October 2012 Issue #86
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Sunrise Salad
"Growing vegetables will never go out of fashion; for it has never been in the fashion; it has always been with it. "
If you want to have a beautiful garden...the FAQ section is the place where the
beautiful people hang out...
earthy, beautiful and raring to grow.
I have hundreds of questions sent in that I haven't posted. They have no photos, no information except a one liner saying something like "Why don't my carrots grow?" or "What's eating my tomatoes?"
Honestly they may as well be asking "How to tame a flapadoodle!" So I'd LOVE you to ask questions (about gardening... not flapadoodles), and please read the instructions and over-give information. And whilst you're there, you may like to see if you can answer other readers' questions?
Eco gardening tips
- Naughty garden hoses:
A laundry basket is just the thing to keep a garden hose in. Of course you may use a reel or wind-up the hose around the tap or other support, but a wicker or plastic basket is the next best thing. It's a handy and fast way to coil up an unruly garden hose and stop it from slithering around in your shed or on the path.
- Rainy day box:
For autumn/fall gardeners, now is a beaut time for collecting nature's art materials. A pebble here, a leaf there, a seed head near—wander around your own yard, or parks and roadsides collecting dried bits and pieces.
It's nice to make decorations and kids' crafts with nature's materials. With the help of some glue, a shoe-box can be covered; patterns can be made on cardboard; pictures can be designed on strong paper and even framed later. Bring out your stash of woodland treasures for those rainy-day-make-things days.
- Pumpkins et al:
There's no two ways about it, pumpkins, and in fact all those vine dudes, need feeding. They are ravenous; trying to have large green leaves; putting out long stems and tendrils; swelling up fruit.
The best pumpkins, butternuts, cukes and zucchinis I've grown have always been on a large pile of compost... or at least a large pile of organic stuff left to rot over winter. Such things as leaves, branches, weeds, scraps, paper are all good thrown into a spare spot. This gives a lovely deep bed for roots to go... deep.
So if you don't have a pile of stuff and you're planting in the garden or pots, FEED your vines extraordinarily well; never let the plants dry out, and you may be able to grow a champ. See How to grow a giant pumpkin and other monster vegetables
Ooh, so pretty, so delicious and imaginative looking in next-to-no-time.
- ½ medium pumpkin
- 2 medium beetroot
- 2-3 tomatoes (even better are sun-dried tomatoes--¾ cup)
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 large cloves garlic
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- ½ each of coriander and mint, roughly chopped
- Pinch stevia powder, ½ tsp xylitol, or 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut pumpkin into chunks and beetroot into smaller chunks—no need to peel either as the skins roast nicely.
- Stir through 2 Tablespoons of the oil and roast in pan at 175°C for approximately 1 hour or until tender. Leave to cool.
- If using dried tomatoes, soak them in the vinegar and water for 20 minutes. Tip these (or fresh tomatoes) into food processor along with the rest of ingredients and process into a thick, small chunky puree, adding extra water if too thick. (If you cut tomatoes and garlic small first, this processing step can be done with a hand whisk)
- Toss the puree and cool or warm roasted vegetables together. Top with roughly chopped coriander and mint and serve.
Note: To make a fuller meal, add any or all of the following on top: crumbled feta cheese; chickpeas; toasted pinenuts; sunflower seeds.
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour