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Diggers Rest – Extirpating! Eco gardening tips; Chocolate Truffles
September 04, 2012

September 2012 Issue #85


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

1) Extirpating!
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Chocolate Truffles

"A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows."

Weeds - oxalis

Extirpate a weed

We're in to extirpating this month! (extirpate—from the Latin for "to pull up by the stem or root" —is to destroy totally.) Watch out weeds, here we come.

But not all weeds can be extirpated... some are best dealt with in more subtle ways. Great reading for you here at Garden Weeds

Clown town food

Thanks for all the feedback on last month's piece about junk food at these kids' play barns. I've discovered they are everywhere, not just Clown Town where I went... there's Lollipop Land, Junglerama, Chipmunks, etc.

Years ago, when my 3 boys had their birthday parties at home, it took a bit of work, but we had such fun. From Pin the tail on the womble (more modern than a donkey then), to musical cushions, treasure hunt, pass the parcel, and so on. Homemade food of course, albeit some a tad unhealthy!

Anyway, enough musing; a reader sent in several healthy kids recipes, and you'll find one at the end of this newsletter. Thanks Carol.

Eco gardening tips

  • What's the problem:
    Sometimes it's a head scratcher as to why plants mope or die. Is it too cold or hot? Does it get enough sun or too much? Too much water or dry as a bone? Is it the soil, compost or fertilizer?

    One test you can do is to take some of the existing soil and anything in or on it, then fill up a plant pot, put it in a good growing spot and keep it damp. Plant some large quick growing seeds, such as corn or beans and see if they grow happily. If they do, then your problem isn't the soil.

  • Bean time:
    Some beans that are usually eaten as dried beans, such as Cannellini, are easily grown in the home garden. They can even be picked when small, green and tender and are delicious cooked into stir-fries.

    If you want to dry your beans either for eating later or to save for seeds, leave them to go brown and dry on the stalks, then pick, shell and store in a cool, dry place. They'll store well for at least a year.

  • Lemon care:
    It's easy to think that a lemon tree looks after itself; it does but a bit of TLC will ensure you have bumper yields. Lemons trees really dislike windy spots and they love a good 6 hours of sun to ripen their fruit.

    For fall/autumn gardeners, give a light prune to get rid of any spindly stems or shoots from the graft at ground level. A compost and mulch now will nourish and protect your tree and roots.

    For spring gardeners, this is a good time to actually plant a lemon tree. For new and established trees, keep the soil moist but not soggy. A good organic fertilizer will encourage plenty of lovely lemons.

Chocolate Truffles

Sent in by reader, Carol… I made them and they are yummy. I actually soaked the dates first for about 1 hour in the water, then put the whole lot into my food processor to mix with the other ingredients.


  • 150g pitted dates
  • 60ml filtered water
  • 6 Tblsp raw cacao powder
  • 5 Tblsp coconut oil
  • pinch of cinamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (or vanilla powder)


  • cacao powder
  • chilli powder (optional)
  • cinnamon


  • Blend truffle ingredients, cool mixture in fridge then roll into balls.
  • Roll balls in powder mixture to cover them.
  • Keep in fridge or freezer.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Serves: A crowd

Happy gardening,

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