November 2010 Issue #62
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Big Mac — big sacks
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Exceptional Onions
I am a tree
I too need the warmth of the sun,
The wetness of the rain,
The space to grow.
One difference between us two
Is that you need me
More than I need you.
~ Pat Moon
Big Mac — big sacks of rubbish
Walking past a MacDonalds I noticed a huge rubbish (garbage in US) truck loaded with cardboard, polystyrene and plastic rubbish such as tomato sauce sachets, coffee cups, lids, wrapping, boxes and such like.
I did eat some Maccas once ages ago. I was visiting a hospital on a Sunday and nothing was open in the small shopping area when I came out starving. So Maccas it was. I survived... here I am!
But I do remember some things that struck me, such as how small and hollow the chips are, so one has to stuff handfuls in mouth to even get some sort of... well, mouthful of chips.
In fact everything seemed hollow and bland — like cardboard or polystyrene really.
Speaking of which, if you sometimes eat Maccas, recycle the rubbish in your garden if you can. Cardboard in compost, cups for seedlings, and polystyrene boxes to raise seeds or break up and put in bottom of plant containers for drainage.
What's in YOUR compost?
Finished compost has a balanced pH and keen gardeners try and spread at least 2-3cm (1") over their garden each year. See what a a good composter, George has to say and join in on this rubbish... Click Compost Ingredient Combinations
Eco gardening tips
- Mobile caterpillars:
It's a puzzle. You pick off a few caterpillars from your cabbages... and then next day there are some in exactly the same places!
Watching a white butterfly, my theory is that the eggs are laid on the bigger leaves where the butterflies can land. The eggs hatch and the babies slither down, then up into the tender leaves right in the middle. So check the more outside leaves for those little white eggs and squash them before they turn into moving, munching machines.
- Horror weeds:
I learnt something last month. Ten sheets of newspaper will not stop some weeds. In this case it was convolvulus and onion weed.
It reminded me of the movie "Aliens". After several months, the paper rotted before the weeds died from lack of light, and like curled up monsters they burst forth with all their strength... yelling "Free at last."
So heavily overlapped cardboard, natural carpet or similar is the way to go to repel underground aliens.
- More recycling:
As well as your kitchen scraps, toss paper products in your compost bin. Paper towels, cardboard rollers from the towels and loo paper, tissues, scrap printer paper, and torn up pieces of other cardboard packaging.
You probably have a recycle bin provided by your local authority, but all that stuff takes energy to collect and process. Also lots of it is tossed, so if you have the space, why not recycle it the faster, friendlier way yourself. Worms really love paper once microbes begin the decaying process.
This recipe uses turmeric which is a new twist on roasted onions. Turmeric is said to reduce the risk of heart attack, improve arthritis symptoms and prevent cancer. So enjoy the flavor and the health benefits.
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into eighths
- 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme (1 tspn dried thyme)
- 3 Tbsp olive or other oil
- 1½ Tbsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tsp turmeric powder
- Salt and pepper to taste (approx ¼ tspn each)
- Preheat oven to 320° F (160° C).
- Spread onions evenly in 9-inch-square baking dish. Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper over onions, then drizzle with oil and vinegar.
- Cover dish with lid or foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove dish from oven. Carefully spoon juices from bottom of pan into small bowl an add turmeric. Mix well. Drizzle juice over onions. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Serves: 4 people