May 2014 Issue #105
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) No-chore gardening
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Buttered Spinach
Credit: Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko
Either you think gardening is good for the body and soul or you're wrong.
For some people that is enough to bring a snort of good golly miss molly, let me tell you what I think...
And this is what I say: have a read of
Taking the chore out of gardening
Eco gardening tips
- Hurrah for herbs:
Shop bought dried herbs can sometimes give sauces and dressings a stale flavor, so grow as many herbs as you can fit in your garden.
Certain herbs have a natural affinity with certain foods – like dill with cucumber and basil with tomato. Coriander, ginger, lemon grass and chilli are used in Asian-style dressings, whereas basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram are popular with Mediterranean and European style dishes.
Parsley, chives, garlic and shallots are good all-rounders.
- Sprayless strawberries:
Strawberries are one of the 'dirty dozen' edibles that the
Environmental Working Group say have the most pesticides. Sorry to harp on again... grow your own! Easy as pie to grow with a long season that goes until temperatures sink. There are still a few pink ones valiantly turning red in my Southern Hemisphere garden.
Some loose straw-type mulch can cover your plants during winter if you get heavy frosts or snow.
For Northern climates, make sure the last frost has bitten before removing covering mulch. If a late spring freeze happens, it can damage new flowers. Did you know that the first flowers produce the largest berries?
- Propagate your own:
Get a kick out of striking cuttings to add to your garden. Set up a sandy soil propagating bed in a shady place. I use a few large pots in a corner of a path. They need to be handy so you can give them a light water spray often.
Pure river sand is great as there is no soil fungal problems. Transfer any cuttings to soil
with nutrients once roots are showing. I use a mix of soil and sand so my cuttings can grow on longer.
Most people love to give you herb cuttings, or even bits with roots. You can strike berry bushes, and believe it or not, some tomatoes in warm climates.
Some things you just have to have!
If you'd like to simplify your gardening by knowing when, what and how to plant, I'm willing to bet this garden planner will be a hit with you, like it is with me.
"All signed up and so excited. Wife and I didn't wait for end of freebie trial, we could see how perfect it was for us and we wanted to plan the whole year and convert another lawn area into production!"
This is an old farm recipe, the first handwritten notes discovered from the 1840's. It's still universally declared 'delicious'.
- 2 bunches spinach (about 500gm), preferably young leaves
- 1 Tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 eggs.
- Put eggs in pot of water, bring to boil, turn off heat and leave for 3 minutes. Cool eggs under cold water then peel. This should result in soft to medium boiled eggs,
but if you prefer hard-boiled eggs, leave them to simmer for 3 minutes before taking off heat.
- Wash, trim stalks from spinach, shake off excess water and roughly chop.
- Put spinach in pot with no water and cook with lid on over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop eggs into small bits.
- Tip the soft spinach into colander and press a bit to drain most of the liquid. Now add butter to the pot and put back on low heat to melt, then lightly stir in spinach, salt and pepper.
- Fold through the chopped eggs, and serve.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Serves: 2 (or one hungry one)