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Talkback: Leaf fall

This comment may come way too late but I think this comment is helpful. In 2007 June issue page 15, Adam cooked asparagus peas by steaming. In my country [tropical Malaysia] we eat them as salad, stirfry lightly or use them raw for dips. For salad we use them raw and thinly sliced. try them with a Thai dressing. They can be used in all sort of stir fries. You may want try them with garlic,a few anchovy fillet, chilles (optional)a little sugar and a little rice wine. They need to be sliced. For dips, use them whole. They have to be eaten young. Over here we loved them. They are called 'kacang botol' : bottled nuts[Malay langauge]. Enjoy!


  • I am lucky enough to have my garden in the last natural beech copse in Portsmouth. This stretches over several gardens and leaves blow from all directions. I have composted leaves for many years now and beech takes at least 3 or 4 years to rot. Last year I filled 2 green compost bins with leaves to keep badgers from ripping the black bags I had always used. I left the lids off so the rain could get in (what a summer we had for that) but they haven't rotted very well at all. Any suggestions for at least 16 bags a year. I'm running out of space!
  • I've got a gravel garden and the fallen leaves etc. stay where they land till late May. I'm sure that this practice is at the heart of why I have so many beetles and spiders (they're the good guys?) hunting in the summer.

    A child's plastic rake, a trowel to loosen any weeds, a bucket and a leathery bottom for shuffling between plants clears the leaves from late spring gravel.

  • 'Green Issues' At the age of 76 I find that the 2 hours I spend chasing my motor mower around the grass is as much as I can manage, to use a hand mower is unthinkable. With over 200 feet of 8 feet high beech hedge to trim hand clipping is out of the question. With 3 venerable oak trees shedding leaves, leaf gathering with a rake even when helped by an enthusiastic granddaughter is not practical. My one attempt at making a compost heap generated complaints about mice from my next door neighbour. However to off-set all this, the leaves of the oak trees and hedge absorb much more carbon dioxide than my highly efficient motor mower produces. My hedge trimmer is battery operated. My leaf vacuum/blower is mains electric. The local council collects garden waste fortnightly and kitchen waste (cooked and raw) weekly and composts it much more efficiently than I can. As my grandmother used to say "There are more ways than one to kill the cat".
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