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Diggers Rest - Food for thought. Eco gardening tips, Beautiful Broad Beans
December 04, 2008

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

December 2008 Issue #39


What fun that you and I both love the topic of gardening. Thanks for joining me on this adventure. For any questions or feedback, just click on reply on the top toolbar of this email.

1) Food for thought
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Beautiful Broad Beans

In the spirit of Christmas...
Plant three rows of peas... Peas of mind. Peas of heart. Peas of soul.

Plant four rows of squash... Squash gossip. Squash indifference. Squash grumbling. Squash selfishness.

Plant five rows of lettuce... Lettuce be faithful. Lettuce be kind. Lettuce be happy. Lettuce really love one another. Lettuce all have a Merry Christmas!

Food for thought

A recent "Green" supplement in my city's daily DomPost, has an article on inspiring people who lead by example in their sustainable lifestyles.

How's this for some eco words worth thinking about: "Waste is a human invention it doesn't exist in nature. One species' waste product is simply food for the next one down the chain." That's from Nandor Tanczos, Green MP.

And from Kay Baxter, Koanga Inst, who grows 90% of her family's food and gets the rest within a mile of her table, "I refuse to eat anything from the supermarket; it has little to offer us in the way of nutrition."

There's a town on the old gold miners route to Bendigo in Australia called Diggers Rest. The town's webmaster has a link to our website to inspire the residents to garden the no dig way. Harry Houdini and a bi-plane once gave Diggers Rest 10 minutes of fame.

Southern hemisphere: Many gardens are still harvesting earlier crops, such as broad beans and brassicas that were planted in colder weather. As you pull out old plants, put in some new compost or organic fertiliser and try and plant opposite plants.

For example, put in a root crop where a leaf crop was, plant a leaf crop where legumes were, and so on. Most gardens are limited in space and need to use every bit they have, but changing plants limits bugs and diseases that just love one sort of plant.

Northern hemisphere: This month, with the winter solstice around the third week, is a good time to plant rhubarb crowns into rich soil. It's also a traditional time to plant garlic and onions.

Eco gardening tips

  • Terminator lll:
    I use an expression, "I'd kill for a coffee." It means I'm desperate (but not that desperate)! You CAN satisfy both longings though by boiling up the kettle, having a cuppa... and killing... a weed.

    You know those stubborn weeds with long roots that grow in hard to get cracks in a path, trickle some boiling water on them after pulling off a many leaves as you can. Repeat if there's a peep out of them again.

    There are also commercial weed eaters available at some garden centres that either are mini flame throwers or hot steam applicators. Ooh ooh, indulge your inner Terminator tendencies!

  • Spud year:
    It's the International Year of the Potato, believe it or not.

    The Irish knew that when hungry, spuds are the most efficient use of land for the greatest amount of nutrition, and they store well too. Unfortunately when the blight hit, it caused famine. So like other things in life, spread your risk, but don't forget a few 'taters.

    There are lots of new varieties, including many indigenous ones, such as in NZ with the Maori 'taewa' a tasty, colourful little treat. Easy to grow; give spuds plenty of water, especially when first planted. Read more on growing potatoes.

  • Slops:
    As well as a small plastic bucket with lid (actually an ice-cream container) on my kitchen bench in the corner, I also have a large plastic jug. Into the bucket goes food scraps for compost and into the jug goes water slops... by which I mean things like: left over tea, coffee from plunger, veggie water, water from rinsing sprouts, juicer, blender etc. And then... drum roll... I now have a brilliant liquid food for plants.

    It can be diluted if too strong, and I use it on container plants and herbs growing just outside the door.

Broad beans are just so mmmmm... so a couple of popular ideas for you.

Beautiful Broad Beans


   - 400-500g (about 1 cups) broad beans
   - 1 large tomato, chopped
   - 1 small brown onion, or large red onion, chopped
   - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
   - 2 tablespoons olive oil
   - 3 medium sprigs parsley, chopped
   - 2 cloves garlic, chopped and crushed
   - Juice of 1 large lemon
   - salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook broad beans until just tender — approximately 7-10 minutes, steaming is best
  2. Add all other ingredients and keep raw, or cook gently for further 5 minutes if you prefer softer onions and tomatoes
  3. Mash well, or put in blender, adding water if necessary to make a smooth paste

Warm to serve. Great accompaniment with most food, and delicious with toast.

Alternative: Leave unmashed, let cool, add a chopped cucumber and serve it as a salad

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves: 5-6

Happy gardening


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