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Diggers Rest – Crooked things; Eco gardening tips; Butternut squash with chilli sauce
May 20, 2013

May 2013 Issue #93


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

1) Crooked things
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Butternut squash with chilli sauce.

How do you Make Space for your heart?
From one breath at a time, to walks at sunrise, we all have our beautiful ways of loving ourselves.
How do you Make Space for a garden?
Plant one plant at a time, to a whole handful of seeds, we all find joy in watching Nature produce for us.
Then you will hear birds in your backyard... and your heart.
~ Unknown author

Crooked Forest in Poland
Crooked forest in Poland

Raring to grow

Are your carrots growing crooked? Or weird things going on in your garden? The Gardening FAQ section is the place where the earthy, beautiful people hang out... raring to grow. I love hearing from my readers and so do all the thousands of gardeners who follow this website!

Eco gardening tips

  • Organic pesticides:
    Back before the modernization of agriculture, most people had a kitchen garden or local market to buy produce. Household gardens and farmers hand weeded and kept pests in control with naturally occurring pesticides such as nicotine, pyrethrum and rotenone.

    Still available today, some of these plant pesticides are indeed safe and not persistent in the environment as they degrade soon after application. BUT they are toxic to humans, so if you do use them, follow safety guidelines.

    There's a large section on natural weed and pest control on the website.

  • Put weeds to work:
    When it's limpid weather and the sun is hot, pull out your weeds and leave them where they are to go... well, limp. As they wither they can help mulch the soil by shading it, keeping it cool and retaining moisture.
  • Say rats to rats and mice:
    For those of us going into winter, this is a popular time for little furry rodents to seek out cosy places.

    This is where peppermint can help to deter them. Grow it around your shed, garage or any hidey holes. Or crush some peppermint leaves and place them near these spots. Alternatively a scrap of rag sprinkled with peppermint oil will also encourage them to go elsewhere.

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

Butternut squash with chilli sauce

Courtesy George Mateljan Foundation Butternut squash with chilli sauce

A great combination. Rich in colour, nutritional value and taste.


  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder, (quantity to your taste)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 big cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS chopped cilantro (coriander).


  • Slice onion and chop garlic.
  • Bring 2 inches of water in a steamer to a boil.
  • Cut squash into cubes and steam in a steamer with a tight fitting lid until al denté, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium-size skillet. Sauté onion in broth for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • Add garlic and spices and mix well. After about 1 minute, add rest of broth and begin to simmer gently.
  • When squash is al denté, add it to simmering sauce and cook together for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cilantro.

Prep and Cook Time: 23 minutes
Serves: 4

Happy gardening

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