3 min read

I'm excited from my head TO-MA-TOES!

"Passata day is set in the calendar like Christmas and Easter."

- Frank Bovezza, Home Make It - The Age, 31 January 2015


Wow, what a weekend showcasing Melbourne's food and beverage culture! Our team had a great time participating in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival at The Taste of Italia @ Home at Mister Bianco Restaurant, and The Art of Salumi Making at Romulus and Remus Restaurant in Richmond. The enthusiasm of participants at each of these events is proof that Melbourne's slow food movement is alive and well in Melbourne. 

~ Melbourne Tomato Festival ~

Melbourne's first ever Melbourne Tomato Festival went off! Not even the storm the night before could dampen the spirits of Melbourne's tomato lovers! A fully sold-out event, with 2,500 embarking on South Morang to share their love for tomatoes and passata. As the gates opened, the sun shone through and the humble tomato took centre stage. The celebration of all things tomato, sustainability, local food produce and Italian food culture was set against the heritage listed historic homestead, and the stunning gardens of Farm Vigano. What a grand sight to see 400 Gradi dropping their wood fired pizza oven by crane in the gardens to feed the hungry masses! There were an abundance of activities for all ages, farmers market stands, cooking demonstrations, food and beverages, quest speakers and entertainment to delight the crowd. 

On behalf of the Home Make It team, I would like to take the opportunity to welcome all the new subscribers from The Melbourne Tomato Festival to our newsletter. We look forward to keeping you up to date with all the news from the team, including recipes, new products, specials, events and festivals. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Grossi family for hosting the Melbourne Tomato Festival and for their vision for the Melbournese Movement which celebrates the preservation of Italian food culture.


Our team at Home Make It were kept busy running four back to back hands-on Passata Making Workshops over the day. The race was on for the groups to cut, juice, and bottle their passata to take home. We were thrilled by the enthusiasm displayed during the workshops and delighted by the feedback. We hope that we have reignited the love for passata days for those who shared stories of childhood memories making passata with their parents and grandparents. We also hope that we have inspired others who tried passata making at the Festival for the first time, to start a new family tradition of annual passata days. 

You can view some more pictures from the Melbourne Tomato Festival on our Facebook page. 

~ Homemade Tomato Sauce Kit ~

Our team were thrilled to officially launch our Homemade Tomato Sauce Making Kits at the Melbourne Tomato Festival. This is a beginners kit for making homemade passata and includes everything from the Italian made manual Tomatopress Master tomato machine, jar lifter, ladle, funnel, 2 500ml jars with lids and jar labels as well as a step-by-step guide including a recipe to follow. Available now at our Reservoir and Clayton Stores and ONLINE

~ Annual Family Passata Day ~

We had our own annual passata day a couple of weeks ago. With the children another year older, it was all hands on deck to yield as many bottles of fresh homemade passata to last the whole year round. 1 suburban garage, 20 boxes of Roma tomatoes, 3 generations, 6 families and the result, over 60 bottles for each family to take home. But those of you who share our passion for making homemade passata know, that it's not just about the bottles of passata. It's about spending time with the family, working together to create fresh preservative free produce, creating life long memories for our children, preserving an Italian slow food tradition and sitting down to share a well earned abundance of food to feast on at lunch time.

Here are a few pics from the day. If you would like to see more highlights from the day, jump onto our Facebook Album.

~ Food and Beverage Courses ~

Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course - Run over six nights from March - November covering all the stages of the winemaking process. Book now and take advantage of the pre vintage special price!

Tomato Sauce/Passata Making Course - Learn how to make homemade passata with our hands on workshop and enjoy a pasta with fresh passata to conclude the evening.   

Homemade Cider Making Course - Learn the art of making homemade cider to enjoy with family and friends at one of our hands-on workshops.

Pizza Making Course - Learn the art of pizza making by Brunetti's Executive Savoury Chef, Michele Circhirillo. Workshop will conclude with a feast of delicious freshly made pizza. 

Salami and Cured Meats Courses - Learn the ancient art of meat processing and curing with this informative and interactive course, led by the cured meats and butchery expert James Mele.

Sausage Making Courses - Learn the basics of sausage making. If you have ever thought about making fabulous homemade sausages then this is the workshop for you! 

~ The Wine Season ~

The homemade wine season has officially begun! Remember that our Reservoir and Clayton store provide complimentary testing for samples of juice and wine. We recommended testing samples of your wine at all of the stages of the wine making process. Just bring in a small sample for analysis. And remember! If you want to want good wine, you need to start with good grapes. We can highly recommend Morgan Vineyards in the Yarra Valley and have a list of other high quality grape suppliers at our stores. 

Morgan Vineyards
Pick Your Own Grapes
Yarra Valley
Pinot - Cabernet - Merlot
Sunday & Monday 8th & 9th March
From 9am
Bring your family and spend a lovely day amoungst the vines in the beautiful Yarra Valley.
Pick Grapes to make your own wine
From one of the oldest vineyards in the Yarra Valley.
$2.50 per kilo
Picking buckets and snips supplied
Toilets and picnic tables on site.
Cellar Door will be open for wine sales

Morgan Vineyards est 1971

30 Davross Crt Seville
Call Simon – 0422 396 356 or email
if you have any questions


~ Cade's Homebrew News ~

Lots of good brewing weather lately, and lots of good news on the HMI front. For all the kegging enthusiasts out there, our Swap & Go CO2 bottles will be available in stores any day now.

A new range of White Labs yeast has also hit the stores.  All the usual favourites are there, with some new kids on the block, such as Belgian Saison, and even a Brettanomyces strain for all the sour beer fans out there.

We have been getting compliments on our improved grain selection too in store. The shelves are well stocked, from base grains to specialty grains.

And what else is a long weekend to a brewer, but a chance to squeeze in one more brew?  We have you covered with grain, extract, wort kits, fermenters and yeast .

Come into us with nothing, walk away just needing water! Happy brewing!

Cade Butler.

~ Extended Trading Hours ~

To accommodate the popularity of the homemade winemaking season, our stores will have extended trading hours for the next few months. Our Reservoir and Clayton stores will be trading from 9.00am until 3.00pm on Saturdays (March - July) and we will be open on Sundays from 10.00am until 2.00pm (March-April ONLY). 

~ Weekly Specials ~

Click on the banner below to discover our weekly specials

~ Facebook and Twitter ~

You can keep up to date with daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

By popular demand, Nonna Paola is back to kick off your long weekend, with her introduction to "Siri". We hope you enjoy this little You Tube video!  Happy long weekend :)