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Diggers Rest - Worm plonk. Eco gardening tips, Love ya Lentils.
September 03, 2008

A free monthly resource from the wonderful world of gardening; giving you tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!



September 2008 Issue #36

Hello,

What fun that you and I both love the topic of gardening. Thanks for joining me on this adventure. For any questions or feedback, just click on reply on the top toolbar of this email.

1) Worm plonk
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Love ya Lentils


Worm plonk

The thousands of Digger's Rest e-zine subscribers haven't made any difference to the Oxalis in my garden. Hrrmp — after saying how delicious and tangy Oxalis was last month, I'd hoped for a beeline as a solution for eliminating the vast clumps of bright green, spring fuelled growth pushing through the fence from next door.

Worm plonk: Bill writes in the Australian Sun-Herald about a problem thus: It seems that in the spirit of eco-consciousness his friend offered to deliver his surplus worm farm liquid produced from kitchen waste. This beautiful liquid arrived on Bill's front doorstep and he happily applied it to his garden. Unfortunately his friend has had to discontinue supplying it in the dozen famous-labelled chardonnay bottles with screw tops, as the other night someone pinched the lot.

Wonder what the first swig tasted like? Not the best vintage year!


Sowing & planting: There's some old-fashioned wisdom in the Eco Tips below — and if in doubt for more specific times and areas, refresh your knowledge at Sowing Guides.


Winter areas: If spring is still around the corner in your area, make sure you've got any deciduous fruit trees planted whilst they are still dormant. Such a good investment for a few dollars. A fruit tree will provide hundreds of dollars worth of healthy, fresh fruit for years to come.

If you sow your own tomato seeds, it's time to get them in. There are endless other seeds to sow now if you have the room and inclination. If you have to buy seedlings, empty the compost bin onto garden, smother the weeds, do everything to have your garden ready for planting when real spring and summer weather arrives.

Summer areas: Many areas should have some winter producing veggies well established now, such as cabbages, caulis and Brussels sprouts. Depending on your climate it's not too late to sow seeds, but alternatively you can always buy and plant well established seedlings.

Keep picking the last leafy greens and harvest other crops that are ready, such as spuds, vines crops and onions (make sure tops really are dried before storing them).

If frost looks like paying a visit, pick the last tomatoes to ripen inside even if they are they have only a tinge of colour. See info on Tomatoes.


Eco Gardening Tips

  • Old wisdom:
    These timely tips are so true... When you see crocuses peeping up in gardens... sow seeds of peppers and eggplants. The flowers are a good indicator of how the season is progressing and when it is safe to sow and plant. Read more...

    When the crocuses bloom, sow peppers and eggplant indoors.
    When daffodils bloom, sow tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce indoors.
    When Lilies of the Valley bloom, plant tomatoes outside.
    When Irises bloom, put peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant outdoors.
    When peonies bloom, plant melons.

  • Rich foundations: There's no need to empty your no-dig beds or raised gardens ever, unless of course you get some really nasty disease or bugs you don't want in there — most unlikely.

    If you don't have weeds, you don't need paper layers each season, otherwise just keep adding other new layers... say compost and mulch each time before you re-plant. Over time as the layers compost down and the plants use what they need, you will find a base of rich soil building up, and you will often find you need to add less material for each new planting.

  • Pretty petals: Rose petals are edible, and dark red ones have the best... wait for it, yes, flavour. Carefully remove petals, cut off white heel, put rose petals in an empty ice cube tray, gently fill with water and freeze into ice cubes. Serve in your cold drinks. Very classy!

    You can use your imagination some more and make ice cubes out of fruit juice and petals. Also scatter fresh petals on salads, desserts and dressings.


Like the proverbial "little black dress" that all women are meant to own, lentils too are versatile; are handy when you're stuck; can be dressed up or down; and get praised a lot.

Love ya Lentils

Ingredients

   - 2 cups dry lentils, green best, or brown (4 cups cooked)
   - 1 medium tomato
   - cup chopped parsley, cilantro or other mild greens
   - cup mint, chopped fine
   - 1/3 cup onion (red best), chopped fine or minced
   - -1 cup feta cheese, crumbled (low fat best)
   - cup olives, medium chopped
   - cup walnuts, medium chopped
   - 2 tablespoons olive oil
   - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
   - Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Rinse lentils and check for any small stones etc. Cook lentils in 3 times as much water, eg 6 cups. Green take 20 minutes, brown 35 minutes. They should hold their shape.
  2. Drain off any water, cool, then mix with all other ingredients except olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  3. Combine olive oil and lemon juice, then pour over lentil mix and toss through.
  4. Add a shake or two of pepper, and probably you wont need salt, depending on how much feta cheese used.
  5. This is such a versatile dish, add any other bits and pieces, or adjust the oil, lemon juice and seasoning — but don't mask the mint flavour too much, as it helps make this dish delicious.

Preparation: 35 minutes, plus approximately 20-35 minutes cooking.

Serves: 4 people.


Happy gardening.

Megan

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