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Diggers Rest – March madness; Eco gardening tips; Crispy Asparagus
March 24, 2021

March 2021 Issue #187


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

1) March madness
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Crispy Asparagus

Charles Dickens quote

Eco gardening tips

  • Peas 'n beans
    Oops, maybe you've left the peas and beans too long before picking? They are now a bit shrivelled and pale, not the plump, juicy pods that taste sweet as. What to do... well let them dry further and then:

    1. Make sure they are really dry, shell them and store as dried peas or beans to use later.

    2. Even if they are not completely dry, you can shell them now and soak and cook them as you would normal dried beans. Cooking time will be shorter for these lesser dried ones.

    Remember dried beans need a high heat and rapid boil to begin with, then turn down heat for longer, slower cooking. Crockpots and slow cookers are good, but you must still bring them to boil quickly for around 10 minutes before turning down. This helps destroy the slightly poisonous lectins in these legumes. Bean tummy-ache is not nice!

  • Beauty & beasts
    Beautiful monarch butterflies and broccoli… yes, beauty and the beast. You'd hardly call broccoli pretty really, so grow a milkweed/swan plant or more in your garden to add the right touch. These plants are the only monarch's food.

    Monarchs seem to (but I didn't do a scientific test) help keep the white butterflies and cabbage moths away from my brassicas. Right now in early autumn here, there are swarms of monarchs hatching, and in the morning I have to wave them away as I get near each decimated milkweed/swan plant!

  • Sun or shade vegetables
    A general rule for growing veggies, and in fact many plants, is that big, dark leafy dudes like a bit of shade. Flowering plants and vines prefer lots of sun. For example spinach and lettuce etc are happy in the shadier part of your garden, but tomatoes and most herbs are sun worshippers.

Aprons for gardening and cookingKitchen and garden aprons.

After mentioning aprons in last month's newsletter, they were popular! I hope you'll agree with me that there's nothing handier than a waterproof apron to tend to your garden plot and harvest the veggies. Then when you prepare food for dinner, this apron keeps you dry and saves your clothes.

I'm very fond of my two; one for the potting shed and one for the kitchen. Check them out: here.

Crispy Asparagus

Crispy asparagus

Popular side dish, appetizer or party fare.


  • 10-14 asparagus spears
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or chopped finely
  • 2 Tbl breadcrumbs/rice crumbs/crumbled cornflakes or crackers
  • 2 Tbl hemp seeds (can substitute flax, chia or sunflower seeds)
  • ½ tspn paprika
  • 2 Tbl parmesan cheese (can substitute nutritional yeast)
  • Oil or butter to grease baking dish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon.


  1. Prepare asparagus by washing and breaking off any tough white ends. Lay spears in single layer in greased oven dish.
  2. Mix seeds, parmesan, salt & pepper, garlic, paprika and crumbs in small bowl, and sprinkle over asparagus spears.
  3. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20-25 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice over and serve.

Preparation time: Approximately 15 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Live, love and garden

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