May 2011 Issue #68
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Really, really big veg
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Mock Whitebait Fritters
"As a gardener we have to trust the land knowing that all seeds of love and understanding, seeds of enlightenment and happiness, are already there."
~ From 'Cultivating the Mind of Love.' Thich Nhat Hanh
Really, really big
Listening to some teens on the train, I noted how strong their language is, like; "I really, really hate so 'n so; or I really, really love him; or I'd really, really rather kill myself than sit next to her."
So in the spirit of teen words, here's how to grow really, really big pumpkins that you'll really, really love: Growing a giant pumpkin.
Eco gardening tips
- Seed ideas:
Peas, beans and corn can be a temptation for birds and rodents, so start these seeds off in paper pots or toilet rolls.
Stack the rolls — leaving the ends open is okay, into a container such as an ice-cream container (holds 16) or other tray, fill with seed mix, pop in seeds and keep damp in a warm place. When well sprouted put whole roll into ground leaving a bit of a rim to deter the scratching birds.
- Don't leave the leaves:
Here in the southern hemisphere it's autumn/fall, and because the early settlers to the colonies from UK brought with them seeds such as oak, elm, ash, sycamore and other deciduous trees, we now have these trees shedding vast amounts of leaves everywhere.
Great wads of fallen leaves over plants can cause problems like rot, slow or crooked growth; so clear them off the top of small plants and away from around the neck of both small and large plants and trees.
- Save the leaves:
Leaves make great... believe it or not... leaf mulch. It's popular to put fallen leaves into large plastic bags, tie tops, poke a few air holes in and leave for months until it turns into rich leaf mulch to benefit your garden. I do this if I have old black plastic bags that someone has given me something in, but I don't buy new bags.
If you want to save buying plastic, pile your fall leaves up in a corner or put them in banana boxes and cover with heavy layers of cardboard, paper or those large free coffee bean sacks. Leaf mulch will happen beautifully.
Mock Whitebait Fritters
This is from a fishing book... for when you don't catch any of those elusive whitebait!
Great with a big salad from the garden.
- 1 medium potato, grated
- Can of sardines in oil OR 1 tspn powdered seaweed such as kelp
- 1 egg
- Oil or butter to fry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil or butter in frypan to medium heat.
- Beat egg with fork or hand beater, add oil from sardines or powdered seaweed.
- Add spud and mix well.
- Put dollops into pan and flatten; cook one side then turn over to brown other side.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 15 minutes
Serves: 1 person