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The Cultivator
Great Leeks and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad
The CobraHead Newsletter
December 2012
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

The fall this year in Austin has been mild and dry.  Last week, the first frost hit my yard, although it only clipped the tops of the dieback perennials like hierba santa and bougainvillea.  The hot pepper plants in the backyard are intact and still have a few fruits on them.

For the most part, though, my fall garden is finished.  Before the frost hit, I harvested the last of the Chinese broccoli and kohlrabi.  I decided to leave the beets in the ground unless and until we get a hard freeze.  I'm going to enjoy a two or three week break from gardening and then start planting my spring garden in early January.

In this issue, Noel details the methods he used for harvesting his abundant leek crop.  And he lays out his plan for an even more abundant harvest next year.  Anneliese has been on the road and shares the plants of the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, Mexico.  Finally, Judy shows how to make sweet potato black bean avocado salad.  Yum.  

A reminder that we're offering our newsletter subscribers 10% off (almost) everything* on our website between now and December 31.  Use the coupon code DECEMBER to get your discount.  See all of our gardening products here.

What was the biggest surprise in your gardening this year?  Drop me a line at

Happy gardening,


*except the Gulland Forge Broadfork
Leek Bed with Leaves
Noel with his Leeks
Great Leek Harvests

Easy to grow.  Tasty.  Learn how Noel extended his leek harvest in Wisconsin until the middle of December.  He also shares tips for getting longer and more uniform leeks.  See more here.

Agave at Ethnobotanical Garden
Agave at Ethnobotanical Garden
Ethnobotanical Garden
of Oaxaca

Anneliese recently spent a month in Oaxaca, Mexico.  While there she visited a former Dominican monastery that has been converted into an ethnobotanical garden. 

Elephant Foot, Sweet Potatoes and more.  See her photo tour of the gardens here. 
Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad
Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad
Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salad with Lime

We can't go very long without sharing a sweet potato recipe.  This is one of Judy's experiments gone wonderfully right.  Click here to see the recipe.

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
Great Leek Harvest
Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca
Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad


Christmas Cats
Welcome to the final CobraHead newsletter of 2012.  I hope this year was good to you.  Our Wisconsin garden was one of the most productive we've had.  I tried several new things, some of which worked well and others that did not.  I'm looking forward to 2013 so I can try even more new gardening ideas and I definitely want to grow more food.

I plan to do more work with season extending devices - low hoop tunnels and cold frames. I want to improve my tomato trellising.  I want to do more intercropping and successive planting, and I hope to finally grow a lot of good melons, a crop where true success has so far eluded me.  What's great about growing food is there is always room for improvement and there are always new things to try.

We'll report our progress on our blog and we hope to encourage others to garden, too.  We wish all our friends and newsletter subscribers a happy holiday season and an excellent New Year.  Next year's garden will be the best ever for all of us!  

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.

By the way, if you can't tell, the cats were not at all happy to have their picture taken.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.

Noel and the CobraHead Team
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