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Diggers Rest - Blink and half the year's gone. Eco gardening tips. Fish or Vegetable Pie
July 04, 2007

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July 2007, Issue #22


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.
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In this issue:

1) Blink and half the year's gone
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Recipe: Fish or vegetable pie

Blink and Half the Year's Gone Already

Wouldn't you know it, you blink and there goes half the year.

For those in the cold parts of the world, there are not many stirrings of new garden life, but you can be assured that the snails are hatching plans, snug in their maternity hospitals under wood, pots and other things lying around.

Winter is an indoor toe-toasting time to relax, recharge your batteries and then—go get those snails!

Summer gardeners will be harvesting, staking, tying, mulching, watering, sowing and growing—Phew. Time to pile up your plates with your own produce and give yourself a wonderful healthy boost of energy... ready for the next day in the garden.

Eco Gardening Tips and Comments

  • Like a good observant gardener, remember to observe your particular spot. Just because a gardening calendar says so, does not mean your conditions follow that particular climate and weather. Do what works for you and keep doing it... as the saying goes, if the shoe fits... get another one just like it!
  • Recycle plastic plant pots by cutting out the base with snips, slitting one side and setting around the base of young trees. This prevents compost and mulch from causing collar rot, plus stops damage if you're using tools close by. If the pot breaks in two, you can still put the two halves around a plant.
  • Lizards are beneficial to gardens, and come in all shapes and sizes—like us, but they are mostly longish, four-legged and a bit scaly. These prehistoric miniture dragons are after a meal of your snails, beetles and grasshoppers, and darting up a tree is no problem if they see a likely snack. Remember to keep pets away if possible when you spy lizards in your garden.

Feature Recipe: Fish Pie

A few readers requested my fish pie recipe because I mentioned that it went well with last newsletter's beetroot salad, so here it is.

There are fish pies and fish pies, but mine is without pastry and is rather like cauliflower cheese, but fishy. In fact vegetarians can omit the fish and add extra veggies and tempeh.

- 1 tin salmon or tuna (approx 200g feeds 2), or use fresh fish
- 1-2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
- 1 heaped tablespoon flour: I use brown rice flour (healthy and doesn't lump)
- Approximately ¾-cup milk, or use water or half-and-half, or veggie stock
- Seasonings: Choose any: salt, pepper, tarragon, parsley, chilli, garlic, mustard—about 1 tspn is nice, chop about half a small red chilli pepper for a bit of fire, (watch the salt as there will be some with the tinned fish)
- Cheese—enough to sprinkle on top: Use grated cheddar or other, eg mozzarella or parmesan
- Vegetables: Half a cup or more of any of these go well: Peas, grated carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, cauli etc

Method 1. Make a roux by melting the fat in a pot and mixing in the flour, then add the liquid, stirring to thicken over the heat. Add more liquid if necessary, then add fish with any liquid in tin.

Or... a shortcut first step is to just tip the tin of fish with its liquid into a pot, mix in the brown rice flour and as it heats, stir and pour in enough liquid to thicken, then adding any butter or oil if desired.

2. Add any veggies, tempeh and seasonings. Cook for a few minutes.

3. To make it more substantial you can add cubes of potato and cook longer, or pre-cook the spuds before adding.

4. Tip into casserole dish, top with cheese, or sliced tomatoes and cheese, and grill or put in oven to melt.

Nice served with salad or any steamed veggies.

Handy and quick, it's a real 'anything goes' dish, impresses instant visitors and ALWAYS well received.

Happy gardening!

Megan Carter

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