gardener Meg Montague will show you how to make the most of this unusual but beautiful fruit. Learn the art of making quince paste, jelly and jam, delicious accompaniments to cheese and antipasto. Includes recipes, tasting samples and some hands on opportunities

Get your tickets here

Organic Backyard Chook Keeping: Sunday 15 May, 10am (90 minutes)

Private Garden in Northcote

Want healthy, happy and productive chooks? Darebin resident Jessamy Miller* will demonstrate how to set up your henhouse, integrate chooks into the garden and manage your flock using organic methods. Get the lowdown on what to feed your birds, and how to deal with some common issues.

*Jessamy grew up on a farm in central Victoria and spent a childhood with chooks, geese and turkeys underfoot, and usually a pet chicken under her special care. There was no way of avoiding a lifelong love of poultry. She now lives in Northcote with her husband, two children, and her Silkie, Hamburgh and Pekin hens.

Jessamy was a contributing author and poultry consultant for the recent ABC book Happy Hens. She has a monthly column and an online blog on backyard chooks for the ABC’s Organic Gardener magazine and holds regular online Q and A sessions answering poultry queries. She is also an editor for Australasian Poultry and Grass Roots magazine. Jessamy has spoken on radio about poultry throughout the country and is a strong advocate for best-practice organic chook keeping.

Get your tickets here

A taste of Autumn / Winter Produce at the Plummery: Sunday 15 May, 12 noon (90 minutes)

Private kitchen and garden in Northcote

Join Kat Lavers* in her small scale highly intensive food garden, the Plummery, where you will taste a range of delicious home grown produce such as Chinese quince, radicchio, minutina, daikon, kale and even quail eggs. Kat will provide tips on how to produce these delicious foods and keep your vegie patch productive all year long.

*Kat Lavers is a passionate gardener, permaculture designer, trainer and facilitator. She coordinates the My Smart Garden program for Hobsons Bay City Council, runs Green Steps training for Monash University and has taught permaculture in Australia and Mongolia. Her house and garden, ‘The Plummery’, is a small-scale urban permaculture system. The 1/14th of an acre site produces almost all the vegies, herbs, fruit, mushrooms and electricity consumed by the household, as well as recycling all organic waste on site. There is also a retrofitted light earth studio made from onsite clay and scavenged materials. Kat is also a volunteer coordinator of Permablitz Melbourne.

Get your tickets here

Fermented Beverages Workshop: Sunday 15 May, 2pm (120 minutes)

Intercultural Centre, 59A Roseberry Ave, Preston

Make delicious non-alcoholic fermented beverages kombucha, water kefir, and rejuvelac in this hands-on workshop. Darcy Watson-Russell*, will guide you through the fermentation process, flavouring techniques, and how to use fermented beverages in a variety of recipes.

*Darcy is a self-professed food nerd, activist, and fermentation enthusiast, with a passion for local, organic fare. Combining 8 years of experience in facilitating community arts workshops, 10 years experience in vegan cookery, and several years of tinkering with DIY fermentation.

Get your tickets here


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