July 2011 Issue #70
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Home grown vegetables
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Easy Peasy Herby Scones
"I just want to have a flower in my life; a flower from our garden to look at during the day."
~ 85 yr old woman in Baghdad, Iraq
Home grown vegetables
What was growing 1000 years ago in ye olde England? What about the USA in 1942? On the right is a typical USA victory garden poster that encouraged home grown vegetables during World War II.
Now, nearly 60 years later, who is into growing their own food? Where is it grown and how much does it cost?
Click Home Grown Vegetables, to see a USA infographics map and also to read an interesting account of 11th century English food growing and the folklore that surrounded it.
Monkeys in the garden? Oh dear, up to no good I imagine. Reader Joyce from Barbados is looking for advice. Swing on over to: Monkey problem in garden.
Whilst you're there, why not go to the other FAQ's and ask a nagging question or answer another gardener's head-scratcher. Thanks to all those who contribute to this community, and if YOU know something useful, I bet we'd like to know it too!
Eco gardening tips
- Cheap fertiliser:
If you're short on stuff to add to your garden in the way of natural fertilisers and soil improvers, go looking for some cut grass. Somewhere there should be a park/field/household that doesn't use chemicals and would be happy for you to help yourself if you asked.
A 2-3 cm (1 inch) layer of grass over your garden once a year or so decays quickly and will suffice to provide enough nutrients to grow more veggies and plants.
- Ready, lettuce go!
That's what some lettuces want to do in the hot weather, race off to seed. A few tips here: Especially mid-summer, try and plant lettuces in the shade of bigger plants, such as tomatoes. Plant the 'cut and come again' loose leaf varieties, then as you use the outside leaves, the plant puts in extra effort to produce more leaves rather than go to seed. Finally, water daily — don't let them dry out.
- Smashing pumpkins:
I tried this and it works, forgot to take a photo though. At my son's place, we got one of his stored pumpkins, went out onto the quiet suburban street and heaved it in the air. My son as usual thought I was mad and pretended not to know me. First toss broke the pumpkin into one half and the rest nicely into about 5 bits, so we tossed the half up and it broke obligingly.
Leaving behind what looked like some weird road-kill, we washed the pieces and roasted them. What we didn't eat that night, we scooped the cooked flesh out and made pumpkin soup for freezer.
Easy Peasy Herby Scones
Haven't tried this, but if the local politician down the road wrote in the local rag that they're good, then it must be so surely... how much can you distort the truth about scones!
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- ½ cup chopped parsley or other herbs
- 1 cup soda-water or beer (lemonade for sweet scones)
- 1 cup cream
- Using a knife is best, quickly mix ingredients.
- Roll into balls with floured hands and flatten on greased or floured baking tray, or roll out dough to about 1 cm and cut into squares or use glass to press out rounds.
- Bake at 200°C (390°F) for approximate 10 minutes.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-8 people
Note: Some tried and true alternatives supposedly are: Using all or part wholemeal flour; light beer or diet lemonade; light cream. Grated cheese can be sprinkled on top before cooking.