March 2017 Issue #139
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Lotsa ‘taters
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Meg’s Chocolate
It’s always spring somewhere in the world...
Eco gardening tips
- ’Tater tubers
Potatoes grown in tyres/tires or continually mounded up with soil won't produce more 'taters up the stem. This is a myth. Although some smaller roots may grow, they will not form edible
The potatoes you dig up will be tubers produced from extensions, called stolons from the original underground stem. Parts of the stolons swell in places and… the spuds are born!
Mounding up several times is necessary to prevent the plant from toppling over and also to stop the tubers being exposed to light as they expand away from the plant.
- Lotsa ‘taters
Harvesting potatoes is fun. To grow them, start off with good soil, then mound up with mulch. Give a few feeds during the season of fertilizer or compost that will leech nutrients down to the growing spuds. Then just pull away the mulch and … lotsa 'taters!
Baby spuds at least 2-3cm (1") in diameter can be harvested when the plant stems are still green. For longer keeping and hardy handling, harvest when the plant has died down. Store spuds in a dark place — paper bag, carton or cupboard/cellar are all ideal. Read more on successful spud growing.
- Courgettes/zucchinis need this
Courgettes, often called zucchinis, are a very popular summer squash variety native to Central America. Usually called marrows as they become large and coarse, courgettes are creamy and mild flavoured. They’ll help you get swimsuit-ready with their very low calories and moderate amounts of carotenes which help protect against sun damage.
But, they must have sun and heat to grow and produce. Bee’s dislike flying when it’s too chilly, so they won’t pollinate the courgette flowers. Daytime temperatures below 54°F (13°C) spell trouble, and most likely will produce an abundance of male flowers. Luckily as the season warms up, more female flowers usually appear.
A week by week and zone by zone growing system
Want to know: WHAT vegetables to plant; WHEN to plant them; and WHERE to plant them?
The GroVeg Garden Planner is your answer. Click here to read more and sign up for a FREE TRIAL!
This could be called vegetable fudge — after all cocoa is a plant!
- 1 cup cocoa butter
- 1 good cup coconut oil
- 10 dates, chopped into small bits
- 4 heaped Tblsp cocoa powder
- 2 heaped Tblsp cacao nibs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 heaped Tblsp ground almonds
- 5 heaped Tblsp flaked coconut
- 6 spoons of stevia powder (these are the tiny spoons that come in the container, or 6 drops if you have the liquid sort)
- Put coconut oil, and cocoa butter if using, in bowl and melt slowly over pot of simmering water.
- Add other ingredients, mix and taste, and if good, pour into moulds or onto flat trays or plates. Put in freezer and when totally solid, break the flat choccy into bits.
- Gobble and swoon!
Preparation: 20-30 minutes.
Serves: Just ME over several weeks after dinner.
Notes: I’ve tried lots of choccy and
fudge recipes and this is my sugar-free best, but…
- You might like it less or more sweet, with more ground almonds which makes it sweeter and more food-bar like, or with added chopped nuts, goji berries, cranberries, ginger, currants etc … these and more I’ve tried and all are usually gimme-more addictive!
- The more coconut oil you use, the faster your choccy melts, or goes soft. You can use all coconut oil if you like. But if you increase the ratio of cocoa butter to coconut oil, the less it will melt and the more rich and velvety it will be. But my aim is for it to be as healthy as possible so I figure a good amount of coconut oil is better and keeping it in freezer is no big deal.
- The less things you add such as cacao nibs, coconut etc, the more stevia you might need, and too much gives it a funny taste, rather like bitter liquorice. You could always use honey if you like, or more fruit such as chopped dried apricots, dates or
dried ginger etc.
Live, love and garden.