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News & Tips for January 2020


News & Tips for January 2020 name

I started this beautiful January morning with a bowl of softly poached gooseberries and porridge. Not the usual summer fruit to pair with porridge but absolutely delightful. The gooseberry is one of my favourite things but notoriously difficult to come by; except this year a serendipitous search of the internet led to a 1 kg box of these chartreuse jewels delivered straight to my door. Mamuku Blue is the place to go if you are a fellow gooseberry lover.
The gradual disappearance of my beloved gooseberry reminds me of our monarch butterfly. Once a commonplace but vivid reminder of the arrival of summer (as was the gooseberry) the monarch is now but an occasional visitor. It has long been known the monarch is in trouble but when they are gone it will be too late, unlike the gooseberry Google won’t come to the rescue. So, this year’s one and only resolution: plant swan plants (lots), set wasp traps, and once the eggs are laid cover with psyllid netting. Newtons can help with the wasp bait and psyllid netting.
As we are in drought here in the north of the North Island there is not much you can do in the garden apart from water, mulch and keep tender plants protected with shade cloth. If you can spare it, put water out for the birds as they are suffering from lack of water too.

At the moment I am currently harvesting my crop of Urenika potatoes, put down in the latter part of last year. They are beautiful. They have such a unique and earthy flavour. I found baking or steaming the best cooking method when I tried boiling the wee things they fell apart.

My courgettes as always went gangbusters like they always do, so this month I have a recipe which might help with a glut of courgettes.

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