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Diggers Rest - Thanks! Eco gardening tips, Vegetable stew - Cajun style
December 05, 2007

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

December 2007 Issue #27


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.

1) Thanks!
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Vegetable Stew – Cajun Style


Thanks so much for all the great emails I received to wish me luck in my moving – I did love getting them.

As I hadn't even planted a seed of an idea where I was uprooting to, because I thought you'd be all green with envy... in answer to the many who asked... I'm now in Wellington, New Zealand.

Known as the windy city, where your eyeballs get blown inside out on some street corners, and the plants cling perpendicularly on to the hillsides, Wellington must be one of the most character-filled, gorgeous places on earth.

I'll be writing about what to grow in hardy places like this, as soon as I can get my hair out of my eyes and see where I'm going...

Oops. Yes, well um... hope I didn't make any of you ill with the last recipe, but judging by some emails, you had a laugh. 400 TOMATOES! Great balls of fire. Should've been 400g. I tell you, moving messes with one's mind.

Music? I don't know whether to wonder at the inventiveness of this or feel sad about the veggies? See The Vegetable Orchestra

Eco Gardening Tips

  • Don't waste dem holey ol' jeans. Save your old jeans if you are moving and want to move some plants as well. Denim is strong and natural and holds the dampened roots in place better than a plastic bag or carton. Just put the tree or clump in the jeans as if you were climbing in yourself, then wrap the legs up and around to hold it all in place.
  • Wandering Willy - or you may know it as Wandering Jew or Dew, is from the Tradescantia family. There are 50 odd species and some of them are a right smothering nuisance. Hopeless to burn as it refuses to dry out, and not good for some composts, what to do? A good solution is to make it a solution... soak the plants in water until they rot then add this sludgy solution to your compost.
  • Flowers amongst the veggies. Have a look at the small but important section on flowers on our website, and think about growing your own if you don't currently. Even with limited space, a few bright miniature roses, lavender, cyclamen or many other choices in pots, can be a safer pleasure than the pesticide sprayed, often imported cut flowers available by retail.

    And for between seasons, dried flowers like hydrangeas, strawflowers, statice and ornamental grasses look beautiful. Many fresh plants can be dried by just tying in bunches and hanging upside down in a warm, dry, dark place.

Vegetable Stew – Cajun Style

At one of my first social gatherings in the city, this was served – I just had to get the recipe – couldn't get a second helping as I was beaten to it by others.

- 2 onions, medium chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup pumpkin, peeled & diced
- 1 small kumara, diced (about ½ cup)
- ½ red capsicum, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup corn kernels (optional)
- 1 small green banana, sliced (optional)
- 1-2 medium chilies, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 200ml coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped or ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Juice of ½ orange
- oil or butter for frying
- Handful of chopped coriander leaves for garnish

1. Heat oil in casserole pot or pan, and gently sauté onions until soft.
2. Add garlic, ground coriander, cumin, allspice and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add pumpkin, kumara, capsicum and chilies and mix well for 1 minute.
4. Add coconut cream, banana, corn, tomatoes, orange juice, thyme and oregano.
5. Cover and put on slow simmer for 45 minutes, add salt and pepper and cook further if necessary until cooked but not mushy.
6. Sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Serves: 3-5. Can also be served with bread wedges or baked spuds.
Preparation and cooking time: About 2 hours

Happy gardening!


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