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Diggers Rest – Possum's pain; Eco gardening tips; Spinach or Chard Mash
December 21, 2015

December 2015 Issue #124


What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) Possum's pain
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Spinach or Chard Mash

Christmas tree with children

I'm spending a few months visiting family in Sydney, Australia and boy is it hot. It's also a very screechy land.

Most birds screech and we saw a particular group of mynas going ballistic one evening. A possum made a most unfortunate choice to visit a tree across the street via the telephone wire. Possum got halfway across and was dive-bombed by a dozen or so protective mynas. Each time they scored a direct hit, possum slipped but grimly hung on by tail or paw and then swung back up to try and scamper to safety.

It was painful for us to watch too, as the possum tried to hurry but still had to put one paw in front of the other on the thin wire to move forward.

Thankfully possum made it, possibly with a few bits of fur missing.

Like chocolate, no self-restraint is needed to enjoy
No dig Vegetable Garden's FACEBOOK page. Love to see you there to read the latest news and tidbits!

Eco gardening tips

  • Tackle those ticks!
    Here in Northern Sydney, as in many parts of the world, there are lots of ticks in the bush and long grassy areas. A local doctor says the best way to tackle a tick if it has settled into your skin is to dollop it with some nail polish remover. The acetone kills it immediately, and as it instantly dries, the whole lot scrapes off cleanly.
  • The big squeeze
    Aphids... those tiny soft yet destructive pests! They and their one trillion cousins are remarkably easy to destroy. Aphids love rose buds, swan and milkwood plants or any new growth. Simply run your thumb and fingers along the stems and give them the squeeze heave-ho. Most will be crushed, some will drop off... and usually that seems to discourage any others, but if the next day some are back, repeat the big squeeze.

    For serious, rock-concert like crowds, hose them off or spray with a mild garlic/pepper spray—see: Natural pest control.

  • Salads like engines need oil
    A Mediterranean diet is good... well knock me down with an olive. You don't say! Most of you know that, but apart from fresh veggies what else is so good? Well it's having oil, mostly olive oil with veggies. Research clearly proves that eating plant food with fat of some sort (preferably not deep-fried chips), means you absorb the plant's nutrients far better. Also tastes delicious and sustains you longer. So whether you're munching on a carrot or chomping on a plateful of salad—do have some fat with it. Avocadoes tick the box for this by the way.

Growing veg planner

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Want to know when to plant them?

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Spinach or Chard Mash

This tasty side dish come from a magazine for seniors. It's also good for toddlers too, but with less seasoning… just a dash of salt, pepper and nutmeg.


  • 10 Spinach/chard leaves with tough white stalk removed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil.


  • Roughly chop spinach/chard leaves and steam for 5-7 minutes.
  • Puree with pepper, salt, nutmeg & olive oil.
  • Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon yoghurt and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Preparation: 5-10 minutes
Cooking: 5-7 minutes
Serves: 1-2 people

Happy gardening, and have a wonderful festive season. Especially eat lots, stay out late, smile lots, laugh more, and generally be generous with yourself and others.

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