IN THIS ISSUE (click on the topic to go there directly)
Permanent Summer Greens: Malabar spinach, Kangkong, Sambung, Okinawa spinach. Leaf Ginseng - their growing and using in salads, soups, green smoothies, curries, and stir fries - demonstrations, show and taste by Jeanette Cox, Lyn McIlwain and Reisha Marris.
Black strap molasses - by Val Wright
What's on my food- Extract from Malcolm McGuires article - provided by Joan Smart - the worst offenders may surprise you!
Planting Guide for September - Kay de Gunst's garden tips.
Our growing business - at Mt Perry State School- by a year 6 student.
Herbal teas for Strength and Courage - by Julie Burry and Susan Jackson.
Fermenting workshop at Greer Hardy' s place
PERMANENT SUMMER GREENS FOR SMOOTHIES, STIR-FRIES AND SALADS
Trevor presented an interesting discussion on the greens that grow well in our hot summer months.
For discussion five greens were chosen: Kangkong, Sambung lettuce, Okinawa Spinach, Ceylonese or Malabar Spinach and Leaf Ginseng. All of these greens harvest well and provide a ready supply of vegetables for smoothies, stir fries or salads all year round. They are perennials so an easy addition to the veggie patch and we hope to have cuttings available at our 25th September meeting.
Kangkong: likes wet conditions and in the wicking bed the roots wrapped around the pipes. To strike simply cut the end shoot and put in water, when roots appear, plant out - can be used in stir fries, smoothies and salads.
Sambung: use the end shoots and leaves daily. The plant spreads to around four feet or more, will strike from cuttings and can be kept in pots - kept moist and in full sun but likes some afternoon shade.
Okinawa Spinach: is easy to shoot and a prolific growing plant -use the tips - chooks love it. It can be grown in a pot. It can be a bit tart, so mix with other greens.
Malabar Spinach: is a little slimy, grows well on fences, seeds will spring up and are edible and can be used for colouring. This plant will take the heat, is easy to propagate and great in salads.
Leaf Ginseng: comes up annually, has a pink flower and bees love it. Strike by cutting in soil or water. Fertilisers to use used include compost, chook, horse and cow manure teas, seasol monthly and cane mulch.
Jeanette provided the low down on their propagation and use.
Kangkong - Ipomoae aquatica
Sambung lettuce - Gynura provenbens
Okinawa spinach - Gynura bicolor
Malabar spinach - Talinum triangulara
Leaf ginseng- Basella alba.
Lyn gave us two approaches to Smoothies. Smoothies are reported to slow down the ageing process and are a personal taste. Pop into a magic bullet a portion of pawpaw leaves, ginger and carrot (beta carotene, vitamins and fibre) and a tablespoon of Black strap molasses (has the lowest sugar content from cane processing). For flu use Washington navel, mandarin, lemon and ginger. Citrus with pith has fibre and vitamin C. One teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda, 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses and water in the morning helps flush out the system, and makes the body alkaline.
Reisha gave us a demonstration how quick and easy it is to blend up a green smoothie with your choice of greens, fruits and other ingredients. Green smoothies are a good way of getting nutrient dense food and fibre into the body quickly without using very much digestion energy. Caution – check with your doctor to ensure nothing you use is contra-indicated with medications. Choice of greens is a matter of your palate. Some can be bitter but that can be sweetened by adding dates or fruits. Reisha cautions against consuming caffeine two hours before or after green smoothies. Greens can be used in soups, curries or stir-fries. A good detox smoothie can include two fruit and five vegetables.
REISHA’S GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
Greens (50% at least) - Kale, Baby Spinach, Parsley, Gotu Kola.
Tip - add any other greens you like, other than lettuce.
Fruit (30%) - Banana, Apple, Mango - frozen.
Tip: add any other fruits you like.
Extras (20%) - 2T LSA (Linseed, Sunflower & Almond Meal), 1T Hemp Seeds, Squeeze of Lemon Juice, 4 Dates, 1T Spirulina.
Tip: add any other seeds that you like, e.g. pepitas.
BLACK STRAP MOLASSES – By Val Wright
During the Forum people discussed black strap molasses, there were different ideas of what it is. This is what I have found. In the U.S.A. Molasses and Black Strap Molasses are two different products. Molasses is the syrup from the second boiling with about 70% sugar. Blackstrap is from the 3rd boiling and is a tar-like thick syrup that is not very nice.
In Australia, the term 'Blackstrap' means nothing. It's just a name. Apparently real blackstrap is not produced here.
I bought 4 jars from different company's, some marketed as blackstrap. All are pleasant to eat, try it at the September meeting. The product produced by Bundaberg Sugar Mill for stock food is a lot different in flavour. It is not recommended for human consumption, as the impurities are not removed.
WHAT'S ON MY FOOD ?
These facts are taken from an article by Malcolm McGuire in Organic Gardener.
Joan Smart provided it for us.
60 years ago pretty well all of our fruit and veggies were organic.
Mid 1950s Coles and Woolworths began converting their stores to self-service,
which changed our shopping habits forever. People started rejecting produce
that was not perfect and the supermarkets started demanding perfect produce.
This is still a big problem but a few non-perfect items are creeping in at a
cheaper price. Next, new agricultural pesticides mostly from America and
Germany flooded the market and were produced by the companies that made
nerve gas during the 2nd world war. Monoculture fields and industrialized farming became the norm and led to a lack of diversity and increased pest pressure. This all lead to wide spread use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Among the worst chemicals are the systemic insecticides, which work by being drawn up into the plant by its leaves and roots, where they remain. Pests are killed when they suck the sap of the plant containing the poison. As the insecticide remains inside the whole plant - peeling, washing or cooking will not remove it. An example of this is produce that travels form QLD to other parts of Australia (mangos and tomatoes). It is required to be treated post harvest before dispatch, with a systemic insecticide- based dip to prevent the spread of QLD fruit fly. Most of Australia's winter tomato crop comes from Bowen in QLD.
By law all agricultural chemicals sold in Australia must be officially registered and all must carry detailed instructions, including active ingredients, use and handling information. Registration is by a state-by- state basis. Products may be permitted in one state and not in another.
While the registration body has to be satisfied that individual pesticides are safe to use, it is not involved in monitoring pesticide levels in food. In Australia, there is little coordination at a national level, with various organizations taking the responsibility for monitoring. Residue testing is totally dependent on the information provided to the registering body by the chemical companies. They examine the data and decide whether a particular pesticide has the capacity to harm in the amounts likely to be present in food.
Testing does not account for the possible health risks of the "cocktail effect "of several different pesticides used on the same crop or the possibility of accumulation in the body with repeated use over time. The approval given by the registering body relates to the specific use of a particular pesticide on one occasion. The process also requires monitoring to be carried out on a regular basis by Commonwealth and State bodies and by industry but only a very small proportion of food or crops are subjected to any form of chemical scrutiny.
The worst offenders: Apples, strawberries, pears, grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches and potatoes.
Apples: are the most sprayed crop and over 1500 synthetic chemicals have been approved for use on them. Powerful fungicides are used for apple scab, which in some orchards has developed a resistance, therefore a number of different fungicides can be used together. In wet weather they can be used every 2-3 days. Apples are also treated for sunburn and some protectants contain Morpholine which is banned in the European Union but is still allowed in Australia. It contains a precursor of a known carcinogen. Before being treated with the protectant the apples must be primed with a water softener, which contains a preservative that is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Even worse are the chemicals used to control codling moth. These include possible liver, thyroid and kidney toxicants and hormone disruptors and 2 further highly toxic neurotoxins - Parathion-methyl and Azinphos-methyl. These 2 have been banned in countries around the world and even though they have been under review for 20 years they are still used widely in Australian orchards.
Citrus: are dipped in a fungicide after harvest often needing several applications and are then sprayed with a wax which is baked on. Then if fruit fly are present the insecticide Methyl bromide is often used.
Grapes: are often sprayed with a bird deterrent such as methyl anthranilate which needs to be repeated every 2 weeks.
Grapes:are often sprayed with a bird deterrent such as methyl anthranilate which needs to be repeated every 2 weeks.
Carrots: can be tear-gassed. A liquid fungicide chloropicrin is injected into the soil which immediately turns into a gas and fumigates the carrots. This chemical was used by German forces in World War 1 as tear gas.
Potatoes: More than 1800 government- approved pesticides are available for use on potatoes. Among these is atrazine which is banned in the EU.
Peaches: More than 1000 different pesticides are registered for use in Australia on peaches. Often many are used at the same time to target different insects. One example is carbaryl which is a possible carcinogen and has been withdrawn in the UK and other European countries.
Garlic: Most of us know to avoid white imported garlic. Most of it is from China and is bleached, gamma irradiated and sprayed and can be last year's crop. China can use chemicals on garlic, which have been banned in Australia. Also all imported garlic is fumigated with toxic methyl bromide on arrival here.
Produce with thicker skin and which is less reliant on systemic pesticides is a better choice when organic is
not available. These include avocados, mangoes, onions, pineapples, sweet corn, melons and kiwifruit. There are no synthetic pesticides approved for use on basil, sage, thyme, parsleyor chives in Australia. But imported dried herbs and spices are irradiated.
Malcolm McGuire is the author of "Where food comes from and how it is produced". More information-
We can take heart from our speakers at the June and July meetings - from Tinaberries and Baffle Dairy, both tending towards natural and organic. Trevor tells us that quite a few local growers are getting interested in more natural methods and trying to avoid chemicals sprays. Good news indeed.
Planting Guide for September By Kay de Gunst
Time to get your planting beds ready for spring vegetables if you haven’t already done so. Some of our seeds are different varieties to what we usually grow and this makes gardening all the more exciting. Recorded below is a list of plantings suitable for our area and climate.
Some vegetables such as carrots and radish, transplant poorly and must be grown from seed sown directly into the soil.
· Seeds to be planted directlyinto your prepared ground:
Asian Vegetables; Beetroot; Eggplant; Radish; Silverbeet; Sweet Potatoes; Asparagus; Chokos; Leeks; Melon; Potatoes; Squash; Beans; Cucumber; Lettuce; Luffa; Marrow; Mustard Greens; Pumpkins; Shallots; Sweet Corn; Zucchini.
· Seeds to be planted into seedling trays:
Eggplant; Silverbeet; Capsicum; Squash; Tomatoes; Cucumber; Lettuce; Marrow; Pumpkins; Sweet Corn; Zucchini.
The club has a seed bank library consisting of seeds from our member’s gardens. Club members have the opportunity to swap or select organic seeds for their own home garden use.
Happy and successful planting.
Our Growing Business
“We started our business off by selling seedlings we bought and raised for several
months during school. We made recycled newspaper pots to grow them in and we
started a roster for watering.
After a few months we sold a heap of these little seedlings to people who wanted to
start their own little garden. We raised 100 dollars in that fundraiser but we need some
more support, which is why we are selling these huge lemons for 1 dollar each.
With all the support we get we are going to help all the year 6’s to camp in
Tallebudgera.We thank you in advance for your support.”
Mount Perry State School.
(Written by a year 6 student.)
The project to raise seedlings was designed and run by year 6. During
planning they came up with every aspect of growing: ‘Where to get
seedlings’, ‘What to put them in’, ‘Where to place them’ (as you can see:
in the class room – outside some naughty kids or animals might harm them),
'What to sell them for’, ‘How to get the'seedlings home safely’ and of course
‘Who should look after them and water them’.
At the BOGI Meeting we sold a whole box of lemons and raised $53 for this
bunch of enterprising kids.
Thank you. Peter Van Beek.
Herbal teas for strength and courage
Julie and Susan boosted our courage and strength with their choice of Borage and
Yarrow for herbal teas at our August meeting.
Borage:has been renowned for its ability to gladden the spirits, disperse sadness
and melancholy, invigorate the body and give great courage. Often borage was
steeped in wine and drunk, a double action to make man merry. Boral tea was
drunk before tournaments and battles.
Yarrow is used as a compost activator and, through secreting chemicals, to
strengthen nearby plants. It has also been used for pain, arthritis, backache,
bed-wetting, chickenpox, colds, coughs, depression, diabetes and earache.
Many legends surround the use of yarrow. Going back to the Trojan wars, when
Achilles was an infant his mother held him by the heels and dipped him head first
into a bath of Yarrow tea to protect him from all harm. And, so the story goes, it did
until he was wounded in the heel by a poisoned arrow.
The yarrow was said to protect him up to that time.
Fermenting workshop at Greer's on Sunday 9th September
This was a good learning and practical day. We learnt about some very good cultures that are produced on the Sunshine Coast (available from Kultured Wellness online) and used those. These can make coconut cream yoghurt and coconut water kefir. The kefir can then be used to ferment many other foods.
We made lots of sauerkraut, fermented freshly squeezed organic orange juice, cultured red onions and had plenty samples for people to take home. Available on the lunch table were cultured cashew nut cheese, cultured guacamole and cultured cooked pumpkin. It was an enjoyable day and one lady even came from Gladstone to join us and was very enthusiastic.