Website Header
The Cultivator
Real Gardeners Bake Potato Crusted Broccoli Rabe Quiche 
The CobraHead Newsletter
August 2011

Hello Friends of CobraHead,


In Austin, we have broken the all-time record for most triple digit days in one summer, sixty-nine and counting. We're also in the middle of the driest ten month period since 1895. Needless to say, it's been a rough summer for gardening. Bean plants with no beans, dead pear trees, non-existent cucumbers - I've got my share of failures this summer - but I'd rather talk about arugula.


Much to my surprise, I got a bountiful arugula harvest this morning from self-seeded plants that took shelter under the leaves of the sweet potatoes. The flavor's sharp, but stir-frying should mellow it out. I'm not sure yet if I have developed a new, advanced companion planting technique or if I just got lucky. In either case I'm going to try to replicate this idea next year with a more deliberate intent. Tomorrow morning I'll pick the rest of this cool season green.


In this issue, we have not one, but two recipes that you can use to prepare your summer harvests. Noel also shares plans for his advanced tomato trellis designed for both strength and air circulation.


What surprises have you gotten in your garden? Drop me a line at


Happy Gardening,




Potato Crusted Broccoli Raab Quiche
Potato Crusted Broccoli Raab Quiche

Potato Crusted Broccoli Raab Quiche 


Try this satisfying and tasty quiche.  The potato crust takes less time than making a regular pie crust.  You don't have to feel guilty about using using a little sour cream in the filling because you're not using a quarter of a pound of butter in the crust. See the recipe here.
Tomato Trellises
Tomato Trellises

T-post Tomato Trellis

 Noel finally built a tomato trellis that makes him happy.  Sturdy and with a sloped design that increases air circulation, this structure will support plants laden with fruit.  Click here to get the details.  





Lao Cucumber Salad
Lao Cucumber Salad

Lao Cucumber Salad

Earlier this month we went to a wedding on the Lao side of the family.  Geoff took advantage of the trip to learn how to make Lao Cucumber salad.  Note: use less hot peppers if you don't want to cry tears of joy.  See the recipe here.


If you like our newsletter and our products or if you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.

If you have gardening friends or if you know potential gardeners who might be interested in CobraHead and what we have to say about gardening and eating, please to them. 
It is the mission of CobraHead to help people grow their own food and to provide exceptional products and services to all gardeners.  We try hard to "walk the walk" when it comes to issues of sustainability and in deciding what is best for ourselves and the environment as we grow our little company.  We've chosen to make our tools locally, here in Wisconsin, and we think that bigger is not necessarily better.  Gardening might just be earth's great hope, and in any case it's a great hobby.
Thank you,
Noel, Judy, Geoff and Anneliese
The CobraHead Team
In This Issue
Potato Crusted Quiche
Tomato Trellises
Lao Cucumber Salad
Nardello Peppers
Nardello Peppers

July was not nice in Wisconsin, but August has delivered the summer our department of tourism likes to brag about. Warm days and cool nights and adequate but not exceptional rainfall for the garden. For whatever reason, the mosquitoes, while not non-existent, have been a negligible annoyance. In the two years previous, it was impossible to garden without being suited up with protective netting and long clothes. This year we have enjoyed early evening outdoor dinners without being driven inside, and working in the garden in shorts and a t-shirt has not been a problem.


So while the garden got off to a slow start due to a wet and cold spring, things are coming along just fine, right now. In most years the peppers in the picture above would already be showing some red, but the fruit is healthy and looking good and I expect to be getting a nice harvest soon. The pepper shown is called Nardello. It's an Italian-American heirloom, and it's one of the best of its type. We let it get fully red before we harvest. It's sweet and tasty. Fried up in olive oil with onions and garlic it makes a wonderful side dish.


We are eating corn, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, beans, cukes, melons, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, raspberries, pears, onions, leeks, and more from our yard and garden, right now. We know that the best food is what you grow yourself and we have set a mission for our little business to help others grow some of their own food, too. It is not that difficult and even urban dwellers and apartment residents can grow something.


Both Geoff and I have the luxury of having a yard and some earth in which to plant. We talk about our approach to gardening here in our newsletter but much more frequently on our CobraHead blog. We encourage you to check out our posts as we hope we can offer useful ideas to make you a more productive gardener. And Judy and Geoff both post tested recipes that show you what to do with the great food you grow yourself.


Anneliese and I will be in Indianapolis this weekend to exhibit and participate in the 63rd Garden Writers Association Annual Symposium . This is one of our favorite events. We count on garden writers and garden personalities to help spread the word about our tools and we have lots of friends in the association. The big perk is that we get to see the best gardens in the U.S. and Canada. Not only the public gardens that are open to all, but exceptional private gardens that require a special invitation to visit and are not normally seen by the public except in magazines, television, or the Internet.


Thanks for reading our newsletter. We like to talk gardening and food. Send us a line or comment.


Noel and the CobraHead team.


Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List