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Diggers Rest – Sodding soil; Eco gardening tips; Pumpkin, Cashew and Coconut Curry
August 07, 2013

August 2013 Issue #96


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

1) Sodding soil
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Pumpkin, Cashew and Coconut Curry.

"We have a little garden,
A garden of our own,
And every day we water there,
The seeds that we have sown.
We love our little garden,
And tend it with such care,
You will not find a faded leaf,
Or blighted blossom there."

~ Beatrix Potter

Jessie smiling with paper tulips

Brighten the day with flowers

Nearly, nearly spring down here in the Southern Hemisphere. It's a bit miserable in the garden but tulip leaves are bursting forth, so until they bloom, Jessie above, loved making and colouring her own. She used straws for stems and cellotaped them to the stiff paper tulips.

Northern Hemiphere gardeners should be knee deep in growth and produce; lucky you, enjoy!

Eco gardening tips

  • Sodding soil:
    If you find yourself wanting a garden but have awful soil, here's the fastest and cheapest solution... COMPOST! Hurray for compost... no matter what your soil pH is, too acid or too alkaline, most composts will naturally balance out at the right pH for nearly all vegetables—very slightly acidic at 6-7.

    And if you have clay, rock, sand or old boots as a base, simply follow the instructions for any of the raised garden ideas and you can snub your nose at the soil conditions underneath.

  • Thermal mass:
    Keen to get seedlings going, but nights a bit frosty? Use a cloche or other cover and after the warmth of the day goes, pop a warm brick or bricks inside to provide a slow release of warmth during the night.

    Even a degree or two higher temperature can make a big difference, so use this old thermal mass 'nightstore' idea. Large stones and bottles of water can also be used.

  • The cautionary principle:
    All progress can harm or help us. Clever beings that we are, we still need to apply the cautionary principle. GMO's (genetically modified organisms) scream out for avoiding until the real, whole and nothing but the truth is proven.

    As well as the actual genetic modification causing possible harm to flora and fauna, there is the scary, cavalier attitude to the use of increased sprays. Hello, hello world... follow me, follow you, follow us... grow your own! (Here's another study on GMO's.

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

Pumpkin, Cashew and Coconut Curry

Great with a salad or steamed vegetables.


  • 700g peeled and de-seeded pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons oil, ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli (or more if desired a hotter curry), finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsps cumin seeds (toasted if liked)
  • ½ cup toasted cashews
  • 400mls coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsps chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • Barely cook pumpkin (steam or bake). It should be still firm. Dice into bite-sized chunks.
  • Heat oil gently in pan and fry on low heat the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and cashews.
  • When onion is soft, add pumpkin, coconut milk and lemon juice.
  • Mix all together and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Fold in coriander, salt and pepper.

Preparation: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 4

Happy gardening

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