October 2016 Issue #134
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Vegetable cakes
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Roasted Butternut Squash
Vegetable cakes! Stunning examples of healthy food made beautiful. Made by Mitsuki Moriyasu, do have a look at her website and you can see what's inside these cakes... mmm. Bet some of you could make your own home-grown vegetable cakes. Give it a go and send me a photo!
Eco gardening tips
- Chill out ladybirds
Did you know that you can put ladybirds or ladybugs in the fridge. In fact it's a good idea if you've bought some in to help control garden pests. Because ladybirds navigate by the sun, they are very docile in the mornings and evenings.
Thus to ensure they stay put in your garden when you release them, pop them in the fridge overnight. This calms them down with no harm done. When you put them outside in the morning before it gets too hot, they quietly get used to their new surroundings before they get busy in your garden when the sun arrives.
Here's a lovely little guide on beneficial garden critters
- To peel or not to peel
If you have a microwave, you can make peeling such veggies as butternut squash a lot
easier. First jab a fork into your squash here and there so it won't explode. Cut off top and bottom. Now depending on size, zap on high for 3-5 minutes in microwave, let cool, and you'll find you can now peel it without a battle. Even cutting it up is easier.
You don't have to peel butternut squash or even pumpkin, if you slow roast it (see delicious recipe at end of newsletter).
- Seaweed extract
One of the ways to boost plant growth is to soak your soil with seaweed extract. It's particularly useful for planting out seedlings and for larger plants like trees.
Here's an extract on extracts (smile)... "Take a large container such as a bucket or old roasting tray and place your pots or tubes in it to be planted out. Then make up a diluted seaweed extract and pour into the container between the pots — about 1 in 100 would be the usual. Leave the pots sitting in the solution for at least 1-2 hours or even
overnight, depending on the size of the plants. The seaweed extract will enter the soil in the pots through the drainage holes, and then be absorbed by the roots, giving plants a head start from all the goodies in the extract."
For more handy information from this article, see No-dig gardening's Facebook page.
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Roasted Butternut Squash
One of the simplest, healthiest and tastiest ways to cook squash and many other veggies. No need to peel as the skin ends up as soft as the inside.
- 1 medium to large butternut squash, 3-4 cups when cubed
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 3 stalks sage
- 1-2 Tblns honey or equivalent stevia
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 tspns mustard powder or sauce
- 2 Tblns oil or butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put oil into large roasting pan and into oven heated to 190 C (375 F)
- Wash squash, leave
unpeeled (optional), cut into cubes and put into heated pan.
- Combine honey or sweetener, orange juice and mustard in small bowl and pour over squash, stirring lightly to mix. Don't crowd the pan, leave space between the cubes.
- Add rosemary, sage and seasonings.
- Bake 45 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 or more people
Live, love and garden.