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Diggers Rest - Statistics, Eco gardening tips, Parsley and sesame sauce
January 31, 2008
A free monthly resource from the wonderful world of gardening; giving you tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!

February 2008 Issue #29


What fun that you and I both love the topic of gardening. Thanks for joining me on this adventure! Feedback is welcome, just click on reply.

1) Statistics
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Parsley and sesame sauce


My catching up from moving will have to wait a bit more. Yes, I'm off to Hangzhou, China for 12 days. My new daughter-in-law, whose family I will be meeting, gleefully tells me it's snowing, (I'm sweltering in mid summer in NZ now). In fact I read that the snow and temperatures are the worst in 50 years.

We love statistics don't we? The media knows that a headline reading "Heaviest rain since 1997" sounds better than just "Heavy rain." Statistics can be made up on the spot... "Biggest hailstone in the last 5 minutes!"

We gardeners exaggerate too... "The amount of zucchinis on my plant is earth shattering." "Those rampaging snails are eating me out of house and home." "I got a ton of radishes from my last crop."

But the feedback I receive about the no-dig method truly does produce records for gardeners... "If you saw how fast the plants are growing in my garden, it would make your eyes pop out on stalks!"


Who's growing celery? Unless you buy organic, it's a very sprayed vegetable. It tastes delicious straight from your own garden. For expert tips, go to Growing Celery

Eco Gardening Tips

  • Coffee: Coffee grounds contain about 2% nitrogen and if you put them around your rhubarb plants it will inhibit flowering, which means more leaves... and more pies. Coffee grounds are slightly acidic so they will also deepen the blue colour of hydrangeas.
  • Tea: Sunburn can be a hazard for gardeners and can catch us out occasionally. There are lots of soothing remedies, and black tea is an excellent one. It not only reduces the pain but can also promote tanning instead of burnt skin. Make regular tea, or even use cold water to steep tea or bags to release the tannin. Soak a clean cloth in the dark water and lay it on the burnt area. Leave it there for about 10-20 minutes and renew if liked. You can also use the tea bags directly onto a burnt patch.
  • Paint brushes: Some plants are hermaphroditic, in that they produce male and female flowers on the same plant, like zucchinis, and some plants are dioecious, whereby you need a male and a female plant within range for pollination to take place. And some plants are a bit of both. If, for example, your zucchinis start to produce little zukes which wither and die - take a child's paint brush and do your own pollination by transferring pollen from a male flower to the stigma of a female flower - and ask the bees to visit you more in future.

Parsley and Sesame Sauce

Here's a great little sauce or dip that can be in made summer or winter.

- cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- cup lemon juice
- Approximately 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped. (Italian flat parsley is best with its strong, peppery flavour)
- Salt and pepper to season

1. In a food processor or blender, process the tahini, lemon juice and garlic until smooth.
2. If using mixture as a sauce, thin to a nice consistency by adding the water, bit by bit.
3. Add parsley, salt and pepper and do a few quick pulses with your machine.
4. Cover and store in fridge. Should keep for a week or so.

Serve with salads or fish; use as a dip; or even as a sauce base for pizza.

Makes 1 cups.
Preparation time: 10 minutes.

Happy gardening!


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