December 2010 Issue #63
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Crimped crops
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Edible Christmas Tree
Friends are the flowers in the garden of life
They help you through times of trouble and strife
Tell me, please tell me, what I would do,
If I didn't have a garden full of friends just like YOU!
Ho, Ho, Ho
Another wonderful year about to be composted and the best of it will sow the seeds for an even better year to come.
In the spirit of Christmas or the celebrations you follow, try and choose meaningful or practical gifts that last... like, believe it or not, gardening gifts! Plants, seeds, tools and garden materials are always welcome and will bring smiles for a long time. Encourage children into the garden by giving them garden gifts.
Anyone tried rolling and crimping? Got some of you there didn't I! No it's not hairdressing or sewing, it's sowing, well... best you have a read yourself. And please do give some input on your experience if you have tried this in your garden.
There may be small rolling and crimping machines for home gardens or improvising something could be very effective if you're a handyperson, unlike me... my fixing skills are limited by the motto I was brought up with, "If something doesn't work, hit it with a hammer."
Click Rolling and Crimping Cover Crops
Eco gardening tips
- Christmas tree cheer:
If you're a gardener, it's a dead-ringer what to do with your Christmas tree 12 days after Christmas. Smaller trees can go on top of dormant perennials as a protective mulch, otherwise scrape the dry pine needles off and scatter on garden as mulch. Pine needles are very slightly acidic, so don't make too thick a layer. Also they seem to foil the birds, cats and snails.
- A Clayton's greenhouse:
This idea for a greenhouse that's not really a greenhouse is quite effective... I've seen it in action. You need a porch or balcony or even a bit of a recess next to your house or shed outside. Buy a cheap, clear plastic shower curtain and put up some hooks or a rail if you like and attach the curtain. There's you little home-made hothouse which will help sprout your seeds and keep them warm.
Yes, I know, sometimes you've got to buy a bit of the plastic stuff to help your garden along.
- Tool time:
Any time of the year is tool time. You only need to find your secateurs have rusted beyond opening to know it's worthwhile looking after your tools.
A bucket kept handy of builder's sand mixed with old motor oil (free from mechanics) is an old standby to dip tools like spades and trowels into to stop rust. First clean off soil with rag or wire brush then dip in oil/sand mix several times before storing.
Paint or spray garden tool handles red or orange so you don't go running around in circles looking for them playing hide and seek with you.
Edible Christmas Tree
Kids and adults alike will love to demolish this raw, healthy, oh so clever Christmas tree. Make it for starters or to go with main meal.
- 1 large broccoli head with a reasonably thick, long stalk
- 1 smaller cauliflower head
- Approximately 1½ cups dip (eg: salad dressing/mayonnaise/hummus/cottage cheese)
- 1 medium carrot sliced, or diced into squares
- 1 firm tomato, diced large (or 10 small cherry tomatoes)
- Other vegetables such as sliced radishes and peas
- Spread the dip over the bottom of a dinner plate sized serving dish with sides.
- Cut all broccoli florets off stem leaving the bottom 'branches' on. Cut the bottom flat to stand steady. Holding stem in center of dish as the trunk, arrange broccoli, cut sides out, into a tree shape, starting wide and building up to a narrower top.
- Cut cauliflower into flowerets and arrange like snow around the base of the tree. Alternatively, leave out the cauliflower and scatter cut chives on dip to resemble grass.
- Using carrots, tomatoes and any other veggies you like, decorate tree with veggie ornaments and presents.
Preparation: 15-30 minutes
Cooking time: None, it's raw
Serves: From 6 to a small crowd