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Diggers Rest – More caterpillars; Eco gardening tips; Baked Brie Delight
January 16, 2013

January 2013 Issue #89


What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) More caterpillars
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Baked Brie Delight

The Caterpillar
The Caterpillar, as it's called,
Is often hairy, seldom bald;
It looks as if it never shaves;
When as it walks, it walks in waves;
And from the cradle to the chrysalis,
It's utterly speechless, songless, whistleless.

~ edited from Ogden Nash

Those caterpillars again

Last month's poem and link to garden pests proved popular, so in case you were already on holiday and have now come back to some invaders in your garden, here's a page that can identify them: List of Garden Pests and here are the best organic solutions for pest control


Bet you don't know what I used gardening gloves for recently? It was NOT gardening, but SWIMMING.

In short it was to stop my hands from being cut by sharp rock oysters. I'm currently in Sydney and was visiting friends in Balmain, where the beach there has some rocky bits, covered in these razor sharp shells. My friends keep spare gardening gloves and rubber shoes for their visitors... so we all had a lovely swim.

We looked funny, but when it's hot and the water's cool, who cares.

Eco gardening tips

  • Grow, darn it!:
    Just before babies are born there is an increased rate of growth and size. It's similar with many fruits and vegetables just before they're ripe. Look at potatoes, they double in size in the last few weeks of their growing season.

    Take this into account as you care for your plants and wait patiently for heads to form, fruit to swell and the perfect stage of sweetness, ripeness and readiness to arrive.

  • Sage advice:
    The secret, and it is a secret to some, because I get asked quite a bit, so the secret to growing Sage is to have good drainage.

    Edible sage comes in many forms even purple and tricolor, but they are all fussy about wet feet. If you have a heavy soil, beware... rarely water it.

    The alternative to rot is to pot. Sage grows happily in a container where you can control the near dry conditions it loves.

  • Ripe'n ready:
    Capsicums or sweet peppers are immensely popular for eating raw or cooked. Did you know that the green ones are not yet ripe, which is why they can be slightly bitter?

    Fully ripe, nutritious and sweet capsicums are red, yellow or orange depending on variety. Picking them on the turn from green to colouring up means they have reached their full size and will not get any bigger. Even slightly coloured fruits should be sweet and have good amounts of vitamins, particularly vitamin A.

I love and use this garden planner; it's one of those things that you don't know what you've been missing until you've got it. Feedback from readers is the same... "How did I garden without it before, thanks for putting me onto this!"
Online Garden Planning Tool

Baked Brie Delight

An oldie, but surprisingly not well known, and always brings praise as you pile veggie crudités around it for dipping into the warm gooey middle.


  • I whole soft Brie or Camembert cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, slivered
  • Approximately ½-1 Tblspn olive oil
  • Selection of finger sized vegetables, such as carrots, celery, radish, cucumber, snow peas, etc
  • Crackers or toast fingers (optional).


  • Preheat oven to 200c (400F).
  • Stab slits in cheese and insert slivers of garlic.
  • Dribble olive oil over cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until centre of cheese is melted, but don't overcook.
  • Serve warm on plate with veggies around it, and other foods if desired, for dipping.

Preparation: 5 minutes.
Cooking: 10 minutes.

Happy gardening

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