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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Clever Ideas

Sometimes I see a brilliant idea and think "Duh - why haven't I thought of that myself?" So here are two simple but clever ideas...

Wendyl Nissen's Bob Each Way Spread
I got this from her Supermarket Companion book. It is a great replacement for margarine - which I don't like anyway because I don't consider it real food, but beats having to remember to leave a little butter in the pantry each day so that it is spreadable. And then there is the whole saturated fat issue - so this cuts it in half.

Mix together equal quantities of butter and olive oil.
I used 200 grams of butter and topped up to 400 grams with the oil on the kitchen scales.
Soften the butter gently, but make sure it doesn't cook. I used a whisk to mix  them.
The more virgin the olive oil, the more olivey it will taste, and could also have a green tinge.
Keep the spread in the fridge. If it separates, just rewhisk.

Bob Each Way Spread

In-Garden Compost Planter 

Now I can't locate my source - but will add it when I do.
So this works by giving the tomatoes in my garden a nutrient source - because they are planted around the base, plus warmth from composting materials, plus something to tie the tomatoes to, and a bit of shade for my lettuces nearby.

It is a bit of mesh, cable tied into a cylinder shape, anchored to the ground with stakes or  wire staples, then filled with compost. Mine has weeds, some stuff out of the other compost bin, plus newspaper soaked in seaweed/ horse poo tea, among other things.
In the middle there is a plastic tube which has holes drilled along it's length. The theory is that I water down that and it spreads through the compost and down to the tomatoes, taking nutrients with it.
I have also planted some of the same tomatoes elsewhere in the garden, so I'll be able to compare.
At the end of the season it can be just dumped right there in the garden.
And that leads me to....

Planting Tomatoes
I have only recently learned that when planting tomatoes to take off the lower leaves and put the plants in with the soil right up to the next lot of leaves. This makes them grow bigger, stronger roots and they will do better.

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