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Diggers Rest – Happy hazards; Eco gardening tips; Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Mustard
December 21, 2021

December 2021 Issue #196


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

1) Happy hazards
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Mustard

xmas tree and animals

Credit: Lynn Bywaters

Eco gardening tips

  • Happy hazards!
    Here in sunny NZ, our government department that deals with accidents (ACC) and payouts, reports that in the last 3 years there have been 150 injury claims involving hams.

    ... And beware, decorations claimed 119 fractures, strains and cuts, plus 178 unlucky sods had a Christmas tree mishap!

  • A giving tree
    Like cut flowers, we put our Christmas trees in water. Despite some strong views, supposedly there are no magic potions to help trees last longer. The best way to help is to re-cut off a few centimeters, say 1 inch, from the end of the trunk just before you put it in the water, which enables the tree to take up water. Drilling a few small holes below where the water comes to also helps.

    It is bad luck to leave your tree up more than 12 days after Christmas, so folklore says. You can use the trunk to edge a path, or make a log pile native habitat and use pine needles as mulch.

  • Begone spiders
    Send spiders next door. Yes, don't harm them, just show them there's no room at your inn. Add 15 drops of peppermint oil to one cup of water, shake well and then spray it on all of the entrances to your home such as windowsills, doorframes, or anywhere that spiders tend to hang out. They dislike that peppermint smell. Could be handy if you've bought a spider family in with your Christmas tree, in which case, maybe spray the tree also. 😊

soil tester The tool plant owners, gardeners can't live without!!

A soil tester takes the guesswork out of wondering and worrying whether your soil is too acid, too alkaline, to wet or dry and even if your plants are growing in the best light conditions.

Scientifically accurate, just poke into the soil and read.

Click to find out more and purchase here.

Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Mustard

A delicious dish to impress.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil or butter
  • ½ tsp salt.
  • For dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 Tblsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 Tblsp salted baby capers, drained
  • 1 Tblsp parsley leaves, chopped.


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Lightly grease a baking dish that will fit the cauliflower. Trim off outer leaves. Cut away the base of the stalk so cauliflower sits flat, then cut a cross into its base.
  3. Drizzle 2 Tblsp olive oil over the top of cauliflower or dot with the butter and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt.
  4. Bake cauli until tender (depending on size, approx. 30 mins -1 hour).
  5. Make dressing: Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, capers, parsley and remaining ½ tsp salt in a small bowl, then whisk in remaining ¼ cup olive oil.
  6. Transfer cooked cauli to a serving dish and drizzle dressing over top.

Note: Dressing also can be used over other foods, such as beans or broccoli.

Preparation time: Approximately 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: Approx 4 people
Credit: Neil Perry

spreading love

Merry Everything and a Happy Always

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