February 2015 Issue #114
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Muscle Meg
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Dairy-free Kale Butter
Garden Show. Priors Court Road, Hermitage, Thatcham, UK.
In reply to readers' emails, fit as I am, my nickname isn't 'Muscle Meg'. No, I didn't dig out all those rocks shown in last month's newsletter — that's mostly one year's worth of digging over a large area by son Toby. He loves to dig; it's a male thing.
And when I wrote about the hail and searing Australian sun shredding and crisping leaves, did I mention
possums? Ah... but those cute animals just love tomatoes ripening on the vines... and the next night they might fancy eating the tops of the lettuces, or leaves off the lemon tree... or their favourite... passionfruit vines.
Raring to grow
The FAQ section is the place where the beautiful people hang out... earthy, nurturing and raring to grow.
Sheana from Scotland is keen to find out who knows about Rockdust?
Eco gardening tips
- Use those eggshells
Eggshells go in the compost... or crush them finely and feed to your chickens for
calcium. Many people scatter crushed eggshells over their garden or soak them and use the water. Do you have boiled eggs for breakky? Well cool the water and tip around your plants to give them a calcium boost.
- Feeding little greenies
Micro greens and sprouts are popular nowadays especially for apartment dwellers and wintertime gardeners. If it's impossible to garden outside, the next best thing is to grow some edibles inside.
Potting mixes vary, but most have a limited amount of nutrients, so to keep your little green factories going a bit longer once they're producing lots of good leaves, give them a good boost with liquid fertiliser. Make your own, read this: Organic garden fertilizers
- Cilantro or coriander?
I grow coriander, but I guess its more popular name is cilantro.
Howsomewhatever, the point is you CAN have a LONG crop of this delicious herb.
You can grow it singly, cut the leaves, then let it seed for more plants.
The other way is to grow like micro greens and cram lots of seeds into a smaller space or container. When about 10 cm (4") tall, every few days use scissors and give a patch a haircut, leaving a few cms of stem to grow new leaves. Work your way through the crop and by the time you get back to the first cutting, they will be ready to cut again. Keep dampish with weekly feedings of liquid fertilizer and you should get 4-5 harvests!
Sure you can... have the perfect garden!
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Dairy-free Kale Butter
A beautiful green colour and quite addictive I have to say!.
- 1 large bunch curly kale
- ½ - ¾ cup walnuts
- ½ - 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Strip leaves from stems and cook kale in the water for approximately 6 minutes.
- Put cooked kale and all other ingredients into blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
- Use this like
normal butter, or as a dip or sauce. Great with pickles and salads.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Makes: A small/medium bowl of kale butter