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Diggers Rest, Issue #007 -- Tips for kids and vegetables, Vegetable Fudge
August 13, 2005

A free monthly resource of gardening tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!

August 12, 2005 Issue #07


The no dig garden website is a venture into publishing on a topic I love. Thanks for joining me on the adventure! I'd love to have your feedback.
Just reply to this newletter.

In this issue:

1) Tips to have your kids eating vegetables
2) In the garden this month
3) Recipe: Vegetable Fudge? You Bet!

Kids WILL Eat Vegetables

So now you've got all these wonderful fresh vegetables growing in your garden how do you get the kids to eat them? We should be eating 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Many adults don't get the full servings required and you know the kids are getting a fraction of that.

If you've got problems getting vegetables into the kids, try a few of these strategies...

  • Start them young with a wide variety of tastes. If you get them between 2-4 years of age you're more likely to capture them for life.
  • Set a good example. If you snack on fruits and veggies, then your children are more likely to follow your lead.
  • Try to prepare interesting after school or between meal snacks. I used to prepare a selection of cut up fruit, dried fruit, raw vegetables and two squares of chocolate. Okay, the chocolate always went first, but then they moved on to the good stuff to fill up.
  • Keep mixing it up. Prepare new types of vegetables or prepare them in different ways. Let them try just a small bit. If they don't like it, fine. Just keep serving the stuff up.
  • Never make your dinner table a battle ground. It's not worth it. If they are not forced to eat something they hate, they are more likely to continue trying different foods.
  • When all else fails, disguise it. Shred some carrot or zucchini into pancakes or hash brown potatoes. Blend vegetables into soups, pasta sauces or on pizza.
  • Involve them in the process. Take them shopping and let them pick out the veggies. Have them help plan and prepare the meals. Get them into their own gardening project!
  • And for something really left field, try the sweets recipe at the end of the newsletter!
  • Don't despair, just keep trying. You know that you're serving the best tasting vegetables on the planet when you grow them yourself organically. One fine day, your children will reminisce about that...

    In the Garden This Month

    Northern Hemisphere:

    I know darn well by the traffic on the site that the crop is starting to come in. Lots of hits on vegetable recipes, including preserves, freezing, drying and canning.
    Don't be frightened to try a new preserving method in small batches. It will stop the waste if you can't eat it all and you'll gain confidence with each method you try.

    Preserving food is almost becoming a lost art in our modern world and it's an important one to keep. Plus you'll be able to enjoy those luscious organic vegetables you raised by your own hand for longer!

    Southern Hemisphere:

    Mid to late winter now and where you live will determine the level of activity you should get up to. Already there are almost certainly days warm enough to convince you that spring is on the way, so you should be planning your spring garden.

    Check your compost is warm and that you'll have enough to top up your garden this year. If not, get to work on it now!

    If you want to warm up the vegetable beds and kill off any weeds that have taken root, cover the whole space in black plastic and secure it. This will activate the microbiological elements in the bed.

    If this is a second generation garden, you will need to layer new materials to give it enough body to grow another crop once you're ready to plant, so have the materials on hand.

    If you are in a mild climate area you can start your seeds in a cold frame outside.

    If you have asparagus beds, now is the time to feed them.

    Feature Recipe: Vegetable Fudges

    I know it sounds really bad, but it's really good! It tastes like a veggie free zone, so if you really feel like you have to sneak it into family and friends, do it with dessert!

    Different vegetables and fruits can be used in this recipe to vary it. You can add apple; chocolate; carrot; beetroot. Try your own varieties and see what happens.

    The base recipe is this:

    3 heaped tablespoons of butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 x 400g can condensed milk

    Prepare a greased square slice pan or dish. Heat the butter and sugar very gently and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

    Add half a cup of finely shredded fruit or vegetable, then add the condensed milk.

    Stir constantly and keep the heat low or your mixture will burn. After about 20 minutes your mixture will be bubbling throughout.

    If you want to add chocolate at this stage, you can. Six squares of cooking chocolate should be about right. Once it's completely blended throughout, pour into your dish and let it cool.

    Cut into squares and enjoy!

    Sure, it's different. But this isn't where you come for conventional, is it?

    Happy Gardening!

    Judy Williams

    Copyright J.L. Williams 2005

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