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Diggers Rest Help to be helped; What's a vitamizer? Eco gardening tips; Tarragon Fish
April 06, 2011

April 2011 Issue #67


What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) Help to be helped; What's a vitamizer?
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Tarragon Fish

We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrowed it from our children.

Help to be helped

It's really important to give as much information as possible when looking for a solution to a garden problem. Here's an example: Tomato growing problems

In this case, we know nothing! So I've attempted to give a few solutions as you see. I love your questions, but do give lots of information and add a photo if you can.

It's particularly great when many of you answer other readers questions; this is so valuable — some of you are way more knowledgeable than me.

By the way, I have to delete such a lot of questions before they get submitted to the website — questions like: What can I grow; Is my garden too dry; Help, leaves turning yellow; Shall I pick my fruit now; Can I grow Okra... and believe me, many more even shorter!

What's a vitamizer?

Last newsletter's recipe called for vitamising food, and by the sounds of some puzzled emails, many of you said, "What the dickens is a vitamiser." In my neck of the kitchen, a vitamiser or vitamizer is a blender — sorry.

Eco gardening tips

  • Dryer lint:
    Most organic gardeners also try to help the environment and consequently don't have a dryer, or use it sparingly. Mine is used in emergencies only, but I know that some people live in damp climates, or don't have a decent outside line or go travelling and need to dry clothes quickly. So, save that lint! A thick layer goes well in the bottom of plant pots or even in layers of the potting soil. It's light and holds mosture.
  • At last, labels that last:
    I currently use cut up strips of plastic containers for plant labels. Sometimes I use those flat wooden ice-cream sticks and sometimes venetian blind strips. The permanent marker pens lose their fine tip easily, and the ink is... surprise, permanent, so labels can't be re-used.

    I've just tried a black Chinagraph pencil, and a similar one called Staedtler Glasochrom — brilliant. They're easy to sharpen and the writing cleans off with a pot scourer.

  • Precious or pretty china
    An enterprising woman in Christchurch, NZ has set up an after-earthquake service to turn bits of broken china into items and artworks. So if you irreparably break a special piece of pottery or suchlike, you too could save the memories and glue the bits onto plant pots or into cement on your walls, paths or around your letter box! Children would love to help here too.

Tarragon Fish

Tarrogon goes well with fish and it's a herb I grow and sometimes forget to use, so this was a good opportunity and so tasty:


  • 2 small/medium fish fillets of a meaty fish (I used Monkfish)
  • Approximately a loose cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
  • Half lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop fish into large chunks, chop tarrogon, chop and crush garlic.
  2. Put oil and dash water into frypan, and bring to low simmer slowly, put in fish and put lid on to slow simmer for about 5-10 minutes until just cooked through.
  3. As it simmers, the liquid forms a nice sauce.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over and serve.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Happy gardening,

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