CERES site team composting and making new hugelkultur beds
The stuff of life 

A business consultant once famously advised CERES to dispense with its plethora of small community projects and divergent social enterprises to focus on maximising income from its core education program.

Like telling a forest to behave as if it were a wheat field, the advice seemed incomprehensible and CERES continued sprouting projects and spreading its seeds as it always had done.    

There are so many overlapping ecosystems at CERES, growing like fractals, creating new relationships and manifestations linking out into the community and coming back again that it’s hard to know the place in its entirety.

Last week Park Manager Belinda Kennedy and her team celebrated International Compost Awareness week 2024 . As the week closed Belinda shared a rare look into the CERES composting ecosystem.

CERES magpie friend helping with composting week

Composting needs muscles to build and turn its piles. CERES may not have a bobcat or frontend loader but it does have community and corporate volunteers and skilled compost makers.

This week a group from marketing agency Dentsu leant their hands to turn the hot composting piles and build the cool hügelkultur terraces where tons of prunings from around CERES slowly break down with the help of old oyster mushroom straw dropped off by our farmer friends at The Mushroomery over in Alphington.

Other raw material contributors in the eco-system include food scraps from the Merri Café & CERES Grocery, a squillion banana peels and apple cores from visiting school groups, green waste & spent potting mix from the Nursery & Propagation, weeds and more weeds from the CERES gardens and Honey Lane Farm, coffee grounds & coffee chaff delivered by Reground  and Madera Milkwood cafes and and topping it all off local furniture maker Bern Chandley donates sawdust from his famous Windsor chairs.

Belinda says that these contributions turn what would often end up in landfill into a beautiful, lush soil tonic brimming with life.

A family of local magpies –  Colin, Izzy, Ursa, JP, Nigella and Andy (see pic above) – look after quality control before the finished compost is returned into CERES’ thriving gardens.

There’s more info here if you’re interested in volunteering at CERES or here for our Corporate Volunteering program.

Melanie Leeson
Melanie knows GF

How many gluten-free flours can you name? Six? Twelve? Melanie Leeson can introduce you to twenty.

Melanie, director of Mettle + Grace, is a professional chef specialising in food intolerances and allergies. 

CERES is very lucky to have Mel leading her Gluten Free Kitchen Skills Workshop on May 26th.

Mel, who learnt from her own food challenges, teaches people how to create gluten-free flours for different cakes and baked goods

At her workshop there’ll be cake baking, cracker making, pizza and pastry shaping.

And as with all CERES cooking workshops you get to sit down at the end and eat what you’ve cooked together.

There’s more info here and if you use the code GLUTENFREE$10OFF you get a discount.

Have a great week


Gluten Free cooking


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