Winter Events at Grow Lightly

Workshops and other events

It is definitely winter now and it is a real pleasure to get all this rain. Leanne has been working hard getting our winter program ready and we have some great sessions depending on your interest. To get further information and to buy tickets go to Eventbrite.

Family cooking class

Events include cooking classes, soil health workshops, helping our kids eat and love vegies, a monthly bookclub, and coming soon: A Sunday Series of Talks by Interesting People and Boomerang Bags. There is something for everyone and we appreciate feedback on our events. If you would like to drop us a line please email Jo at

A list of the Grow Lightly Winter Events

This week we have two events at the Grow Lightly Hub: book club and Cooking class – curries

Tuesday June 4 Monthly Book Club: On Tuesday June 4 come to Grow Lightly Hub (near the Coal Creek Car Park on Silkstone Road) and meet like minded people for a lively and refreshing discussion. The book club is always on the first Tuesday of the month, every month. It will be friendly and informal and we hope you will leave nourished and inspired. Bring a favourite book on farming, food, gardening, sustainability, environment, or anything really, to share briefly why you enjoyed it, what you learned, how it has impacted aspects of your life. There will be no pressure to speak and you are welcome to just come to listen. If you have a copy of Retrosuburbia by David Holmgren please bring it. If you don’t have one there is one you can borrow. Or it is available from the Korumburra Library.
7.00 pm Venue: the food hub at 12A Silkstone Rd, Korumburra. Please park in Coal Creek Carpark. Gold coin donation.

For some of the time each month, we are reading and discussing Retrosuburbia by David Holmgren – a guide to a resilient future. Whether you are on a small block or in a unit or on land of some acres, this book is inspiring. Are you looking to create a more sustainable life? Would you like to be more resilient in the face of growing uncertainties? Would you like to retrofit your house, your community and your life? Are you interested in downshifting but don’t know where to start? Find out more on Tuesday!

Class is on June 6. Book now for your early bird tickets!

What are the benefits of a good curry? Curries are delicious and beautifully warming. We will be making a fragrant chicken korma curry (or vegetarian option) with a south east Asian twist using fresh local seasonal vegetables and herbs.

This class is part of our 2019 home cooking series and is on June 6 from 1 pm to 3.30 pm at Grow Lightly Hub in Korumburra. Early bird tickets are still available at the special early bird price of $55 until June 3. For that you get a meal for four to take home for that night’s dinner, recipe sheets, cooking tips and hints from a fabulous teacher and have fun as well. It’s a win-win situation. Join us. Here is the Eventbrite link to buy your ticket.

John Sutcliffe and the Sutcliffe Building

For the last week I have been walking around in a different Korumburra after a talk I went to put on by the Korumburra Historical Society. I met John Sutcliffe in the narrative that historian Keith Cook laid out over the period he spoke. Sutcliffe was a pioneer in the Drouin, Warragul and then Korumburra districts. John Sutcliffe was the owner builder of this building which accommodated three shops (including 25 Commercial St). John Sutcliffe was the owner builder of this building which accommodated three shops. The shop on the west end was occupied by F. Weichardt as a Bakery in 1892. W. Henderson was the occupier of the middle shop, while Williams the tailor had his business in the third shop. Now it is occupied by an accountant, a sport store and Grow Lightly.

John Sutcliffe was born in Yorkshire in 1841, one of nine children and immigrated to Victoria in search of a better life in 1863. He ended up in Crossover, at the goldfields near Jindivick and began a career as a hotelier, mail carrier and developer. He married twice and had five children. He died in Korumburra at the age of 53 and was given a lavish funeral with 1000 people lining the streets before his casket was placed on the train and he was buried in the Kew Cemetery.

Among his legacies are the Sutcliffe building (pictured above) and the Austral Hotel (completed in 1894). Recently I went through Drouin and caught a glimpse of the old Sutcliffe Family Hotel (now the Drouin Family Hotel). How different it is to see these old buildings now that I have heard a bit of history.

The Austral Hotel (1894) as it is now

ou can also see the amazing story of Korumburra’s history as it was captured on film through a collection of photographs on display at the Korumburra Library.

well worth seeing if you get the chance

Advanced Microbial Compost Making Workshop



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Gerhard Grasser has devoted his life to promoting and teaching a structured holistic approach to soil health management. He led us for the compost workshop which was held at a property in Loch on Saturday May 4 and it was absolutely outstanding. It was divided into two sections, a presentation by Gerhard on the science of compost including the differences between thermopilic compost, fungal compost and vermi compost. He also detailed the unique features and benefits of custom made compost and explained the microbial army in compost to help improve soil and plant health.

This was followed by a practical session on building a hot compost heap with help from all the participants. This compost pile will be turned 3 to 5 times in the next six weeks, and will have the temperature measured regularly. The idea is to turn it each time before it gets to 70 degrees, and after it stops attaining that temperature it is left for a month to mature. We had lots of fun and learned valuable knowledge to put to use in our own gardens and farms.

When the compost was turned for the first time five days after it was made, we were delighted to see the presence of mycellium showing that we had the right conditions for the production of high quality compost.

There will be a follow up workshop by Gerhard on Saturday June 15th, 9:00—12:30 at a property in Loch (address provided later). Again it will combine theory with outdoor practice, turning compost into compost tea. We will also have the opportunity to see soil life under the microscope. Cost $35, includes morning tea. Tickets available soon.