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The Cultivator
Gardening in Australia, Ecology Action, and Garden Salsa
The CobraHead Newsletter
September 2012
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

Fall has been slow to arrive in Austin.  The first week of September still saw triple digit days, and while we did enjoy a pleasant cold front, many days still reach the lower 90s.  My fall greens are not yet at harvest stage, but I've been eating the leaves of the plentiful volunteer sweet potatoes to fill in the greens gap.

Earlier this month, Anneliese and I travelled to California to exhibit at the National Heirloom Expo.  We took advantage of the trip to visit the gardens of Ecology Action in Willits.  You can see more about Ecology Action below.  We also have our first ever guest post:  Barbara Wickes describes gardening in Southeast Queensland, Australia.  Also, Judy shares a tasty salsa recipe.

This week I'll be planting bearded iris.  My friend Vivian gave me a huge pile of rhizomes that she dug out of her own yard.  If you have had success with bearded iris, drop me a line at

Happy gardening,

Quinoa at Ecology Action
Quinoa at Ecology Action

Earlier this month Anneliese and I had a chance to visit Ecology Action, in Willits, California.

Ecology Action is the research farm of John Jeavons, author of How to Grow More Vegetables than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land than You Can Imagine.  Given that this book had a huge influence on the way that both Noel and I garden, it was a big deal for me to finally be able to visit the site.

Click here to learn more.
Judy's Salsa Ingredients
Judy's Garden Salsa

Several years ago Judy got this salsa recipe from a friend of a friend who worked at the local post office. Since then she makes it every year, as long as she has tomatoes, onions and peppers all at the same time from the garden.  See the recipe here.

Southeast Queensland Garden
Gardening in Southeast Queensland

Barbara Wickes of the 'The Perennial Poppies Group' garden club was our first international customer.Barb has kindly consented to write a post from Down Under so we can see what their club has been doing and let our readers know what's happening in   gardening a half a world away.  See her post 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
Ecology Action
Garden Salsa
Gardening in Southeast Queensland


Alpacas at Mother Earth News Festival
We got our first nip of frost a couple nights ago.  I didn't get a chance to cover things up as Judy and I were driving home from Pennsylvania where we had exhibited for CobraHead at the Mother Earth News Fair.  As soon as I got home I checked things out in the garden,  While a few leaves curled up or were black around the edges, it didn't appear that anything got hit really hard.  The tomatoes and peppers are still in decent shape, but they've stopped producing as has the summer squash and zucchini and a lot of other plants.  As is usual here in September, after the first frost, we often get several more weeks of above warm weather before the really killing frost hits.  And it looks like we'll have at least two more weeks before we get any more frost.  We had so many tomatoes, eggplants and peppers this year that I'm actually kind of wishing for a hard frost to slow things down. 

The Mother Earth Show in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania has been a really good show for us.  We sell a lot of tools, and the focus of the show is close to perfect in our opinion.  It's all about sustainability and living a low impact lifestyle.  There are many workshops about growing, harvesting, preserving and storing food.  In addition to discussions on all aspects of food the diverse selection of seminars, talks, and workshops include presentations on renewable energy, homesteading, home building , home arts for both urban and rural residents, raising animals, health, and a whole lot on sustainability issues.

The exhibits are both indoors and outdoors.  The vendors have a large audience to present their goods.  And it's a very family oriented event with the alpacas and other animals always getting a lot of attention.  Anneliese tells me she wants an alpaca, but I don't think it would work out in her little house and yard in the village.

We have a winner of our $50 gift certificate giveaways for newsletter sign ups we solicit at garden shows.  We drew Ginger Turk's name at the Illinois Master Gardener conference in Crystal Lake. Congratulations!

We'd like to remind all our readers that we love to grow our own food and to help others do the same.  We post articles about food growing and cooking with home grown food on our website blog, and we almost always have a discussion or several going on about food and growing on our Facebook page.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to a friend and if you have any gardening questions, drop us a note.  If we can't help you we'll find someone who can.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.

Noel and the CobraHead Team

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