Diggers Rest – Q&A, Eco gardening tips, Pasta Egg & Baked Vegetable Salad.
A free monthly resource from the wonderful world of gardening; giving you tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!
May 2009 Issue #44
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) Cultural compromises
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Pasta Egg & Baked Vegetable Salad
"Spring is nature's way of saying,
~ Robin Williams
Vegetable gardeners worldwide want the same outcome — to grow healthy food. Many gardeners from poor countries NEED to feed their families. An interesting aspect of our crazy world is the displaced refugees of which New Zealand accepts a quota.
Lal and Sajida come from Afghanistan where the soil, plants and climate are different. For example they grew peppers year-round there, but this autumn they had to be dissuaded from planting peppers in their council plot in NZ until warmer spring weather arrives.
If you know refugees or immigrants that come from warmer areas, you might like to offer to help or advise on the many "local cultural compromises" they have to make in order to become useful and happy citizens.
You still have to buy a can of soup, but at Campbell's Help Grow You Own Soup, they are giving away 22.5 million tomato seeds as a part of this campaign. They'll post you some seeds if you fill in your details on the website.
Lots more great Questions and Answers arriving. Bet many of you readers have useful comments you'd love to add to some of those questions there?
And check out this new information on Animal Manures.
Eco gardening tips
- Slugs and snails:
Watch out. Slugs and snails are on attack, both for spring and autumn planted seedlings. Common little ratbags slithering out at dusk to dine.
If you've only got 9½ cabbages left... oops there goes another one, then grab your torch and pick the blighters off. Otherwise for big crops, read our Pests page, and put out beer or sugar traps or use one of the other remedies. Don't put this task off, because each small seedling is a future meal or more for you.
- Root veggies:
Once the spring sun has warmed your soil it's a great time to sow root veggies, but if you are in the southern hemisphere where winter is well on its way, give them a go also. The soil will still be warm enough for germination in many areas and your carrots, turnips, beetroot and the like will grow very slowly... but will be ahead come springtime to give you an early crop.
- Cold carrots:
Late carrots can be left in the ground over winter and pulled up fresh when you need some. Put a good layer of mulch over them to stop frost and snow damage. The cold will stop them growing, but will also make them lovely and sweet — the colder it gets, the sweeter your carrots will become.
A tasty combination, perfect for spring and summer vegetables.
Pasta Egg & Baked Vegetable Salad
- 300g potatoes (use small waxy ones)
- 400g asparagus, about 1-2 bunches. (If not in season, use beans.)
- 400g zucchini, 4 medium sized
- 2 eggs hardboiled, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup black olives (optional)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 100g penne or spiral pasta
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 Tbln fresh mint, chopped finely
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn oven to 190°C (375°F)
- Trim and wash asparagus or beans and zucchinis. Cut zucchinis into 50mm flat slices down length. Put all in large baking tray and toss with 3 Tbln oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast vegetables for 15 minutes, tossing once.
- Cook potatoes in pot until just tender and whilst hot cut into chunks and immediately toss in ½ the lemon juice, 2 Tbln olive oil, 1 Tbln mint, small tspn salt and several good shakes pepper, then cool to room temperature.
- Cook pasta to al dente stage. Drain, run cold water through then drain again. This stops pasta becoming overcooked and sticky.
- On large serving dish, put pasta, potatoes, roast vegetables and eggs.
- Serve warm or room temperature and just before serving gently toss through olives, remaining lemon juice, oil, mint and more salt and pepper.
Preparation: 30 minutes