Back to Back Issues Page
Diggers Rest - You and I and drought, Eco gardening tips, Leone's kumara, bean and asparagus salad.
January 11, 2008

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

January 2008 Issue #28


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) You and I and drought
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Leone's kumara, bean and asparagus salad

You and I and Drought

I'm still settling into my new environment. I've got a lot of emails and submissions from you wonderful readers to catch up on, so with a bit of patience we'll all be back to normal. I guess many of you are back at work after the holiday break. It looks like the issue of global warming hasn't taken a break though. With that in mind...

Do you believe in global warming bringing more droughts, or do you follow skeptics such as Science magazine's May 2007 article that challenges the climate models and suggests there will be more rainfall worldwide later this century?

Whatever your thoughts, and like many people, you may be still searching for answers, there's no doubt that drought is affecting large areas of the world. It affects the food we buy and our own little food empire... our garden. Thus it makes sense to pay attention to efficient water use.

To help with planning your strategy, there are helpful places to go to. For a worldwide look, check out: US Drought Monitor for a global index of conditions.

This may grab your attention too: The 26 Most Common Climate Myths & Misconceptions (New Scientist, May 2007)

Fascinating interactive map of the world showing our carbon footprints

Eco Gardening Tips

  • Ask around: Here's a way to get a no-dig garden going if you've just moved and have limited materials. Ring up a lawn mowing service for their grass clippings. Go to your local markets, or fruit shop and get their scraps. Watch out for this stuff, it's powerful and will steam up the car if warm. Tip scraps onto ground over weeds or lawn, water, layer with 5-10 sheets wet paper and top with lawn clippings or leaves. Dig in trowel and plant seedlings with a small handful of soil.
  • Patience: When first starting off with worms, don't expect them to act like small kids at a birthday party. They often seem to sit back and take their time to start munching your scraps. If the weather is cold that certainly slows them down. Have patience and bit by bit those worms will get going and soon they'll be eating and multiplying like billy-oh.
  • Plants not thriving? Sometimes plants just won't grow as they should despite rich soil and good mulch. What has occasionally been found by gardeners is that their mulch, in particular, barley straw, contained residues of herbicides. It's not always possible to obtain organic materials, but it pays to do as much checking as you can.

Leone’s Kumara, Bean and Asparagus Salad

By the time you read this newsletter, I will have tried this. A friend said I must and I will. See what you think.

- 250g green runner beans
- 1 medium orange kumara (sweet potato)
- 250g asparagus
- Large handful of mixed salad greens, such as rocket, lettuce, baby spinach etc
Mix altogether:
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season

1. Roast thinly sliced kumara until cooked and golden, using only small amount of oil or butter to stop sticking. Should take about 30-40 minutes in medium oven. Leave to cool.
2. Top and tail beans. Break off woody ends of asparagus and cut in half lengthwise if large.
3. Blanch beans and asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute then cool under cold running water.
4. Cover the bottom of a flat dish with the salad greens. Arrange kumara, beans and asparagus over top.
5. Drizzle over dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Serves: 4-6.    Preparation time: About 15-20 minutes.

Happy gardening!


Back to Back Issues Page