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Diggers Rest - RTFM, Eco gardening tips, Spicy carrot croquettes
September 30, 2007

A free monthly resource from the wonderful world of gardening; giving you tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!

October 2007 Issue #25


What fun that you and I both love the topic of gardening. Thanks for joining me on this adventure! Feedback is welcome, just click on reply.

2) Eco gardening tips
3) Spicy carrot croquettes


I came across an abbreviation last week of RTFM, which is common with net techies. It means Read The Freaking Manual, or whatever word you want for the F. It's an expression those net nerds use whilst rolling their eyes skywards when people ask them for example, "How do I turn my computer on?" or "Why is this blinking?"

We can apply RTFM to organics as well. We don't need to re-invent the wheel; it's all been done before and DOCUMENTED. I have at least one organic and no dig book dating from the early 1940's.

But according to a summary of research done on why gardeners and farmers don't change to farming organically, it was clear that the biggest hurdle was in their heads. They really didn't know how to manage the transition and whether their plants would suffer.

As most of you are home gardeners and are into RTFM by reading this and other information, then ignorance is no excuse, you'll agree? "Fo'shizzle ma nizzle"... which of course you know is the new nerd slang for "I agree."

Read more on converting to organics and RTFM here.

Eco Gardening Tips

  • Propagating cuttings: If you want to grow plants from cuttings, here's a tip. This will work for all your garden cuttings... although not many veggies are propagated that way, except some herbs.

    If you haven't got rooting hormone powder, dip your cuttings in honey, which promotes the cells to grow roots. If your cuttings are slanted and also if you scratch the ends a bit it increases the root growing area.

  • Sea minerals: Often we can't always get our composts perfectly balanced, maybe because of too much or lack of certain animal manures. So our soil can be lacking in trace minerals. I've found success in adding either a bit of sea water to composts or sprinkling sea sand into the layers works well. No need to wash the salt from the sand first - this holds the micronutrients that are valuable. Don't overdo it though, just a sprinkling of this salted sand.
  • Are you short on space or only have a stoney yard area? I bet you'll be tickled pink by the idea of Straw bale gardening. What a neat idea... Fo'shizzle ma nizzle!

Spicy carrot croquettes

These look interesting and they will get you interesting oohs of "These are delicious, can I have your recipe please?"

- 6 smallish or 3 large carrots
- 1 bunch corriander or parsley, chopped to make 1 heaped tablespn
- 2 seeded and chopped chillies or equivalent dried powder (¼-½ teaspn)
- 1 cup chick-pea flour (100g)
- 2 roughly chopped tablespns walnuts or hazelnuts
- 1 tablespn grated coconut
- 1 teaspn garam masala
- ½ tsp each salt and ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ghee or oil for deep frying

1. Wash and grate carrots finely or process in food processor.
2. Mix in all other ingredients in large bowl with enough water to make a thick mixture to hold together for frying.
3. Heat ghee or oil in wok or pan to medium heat. Adjust heat during cooking if necessary.
4. Drop tablespoons of mixture in to cook, until you have 6 to 10 croquettes in at a time, leaving room to be able to turn them so they are nicely browned in about 5 minutes.
5. Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked croquettes and drain.

Serve: Makes a good plateful to serve 4-6 people and goes well with a cucumber and yogurt salad and/or steamed green veggies.

Called Vadas in India, these look good, but keep it a secret, they are so easy to do.

Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes.

Happy gardening!


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