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The Cultivator
Stuffed Squash and Leaf Lunacy - The CobraHead Newsletter
November 2011
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

Austin is a year round city for vegetable gardening.  Row covers and cold frames help hardy greens survive our mild winters, and drip irrigation, combined with plantings of heat loving crops like okra, allow for harvesting in even the worst stretches of our triple digit summers.  But fall is the most glorious time of all for gardening in central Texas.  Plants with few signs of life in the heat of early September spring back to life with the cooling temperatures.  As I write this in mid-November I'm giving away basil by the shopping bag, eating garden greens daily if not twice daily, preserving hot peppers, and still planting for winter harvests and spring blooms.  

This week I will be planting garlic, strawberries and brassicas.  I'll also be adding more native and drought tolerant perennials to the front yard garden as I gradually eliminate my neglected lawn.  And given how short winter is here, it's already time to sow onions indoors for a late January outdoor planting.  

A couple of years ago, Noel met Rachel and Pete Wolf, the folks behind LuSa Organics who make gardener's soaps and balms.  He has been a fan of their balm ever since.  We are happy to now offer our favorites of their creations for you on our website.  Please see the details below.

All of the gardening doesn't mean that we don't have time to cook.  In this issue we're highlighting Judy's recipe for wild rice stuffed squash (one of our favorites), but you can check out my recipe for black bean quinoa salad here.  Also, Noel details his favorite free garden mulch and compost material, the lowly leaf and explains why leaves should be composted and not destroyed.

How are you extending your gardening season?  Drop me a line at

Happy gardening,

Stuffed Squash
Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
Wild Rice and Bread Stuffed Winter Squash

It's that time of year when the weather turns chilly and winter squash is on the menu.  The body seems to need that filling substance to warm itself and feel satisfied after a hard day's work.  Judy's recipe has been a favorite of ours for years.  See the recipe here.
LuSa body Care
LuSa Organics Body Care
 LuSa Organics

We are happy to now offer LuSa Organics Body Care products to CobraHead friends.  Judy likes the lotion bar and Noel uses the Booty Balm for cracked hands.

Handmade in Wisconsin by our friends at LuSa Organics, they will leave you feeling fresh, soft and smooth.  See the details here.

Leaf Covered Beds
Leaf Covered Beds

Do you have too much work in the spring getting your garden beds ready to plant?  Do you wish that your garden was more fertile?  Do you wish that you were a better lover?  Click here to find out Noel's secrets.

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
Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
Gardener's Body Care
Free Fall Bounty


Pea Flower
A Pea Flower in Austin

It's almost Thanksgiving and I'm very thankful for the garden we had this year.  If you had asked me in June how I thought the garden was going to turn out, I would have said, not well.  I was wrong. We've enjoyed an exceptional harvest.  I didn't plant all the different things that I would have liked, but most of what got planted did very well and we're still eating lots of fresh veggies.


My early pessimism was due to a couple factors.  I didn't get the garden beds totally coved with leaves last fall.  That's a big mistake, as the leaf cover does a great job in suppressing weeds, so I spent way more time this year weeding as opposed to just planting and tending crops.  Just preparing the beds to plant took too much time because they had to be heavily weeded before they could be planted.

Another reason for my grim June outlook was the weather.  April and May were unusually wet and cold.  It was difficult to find a dry day to get into the garden, and our hectic spring garden show schedule kept me indoors on many of the nicer weekend days.  So by June, I was way behind and resigned to the fact that it would be a sub-par year.

But I kept at it, and even with late plantings of corn, squashes and melons, tomatoes and peppers, just about everything I got in the ground did great.  The weather from June on turned out to be close to perfect and on top of it all, the mosquitoes, normally a joy-killer for Wisconsin gardeners were close to non-existent.  The one exception to my great harvest of late planted crops was onions.  They did not like being held up before getting into the ground and we got no storage onions to speak of, even though the leeks, planted at the same time, are doing quite well.

So as the season winds down we're still eating fresh food including greens from my cold frame which proved to be an excellent gardening addition.  I'm happy, I learned a lot this year, and I'm busy preparing for next year.  I'm sure you can tell, but I really enjoy gardening and growing food.

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

Noel and the CobraHead team.

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