Past Workshops

Biochar Makers Day


Sunday May 14th 10 am – 2 pm at Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, 69 Dunns, Rd Harcourt.

This is a follow up workshop to the Intro to Biochar held a month ago.  John Sanderson and Lann Falconer, Environmental Engineers from Earth Systems are back to  demonstrate the construction and making of 2 types of drum scale biochar makers.

  • Top Lid Updraft system for small stuff (like grass, leaves, twigs, mulch and woodchips)
  • Retort system for mixed size stuff and larger pieces of wood (up to a few centimetres thick

People are welcome to watch and take notes, pics and videos or follow along and build their own as we go step-by-step.


BYO TOOLS (if you have them)

  • cordless drill and a range of drill bits
  • jigsaw and blades for thin metal
  • tin snips
  • small angle grinders (cutting and grinding disks)
  • personal safety gear for the above

DRUMS AND FLUE PIPES pre purchase or bring your own

  • if you want to pre-purchase a 44-gallon drum, let us know in advance; we can make some available at $30 (pay on the day)
  • You are also welcome to bring your own drum. It should be an “open head’ type drum with removable lid and damp
  • We hope to have some lengths of old stovepipe/flue available on the day (for chimneys) as well – prices TBA but cheap!


If you are able to bring your waste biomass to turn into biochar, you can do your first firing on the day! It needs to be dry (or else we will have a very smoky afternoon!) and should be enough to fill a 44 gallon drum. Pretty much anything goes, as long as it is dry and no thicker than 4 cms (or it will take too long to finish!)

$60 includes; workshop, cuppa, cake and Harvest fruit and the potential to take home your own Biochar Maker.

Info and enquiries: grow@growingabundance.org.au

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=277359&bof=1

Apple Cider and Vinegar Making Workshop

Last year we tasted the delish Cider from one of our local makers and this year we want to learn how to make it!  

Local fermentation expert, Speedy will guide us through the cider and vinegar making process in this interactive and practical workshop.

img_2117Saturday 20th of May

1 – 4 pm

Hub Plot Community Garden – cnr of Barker and Templeton Street
There will be two follow up dates arranged at the workshop, to check on progress, taste and alcohol content. These will occur 2 weeks post workshop and then 2 months later as agreed by the group on the day.
Important dates pre workshop:
Note – your involvement in these is optional but it would be great if you can come along.
Wednesday 17th May – Apple Harvest – Meet at 9.30 am at the Maxi IGA car park. Sign up to our newsletter or look at our Facebook Page for details about Harvest.
Friday 19th May – 11.00 am at the Hub Plot garden The Apple Press will be in action for the community juicing day.
$60 includes a share in the final product for your own drinking pleasure and cuppa on the day.
Enquiries and info: grow@growingabundance.org.au
Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=280046&

Winter Pruning Workshop

barealmondbranchesBuild your knowledge, skills, and confidence to prune your deciduous fruit trees, and keep them productive and healthy for life with Katie Finlay. Katie is the chief pruner and owner of Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, prunes thousands of cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, plum, apple, and pear trees each year, including free-standing trees as well as trees on different trellis systems.
Sunday May 28th 1.30 – 4 pm
8 Doveton St Castlemaine
Who is this workshop for?
  • People already growing, or wanting to grow, their own fruit at home, including cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, and pears
  • Renters with fruit trees
  • People who care for fruit trees in the community


What does the workshop cover?

  • The basics of pruning theory
  • Fruit tree anatomy
  • Knowing the right time to prune for different types of tree
  • Predicting how trees will respond to different cuts
  • How to make a good pruning cut
  • Pruning techniques for different types of fruit trees, e.g., stone fruits, apples, and pears
  • How to prune young trees to establish the right shape
  • Maintaining and rejuvenating old trees
  • How good pruning helps a tree to stay healthy
  • What not to do when pruning 

$50 includes a cuppa and cake.

50% discount to the Grow Great Fruit program available to workshop participants, for those who want to take their fruit tree knowledge a bit deeper and get some ongoing support.


Info and enquiries: grow@growingabundance.org.au

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=275490&

Tempeh Making Workshop

Sunday 19th February 2017
11am – 3pm

@The Hub, 233 Barker St, Castlemaine – Cafe space.

Come along and learn the art of making your own tempeh at home with expert tempeh maker Lou Rogers. You will learn to make tempeh, step by step and can purchase a small kit to make your own at home.

Info and inquiries: eat@growingabundance.org.au
Bookings/waiting list: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=253569

$60, $50 concession
Price includes tempeh inspired lunch.



Seed Saving & Propagation Workshop

Seed Saving Workshop

Milkwood teach real skills for down to earth living, providing resources & training in permaculture design theory + practice that give you the confidence to create permanently sustainable systems.

Info & Enquiries: seedlibrary@growingabundance.org.au





Past Workshops

Biodynamic Compost Making

With Janet Baker from Newstead Community GardenBD compost tools

Friday 2nd October 2015


@ Gung Hoe Market Garden

Compost is the most important tool in organic and biodynamic gardening, where the focus is on feeding the soil. It’s the bacteria, fungi and other microbes that do the work for us, turning ‘waste’ into a rich resource, improving the soil and providing plant nutrients. Want to learn more about composting and try some hands-on construction? By the end of the session, you’ll be able to make your own heap, small or large, at home and understand more about the biodynamic method of compost construction. Notes included in the session.

$60 full, $30 concession

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au


Biodynamic Moon Planting

With Janet Baker from Newstead Community GardenBD planting

Friday 2nd October 2015


@ Gung Hoe Market Garden

Biodynamics works with the wider cosmos – the rhythms and cycles of the moon, stars and planets: ‘as above, so below’. Learn more about the planting calendar and how to ‘read the cosmos’ to achieve the best results from your seed sowing and other garden activities. We’ll also cover the basics of crop rotation and succession planting so you can feed yourself and also your soil over the growing seasons.

$30 full, $15 concession

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au


Garden Round Robin

3 different Sessions run by Peter Sansom, Heather Barrett and Sas Allardice including:

Wicking Beds

With Peter Sansom from The Hub Plotbridget boxes 2

@ The Hub Plot

Friday 9th October 2015



Backyard Composting and Worm Farms

With Heather Barrett from The Hub Plotworm hands[1] (1)

@ The Hub Plot

Friday 9th October 2015



Plant Propagation

With Sas Allardice from The Growing Abundance ProjectDSC07576

@ The Hub Plot

Friday 9th October 2015


$90 full, $45 concession (includes all three sessions- wicking beds, backyard composting and plant prpagation)

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au


Animals in the garden system

With Beck LoweBeck with chook

Friday 16th October 2015


Animals make great allies in the garden! They can help you to recycle food waste, provide fantastic fertiliser and assist with pest control – and of course they can also provide food such as eggs, milk and meat.

This workshop will explore how you can integrate domestic animals into your garden, as well as practical information on feeding, housing, health and meeting their other needs. We will look particularly at chickens, but also discuss a range of other common animals and how they can be designed into your food growing

$90 full, $45 concession

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au


Get your Soil Singing

2 sessions run by Hugh Finlay and Sas Allardice

Building Healthy Soilsoil health

Friday 23rd October 2015


Healthy soil is the basis for healthy food production, and acts as the immune system of your garden. We will introduce you to the billions of underground microorganisms that help to turn plain old dirt into fertile soil. Plus, you’ll learn some simple tests to do in your own garden to find out more about your soil, so be prepared to get your hands dirty!

Bring: Lunch to share, appropriate clothing to be outside and tools to turn green manure such as spades and garden forks.

@ Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, 69 Danns rd Harcourt

@ Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens

Welcome to the secret world of soil microbes. Learn about balancing and building healthy soil in organic gardens.


Green Manures, cover crops and useful plants

With Sas AllardiceDSC07590

Friday 23rd October 2015


@ Gung Hoe Growers Market Garden/ Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens

The second part of the workshop will cover the theory and use of green manures, cover crops and useful dynamic accumulator plants in the garden that help catch and store nutrients and attract useful insects to your garden.

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au

$90 full $45 concession which includes both sessions


Seed Saving

With Sas Allardice from The Growing Abundance Projectseed-saving

Friday 6th November 2015


@ Maldon Neighbourhood Centre

Learn the basics of seed saving, pollination and plant families

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au

$45 full $25 concession



Edible Weed Walk and Feast

With Sam Downing and Nikki Valentiniweed-chart

Friday November 13th 2015


Venue TBC

Bookings essential, contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on 5475 2093 info@maldonnc.org.au

$90 full $45 concession







To find out when other workshops or Food Jams are happening, please join our mailing list.