July 2010 Issue #58
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Growing one ton of food
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Zucchini Pizza Base
"Won't you come into the garden? I would like my tomatoes and roses to meet you."
Growing one ton of food
Do you know how much food you eat in a year? According to the USDA, adults on average eat 4.7 lbs (2.13 kg) per day, not including liquids. That's 1717 lbs (778.82 kg) we each chomp down on per year!
A couple in Minnesota, US are doing 'The Urban One Ton Project', whereby they are attempting to organically produce one ton (that's 2000 lbs) of their own fruit, vegetables and eggs on their 0.2 acre urban front and backyard, which will be 58% of their total average food consumption.
It would be fun to try, but it means weighing every spring onion, blueberry and so on...sigh... too hard for me, I'll just keep growing knowing it's the right thing to do!
YOUR Gardening Pages are popular. It's great to get your submissions... and don't forget to answer any questions if you can. There are new Garden Jokes, Quotes and Poems; and some thought provoking comments here about plastic leaching chemicals when growing plants.
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Eco gardening tips
- Tip about tops:
Just to clarify last month's tip about nipping out the growing tips of broad beans. If you wait until your plants have 4 to 5 sets of flowers and the tiny beginnings of bean pods are showing, then pinching out the tops means all the growth goes into producing beans rather than wasting energy growing taller plants.
Also broad bean plant growing tips are attractive to blackfly, so removing the tips helps control these pests.
- Seedy stuff:
Sowing your seeds in trays or pots? If you are planning to pot them on into larger containers after the first leaves (cotyledons) have formed then you don't need rich soil. In fact half sand half soil and compost is fine because they get most of their nutrition from the seed itself. Don't use ordinary garden soil as it will become too compacted and anerobic for little seedlings as they don't have the roots to break it up yet.
I'm too busy/lazy to pot on, I usually sow seeds into rich soil with some sand, then maybe water the seedlings with weak fertilizer such as fish emulsion, compost tea or seaweed extract. Also I often use the water in a large jug I keep on my bench filled with leftover tea, coffee, milk, rinsings of fruit and veggie containers etc. Watering once or twice a week is usually sufficient once the seedlings have produced their second lot of leaves and more, then transplant into garden when good and strong and hardy. With bigger seeds, they get poked straight into the soil.
Although peat is wonderful for seed mixes and compost, avoid buying it as there is now deep concern about the depletion of peat bogs and the flora and fauna that habitate them.
- Still more seedy:
Make sure your soil mix is porous, but do tamp the soil firmly in your seed trays, pots or garden before you sow seeds. When new seedlings grow they need a firm hold without air spaces around their roots. If your soil is too loose your seedlings are liable to fall or blow over.
Zucchini Pizza Base
There are lots of zucchinis in summer gardens, so here's a delectable way to use them.
- 3 cups grated zucchini, squeeze excess juice out
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- In large bowl, beat eggs for several minutes.
- Add all other ingredients and mix together.
- Spread out mixture on to greased 12-inch pizza pan or baking dish.
- Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes.
- Take out of oven and add a pizza topping (any favorites such as tomato, sauce, grated veggies, herbs, left-overs etc.)
- Bake for futher 10-12 minutes
Preparation: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people