An eclectic bunch of gardening, foodie and Backyard Harvest events spark a FUSE this March

For inspiration on everything from baking and making preserves to permaculture and beekeeping, home gardeners, fresh produce lovers and curious minds can explore the Backyard Harvest program as part of FUSE festival from 13 – 29 March

Chat with Darebin’s fabulous home wine makers, sample the results of years of experience and vote for a favourite in the People’s Choice Awards at Meet the Makers, from midday to 4pm on Sunday 15 March at Darebin Arts Centre. Free entry.

The Blokes’ Bake Club – Italian Easter Bread Class on Saturday 21 March at 1pm will be a bread-lovers dream. After a social bread making session in the kitchen of the Northcote Senior Citizens club, each bloke will go home with a collection of baked, delicious, still-warm goodies and a recipe book to replicate their masterpieces at home. Tickets $35.

Join Darebin City Council and the Social Food Project on Thursday 26 March for a Zero-Waste Cooking Demonstration to give you all the tools and tips for cooking zero-waste at home. You’ll learn how to plan, buy and cook to get the most out of both your groceries and money, with some surprising tips on how to make your food last longer. Free but bookings essential. 

On a Guided Tour of Robbie’s Aquaponics Garden at 12:45pm on Sunday 15 March, the garden guru will share how aquaponic systems can enable food production to thrive and allow trout and vegetables to grow in a mutually dependent relationship. Tickets: Adults $12, Concession $6.

For those tight on space, the Guided Tour of Lena’s Courtyard Garden at 2pm on Sunday 15 March will inspire residents in other multi-unit developments, as she shares her tips on creating a thriving oasis of food- producing plants and bee, insect and bird attracting flowers in her 45 m2 courtyard. Tickets: Adults $12, concession $6.

Families who would like to create their own bee-friendly hotel with natural and recycled materials while discovering insect biodiversity on a micro level can head to Bee a Pollinator! at the Sylvester Hive Community Garden on Sunday 16 March at 10am. Entry: Adults $10, concession $5. 

For anyone considering adding chooks to their garden or wanting to brush up on their chook management skills, join chicken expert and ABC Organic Gardener writer Jessamy Miller at Happy Backyard Chooks on Saturday 28 March at 10am. For creatures of a smaller scale, individuals can get their hands dirty at DIY composting and worm farms at Sylvester Hive on Sunday 22 March at 2pm. Tickets: Adults $12, concession $6.

Stretching from homes and community gardens surrounding Darebin, Backyard Harvest includes a range of events for all ages, more details on the full FUSE program can be found at: www.fusedarebin.com.au