Gardening: Time to think about winter vegies

We’ve said goodbye to summer and the labour-intensive work in the garden over the warmer months and hello to the lower maintenance time of the cooler weather.

A crop of onions, leeks and garlic is always a bonus to the home cook and some can be stored after they mature and used during the coming seasons. They are not hard to grow and their flavor fresh out of your garden makes the produce out of the supermarket seem very bland and uninteresting, lacking in looks and flavor.

Another keeper is pumpkins – if they are cut after the vine withers and dies off, stored in a cool, dry place with a constant temperature, they will keep for months and the flavor is amazing.

Top of the agenda during the winter months are cabbages, cauliflowers and brussels sprouts. Grown from seedlings they seem to take forever to reach maturity, but the wait is worth it.

They do need monitoring to make sure that the white cabbage moths don’t eat them all for dinner and they must be kept dusted or covered under fine netting to keep them safe. They are at their best both in flavor and in vitamin content when fresh from the garden.

A spare cauliflower can be used to make a lovely pot of Picalily Pickles – the recipe is an old one my Gran brought out from England in 1921. It’s easy to make and a great keeper, I’ve kept it for three years in storage.

Now is also the time to buy in your bulbs ready for spring and summer flowers. Bulbs grow well in pots so they’re great for balconies or patios. Look for big, firm bulbs and plant them three times as deep as their height, with their shoot facing upwards. You’d be amazed how many people plant them upside down. Don’t overwater them or they may rot.


Start with: 1 cauliflower, 3 zucchinis, 3 large onions, ½ cup salt.

Finely chop all vegetables and put into a large plastic bowl or bucket with salt. Mix through and cover with water. Leave overnight.

Next day, tip into large boiler, bring to boil for five minutes, then strain off the water.

Add 3 to 4 cups sugar, 1 level tablespoon salt, a pack of pickling spice tied in a cloth and cover with enough white vinegar to cover plus an extra 1.2 centimentres (usually takes 2 bottles). Bring to boil for approximately 15 minutes.

Thicken with a mixture of 1 ½ cups plain flour, 2 tablespoons mustard and 1 heaped tablespoon turmeric mixed together with water. Boil a further 10-15 minutes to cook the flour, stirring frequently, remove the spices tied in the cloth and bottle into hot bottles. Seal with paraffin wax.

If it’s too thick add more vinegar; if too thin add more flour mixture.

If it’s not spicy enough add more mustard, but remember that flavor will improve and grow stronger when stored before using.

New support group in Corio

Corio is home to a new Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group.

The group is co-ordinated by Nick, who has more than 30 years’ experience with AA and saw a need for a program of its kind in the area.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope to help others recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

“The traditional format is the foundation of what AA is,” Nick said. “The AA meeting is a safe place where vulnerable people can go and get good information about how to solve their problems.

“It’s spiritual not religious – it’s really just about good living. Alcohol is a health issue, but before that it’s a spiritual issue, so the spirituality is the key.”

Meetings are held weekly and are open, meaning family, friends and loved ones can attend. They include three or four speakers, followed by discussion, and the chance to build trust as a way of supporting members.

The AA group meets at Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre. For more information about meeting times contact Nick, phone 0429-691-845.

Celebrating volunteers

National Volunteer Week will be held in May to celebrate the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. The theme for 2019 is ‘Making a world of difference’.

From May 20 to 26, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the six million Australians who volunteer their time. Locally, volunteers support a huge range of organisations including community, sporting, health, education and welfare.

At the neighbourhood and community centres in Corio and Norlane the volunteers are much-appreciated. They include administration assistance, garden and grounds maintenance, child minders, computer helpers, Community Kitchen facilitators, program leaders and cleaners.

Among the much-valued volunteers is Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre’s Carlie, who has lived in Geelong for two years and volunteers as playgroup co-facilitator and child minder most days at Rosewall.

As well as holding a Certificate III in Children’s Services, Carlie is super creative, organised and on the ball when it comes to children’s activities and programs. Carlie makes all the centre’s art and crafts, playdough, mini-cooking menus and outside and creative play setups. Her creativity has made the playroom a fun and colourful space.

Information about Volunteer Week activities will be available at the neighbourhood and community centres in early May. The centre staff thank their volunteers for all that they put in. They are to be applauded on their commitment to the neighbourhood centre.

Activities for every age

Corio Library has programs for all ages, from toddlers to seniors, during Term 2.

From March through to May, the library will run classes on basic sewing, embroidery, knitting circle and stuffed animals.

Leather craft with local leather artist Aram O’Mara has been brought back due to popular demand.

The library is also going retro with macramé lessons for beginners.

All of these activities are free, but you’ll need to book your spot via or call 5275-2388.

Activities for children include Preschool Story Time and Toddler Time on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.30am. Sensory Story Time and Baby Time are on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11.30am.

There’s also a range of programs for school-aged children after school.

The library is catering to parents too, with a special talk by Lou Harvey-Zahra on Creative Discipline for Happy Toddlers and Children.

Digital literacy is a big focus for Geelong Regional Libraries and Corio Library is continuing the theme with lessons on eSmart Cyber Safety and iPads – basic and intermediate levels. There are classes for the community to help them explore the 3D printer, Design N Cut and Virtual Reality.

Classes range from 3D printer basics and paper craft through to designing custom 3D printed jewellery.

So, whether you want to borrow a book, learn something new, get creative or just relax, staff look forward to seeing you soon at the Corio Library, which is in Cox Road, Corio.

For further information phone 5275-2388 or email

Serving community in many ways

Corio Norlane Lions Club has celebrated six years of serving the local community through a range of programs and activities.

The club has been running a bike program for almost three years. Members obtain secondhand bicycles either by purchase or donation, clean them, repair them and paint them and then give them away. So far, the club has provided more than 1600 bikes to children and families.

Members are planning to build a shed to support a Work for the Dole Program, to provide support for locals and refugee families to improve their job skills. Member John McKinnin has received enormous satisfaction and praise for supporting this program.

The Lions club’s breakfast program has been reviewed and now provides $1000 per term to Northern Bay College, Goldsworthy Road campus where the canteen provides a healthy breakfast and now supports up to 60 students per morning.

The Winter Blanket Appeal is now called Road Home Geelong and between March and October each year members collect blankets, jackets, hats, scarves, gloves and hygiene items. All items are distributed to the homeless throughout Geelong via the local agencies. This appeal also encourages people to talk about and consider the desperation of the homeless and their families.

The club’s computer program has been running for six years, where secondhand computer equipment is cleaned and software installed, then donated to families. More than 400 computer systems have been delivered to families.

Corio Norlane Lions members hold barbecues at ALDI Corio on the second Saturday of each month to raise money to support the breakfast program. The Lions Golden Opportunity Community Shop at 55 Alkira Avenue, Norlane is also doing well, staffed by volunteers.

The club is aiming to involve students and young adults in community projects. If you are over 12 and interested in helping improve your local community; if you have any items that you could donate; or if you’re interested in supporting in any way, contact the secretary Richard Walter: or 0490-802-003.

Uniting Barwon at Norlane

Uniting Barwon’s Norlane office is located at 10 Wendover Avenue, on the site of the Corio/Norlane Uniting Church. It is part of Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Ltd, which is the community services arm of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania.

Uniting is a non-profit organisation financed through government, philanthropic and community grants and donations.

Uniting at Norlane provides:

  • Emergency relief services including food, clothing, material aid, household goods and white goods.
  • Homelessness and housing services.
  • Bill Assist services including organising payment plans, applying for utility relief grants and setting up budgets.
  • Primary and secondary school education expense assistance.
  • No interest loans for those who qualify.
  • General counselling for couples, families, individuals, children and adolescents in the areas of relationship issues, life and family issues, parenting, depression, grief loss and bereavement, personal development, anger management, trauma, anxiety, stress management and loneliness.

Uniting’s office hours at Norlane are 9.30am until noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If you’d like to meet with a Uniting worker or have any queries, phone 5278-8492 to make an appointment.

Coasthaven Community to open soon

The Baptcare Coasthaven Community, located at 45 Robin Avenue, Norlane will open in March this year.

It will offer a 90-place residential aged care facility and a Community Hub that will include a café, community garden, men’s shed and playground.

To receive updates on this new Community, as well as special offers, giveaways and information on the Open Day to be held shortly, visit to register your interest.

Applying for an aged care place

If you or someone you care for is interested in applying for and securing a place at our Coasthaven Community we recommend you complete the following steps as soon as possible, as this process takes time.

  1. Get an aged care assessment.
  2. Get an income and asset assessment test.
  3. Consider if you need an authorised representative to act on your behalf.

For those needing help to understand this process please call Baptcare on 13-2278.

Job opportunities

For job opportunities at our Coasthaven Community all positions will be advertised as soon as they become available via the Vacancies page on the Baptcare website,

Building for an exciting future

Residents of the 3214 area will have access to state-of-the-art community facilities when major Neighbourhood House building projects are completed this year.

A new Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre is being built behind the current facility in Sharland Road. The $3.76 million facility will be known as the Rosewall Community Hub.

The new Rosewall will provide all the usual services of the neighbourhood centre, but in a more modern and comfortable environment. The building will be finished in 2019 and feature modern facilities including a pottery room and kiln, hospitality training kitchen and outdoor decking areas.

The Cloverdale Community Centre, in Purnell Road, is also in the midst of a major upgrade. The first part of an extension and refurbishment of the rear of the existing building will be completed in early 2019. Following that, the front of the building will be upgraded.

The centre runs a wide range of pre-accredited training and programs, some of which were relocated during the building process. All programs have returned to Cloverdale to start Term 1.

Slow down in Purnell Road

Motorists in Purnell Road, Corio, should be aware of a new 40km speed zone during school times.

The City of Greater created the new zone, between Princess Road and Goulburn Avenue, in response to a request from Northern Bay College students who were concerned about safety in the area.

New speed limit signs were due to be erected in the area in early September. The 40km limit applies from 8am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4pm.

Family Bush Dance fun

Norlane West Scout Group is inviting families to join it for a night of fun at a Bush Dance on Saturday, November 24. The night will feature music by the Billy Tea Bush Band.

The event will be held at 86 Dunloe Avenue in Norlane. Doors will open at 5.30pm for dinner, followed by the Bush Dance from 6.30pm until 8pm, then supper. Dinner will be spit roast roll for $5 and cold drinks $2.

Tickets for the Bush Dance are available from The cost is $11 per person or $40 per family. They can also be bought on the night – $15 per person or $50 per family.

For more information contact