Monthly Archives: May 2017

New Zealand spinach

BT from Rotorua asks: “Regarding your article on NZ native spinach, can this be used raw in a salad, or does it have to be cooked? I like spinach in my green salads.” It can be used in the same way one would use spinach. Some people recommend boiling the leaves for two to three minutes […]

Ice frozen wind screens

With the evening weather getting cooler – frosty. Keep a sunlight liquid container of water in your car for when the front window ices over. Just squirt on window and wipers do the trick. – Adrienne from Christchurch.

Oily Rag Budget 2017

This week the Government released its Budget, so we thought we would have the Minister of Oily Rag Finance deliver an alternative budget. The first paragraph of that budget speech went like this: “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my fellow citizens, so even though we face […]

Garden pests and produce

A reader contacted us recently about one of the perennial problems of the oily rag gardener – snails and slugs! So we went down into the basement archives and found this tip that may do the trick. Trish from Tauranga says, “To keep slugs and snails away from newly planted seedlings, just make a small […]

Knitting with old folks

SJ from Dunedin has this wonderful tip: “Recently I decided I would like to learn to knit and crochet, and when I was given a big bag of wool scraps, I knew it was time to get started. Instead of buying expensive magazines or getting books from the library, I approached our local rest home […]

Jerusalem Artichokes

A reader has written in about Jerusalem Artichokes. “They are vigorous and easy to grow. When they flower, they look like a sunflower and are as tall, but the edible part is the root tuber, which is harvested when the flowers wilt and the plant starts to die. To harvest, the plant needs to be […]

Storing celery

Allie from Nelson says, “A good way to store and use celery in the winter is as follows. Cut off the base, and the very coarsest top leaves if necessary, and discard. Wash the remainder thoroughly. Dry and chop fairly finely (leaves and all) Store in the freezer in zip top bags. Add handfuls to […]

Native spinach

Jules suggests growing NZ native spinach vine plants. “They are a little-known vegetable that is really fast growing, provides huge volumes, keeps weeds down, and is incredibly delicious. Simply pluck the leaves from the vine and it continues to sprout. Three to four plants will easily keep a family fed for the winter. It grows […]