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The News Headlines

Wednesday February 15, 2017

Letters to the Editor

From The Mirror,
February 12, 1997

Promaccom Fine Accommodation


$100,000 to reduce flood risk for Foster

• Infrastructure damaged by the July 2016 flood in Foster.

THE Foster community should be better prepared for flooding thanks to a $100,000 funding boost from the State Government to help complete a detailed flood study.
Heavy rain in July last year led to the flooding of several properties in the Foster township.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said that after listening to local concerns about the lack of information available leading up to the 2016 flood, the government will provide $100,000 to support South Gippsland Shire Council prepare a flood study.
“The Foster community told us they need better information and resources when floods occur, and we’ve listened,” declared Ms Shing.
“The knowledge and lived experience of the local community will play a critical role in shaping this study.”
The study will use local knowledge and data collected by the Foster community during last year’s flood to update flood maps and other flood emergency planning and education material. The community’s recommendations for upgrading flood warning services and for constructing flood mitigation works will also be assessed.
Council will manage the flood study, with West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority providing technical advice and input.
The Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy acknowledges that flood damages and trauma can be reduced by using credible data about flood behaviour, such as flood heights, flood extents and flood probabilities.
Detailed risk evaluations, in the form of flood studies, fill gaps in knowledge and help communities consider flood management options.
The government’s contribution is from the 2016-17 Victorian Budget commitment to provide $25 million to support implementation of the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy.








Counting down the days to Foster Show

THE countdown is on! The 110th Foster & District Show is only days away, due to take place at Foster Showgrounds on Saturday February 25.
As always there will be lots to see and do, and for a show where the focus is on country life there will, of course, be plenty of animal attractions.
It has been two years since donkeys featured at Foster’s show, so it will be exciting to welcome them again this year, this time with the added attraction of novelty events. These include a ‘Bra & Donkey Wrangling’ race, ‘Bra & Mule Wrangling’ race, Musical Chairs, Fancy Dress and obstacle races.
Fiona Mottram is coordinating the donkey section at the show. Fiona, who lives at Woorarra West, has been interested in donkeys since 1983. She bought her first donkey in 1990 and now has quite a collection of donkeys and mules.
Animal lovers will find plenty to delight at the show. As well as the donkeys and mules, there’ll be a wide variety of horse events, as well as dog jumping and sheep dog trials. They are perennial favourites, as is Rain, Hayne and Shine’s animal nursery, which is always a great hit with the littlies, and the reptile show – for those who aren’t into the cute and cuddly!
Even the Avenue of Agriculture features some animals amongst its niche farming selection – goats, pigs, bees, worms and rabbits.
All this and much more you will find at this year’s Foster & District Show, so mark the date in your diary now – Saturday February 25 – and prepare for a great celebration of life in the country – with or without animals.



Don’t miss the inaugural
Meeniyan Garlic Festival

ALL roads will lead to Meeniyan this Saturday when for one day only, the township will become the garlic capital of South Gippsland.
The Meeniyan Garlic Festival - the first of its kind in Victoria, is to be hosted by the Meeniyan Tourism and Traders Association and is the brainchild of Mirboo garlic farmers Kirsten and David Jones who also own the Meeniyan Store which is run by their daughter Flick.
“The whole town has been captured by the festival concept and we are thrilled with the enthusiasm of the volunteers who have come on board to help,” said David.
The festival will take place in the Meeniyan Recreation Reserve and in the Meeniyan Town Hall which, on the day will become the Garlic Institute headquarters. Tickets can be purchased at the Meeniyan Reserve gate and at the Meeniyan Hall: $10 for adults and children under 16 free.
Why not start your day off with garlic tastings in the hall foyer at 9am? At 9.30am local band, ‘Beggs to Differ’ whose members include ex ‘Men at Work’ member, guitarist John Rees will perform. John has organised a fantastic line up of easy listening music to keep you mellow throughout the day. There will be a special performance by the Aria award winning Choir of Hard Knocks at 12.30pm, conducted by founder Dr Jonathan Welch.
Principal artist with Opera Australia, Nicholas Jones, will perform hits from Music Theatre, with a touch of swing, just a day before heading to the Sydney to perform in Carmen at the Opera House. The Brunswick Women’s Choir and local ‘Acoustic Kitchen’ will perform in the hall at 8pm and tickets can be booked on
Foodies will have plenty to keep them interested, such as opportunities to taste all things garlic related – including some which are not usually associated with garlic, such as ice cream and beer!
Celebrity chef and author Stephanie Alexander will be at the ‘Books for Cooks’ stand in the hall and will be available to sign copies of her latest books, ‘The Cook’s Table’ and ‘The Kitchen Garden Companion’ at 11.30am.
Peruvian cooking sensation Alejandro Saravia (ex Heston Blumethal’s ‘The Fat Duck UK’ and now Executive Chef at Melbourne hot spot Pastuso) will lead a panel of distinguished chefs cooking up a storm throughout the day.
Leading Melbourne Spanish restaurant Movida will be sending their chef down, supported by local chefs Tamsin Carvan, Maria Stuart and Meg Viney -Bell. Naturally they will all be showcasing the alchemy of garlic in their presentations.
Melbourne food writer, author and garlic champion Richard Cornish, along with wine aficionado Rob Hicks (Grape Expectations) and Marty Thomas from Moos of Meeniyan, will be hosting the Festival Kitchen which will alternate its half hour shows with live music on the Festival stage.
There will be plenty of stalls selling tantalising tucker, deli treats, arts and craft… and of course beautiful ropes of local garlic and garlic products to take home. There’ll be old fashioned games and activities for the kids including billy cart races, garlic and spoon races plus displays of historic cars and tractors to admire, so there’s something for everyone. Watch for wonderful Art in Garlic in the main street too!
The Festival will provide oodles of opportunities to learn everything you ever wanted to know about garlic but were too afraid to ask, such as how to grow, harvest and cure garlic and how to collect and grow garlic from bulbils. Those interested in perhaps growing garlic on a commercial basis will have the opportunity at 11am to learn of the trials and tribulations of entering into the industry from Tony Murphy (a beginner grower) who still has his training wheels on.
Whether you’re interested in growing garlic on a domestic or commercial scale, garlic guru Penny Woodward and experienced growers will be conducting workshops and talks at the Garlic Institute in the Meeniyan Hall. Learn about the various cultivars, how to grow garlic, preserve it, infuse it …whatever takes your fancy! Watch too for local legend Ron Smith speaking on the use of garlic to support herd health.
Supplementary parking will be available at Stony Creek Racecourse, with shuttle buses linking with town. There is also parking provision at the Racecourse for people with a disability.
The full festival program is on page 9 of this edition of The Mirror so that you can see what takes your fancy and plan your day. Further information is also available at



Farmers’ market in Foster this Saturday

Contributed by Catherine McGlead

HAVE you ever made bread?  It’s a time consuming but rewarding task and well worth the effort.  As a bread maker myself, I’m picky about what I buy, and there are limited options to buy a tasty, chewy sourdough locally. Luckily, Oak and Swan Sourdough come to the market each month (and I’ve been known to stock our freezer for the occasions when I run out of time to bake my own bread).
Betsy and Greg, of Oak and Swan Sourdough, are based in Mardan, in the hills between Dumbalk and Mirboo North. They make their sourdough from scratch, using only organic flour, rain water, and salt. All the flour is stone ground, milled fresh every week in an Austrian-made grain mill, in the bakery. This ensures fresh flour with all its natural goodness and no additives. This flour is added to the starter (the starter culture, made from organic wholegrain flour and rain water) before each bake, with rain water, salt and organic wholegrains, seeds, nuts, vegies, herbs, fruit and spices, depending on what type of bread it is to be. It is mixed slowly and gently in a spiral mixer before long resting. The dough is then divided and shaped by hand before another long rest. When the loaves are ready they are loaded into the wood fired oven for baking.
The Oak and Swan oven is a 40 loaf Alan Scott oven. It is built into the side of the bakery and is fired before each bake with hardwood, and pine from the many pine trees on the farm. Once the oven is heated and the fire burnt away, the ash is raked out and the bricks cleaned with a damp cloth. The loaves are then loaded into the oven with a wooden peel. Several batches of bread are baked in the residual heat of the oven. Between firings, the oven retains heat which they use for muesli, drying fruit, toasting ingredients, and other baking requiring a low heat.
Oak and Swan have been coming to the market since November 2015 and have established a solid following.  If you haven’t tried their bread, now’s the time.
The Prom Country Farmers Market is held in the grounds of the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre on the third Saturday of each month from 8am to midday.
Why not come along this Saturday, February 18? You are sure to find something to your taste and you will be supporting local growers and producers.



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