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Diggers Rest – Slow down! Eco gardening tips; Asian Citrus Dressing.
November 02, 2009

November 2009 Issue #50


What fun that you and I both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) Slow down!
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Asian Citrus Dressing

It's wonderful what you find when you're not looking for it. ~ Anonymous gardener

Slow down!

Gardeners are known to use lyrical words, such as unwinding the soul and connecting to the earth, to describe the feeling of being close to nature and growing things.

So I thought it timely to mention what a recent study from the University of Hertfordshire, UK, has discovered about people's habits.

By tracking people's walking pace in the world's main cities over the last 10 years, our walking on average has speeded up by 10%. In Singapore, they've speeded up the fastest by 60%. At this rate, by 2040 we will be walking so fast that we'll be arriving before we set off!

Let's spread the word about gardening then. We know that we have to listen to the Earth, to be successful gardeners. For ecological sustainability we need to go through all the seasons and read our particular garden. We will then understand the needs, rhythms and any idiosyncrasies... which all gardens and gardeners have.

In other words, gardeners need PATIENCE.

Tell the world, call your neighbours, whisper it to others in the shops, write to the media, offer to help.... go gardening and slow down, it's got to be good for you.


Ever grown onions? Here's every reason to, and all you need to know about Growing Onions.

My wife the gardener

The latest addition to Gardening Jokes and Quotes is a honey of a poem guaranteed to make you chuckle, called "My Wife the Gardener."

Hoe into the spirit and add your own contribution if you can.

And to keep up with the latest contributions, plus other Q & A and additions to website, subscribe to the blog by RSS feed. You'll find the RSS button just below the navigation bar on the left of each webpage. No email is needed and easy instructions are provided.

Eco gardening tips

  • Lopside your chickens:
    I get a few enquiries about keeping chickens. I used to keep chickens but rules are different in the urban jungles nowadays, so no can do.

    I do remember a good tip to stop chickens hopping over fences especially if tasty veggies are on the other side. Simply cut off the tip feathers on ONE wing with scissors, being careful not to cut too far down and into the base of the feathers. Mr Rooster or Ms Hen try and fly and oops-a-daisy, they're off balance.

  • Hot help:
    Happiness is... hot chili food. Hot chilies maketh a meal, yummm. Happiness is NOT touching your face, eyes, or patting your toddler after cutting up chilies. Use gloves, wash hands immediately you've finished, or try to avoid touching the inside and seeds of chilies where the burning oils are.

    But if caught out, immediately rub milk on the stinging. This neutralizes the hot pepper oil.

  • Animals know better:
    Natural pest control preparations available to buy, commonly contain nicotine.

    But remember tobacco is a poison, and when nicotine from the plant is used as an insecticide, be just as careful around children as with all chemical insecticides. Small quantities ingested can kill, and there are many reports of infants being poisoned after eating it — usually tobacco or cigarettes left lying around by smokers.

    Did you know that even animals never enter a tobacco field for grazing, whereas humans have consumed uncounted tons of tobacco for generations.

This delicious dressing is perfect with lightly steamed, still slightly crunchy, cauliflower, broccoli or broccolini.

Asian Citrus Dressing

  • 1 tspn orange zest (finely grated orange peel)
  • 2 Tbln orange juice
  • 1 small onion, chopped roughly (mild white onion is best)
  • 1 Tbln balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 Tbln good quality soy sauce (Japanese shoyu is best)
  • 3 Tbln olive oil
  • 1 Tbln sesame oil


  1. Combine everything in blender and pulse away until it is blended and creamy.
  2. Steam approximately 500gm vegetables, tip into serving dish and pour the Asian dressing over them.

Preparation: 8-10 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side dish to main meal, or entrée or luncheon dish.

Happy gardening


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