The East London Garden Society

The Voice ‐ December 2017

Comment by Geoff

Xmas Wreath

Happy Christmas to Everyone

I have been following the looming disaster over Paradise Gardens in Bethnal Green which is Grade II listed. It would seem what the council is offering is a stitch‐up regarding the process of regeneration of this historic park.

In urban environments one must be careful about how a re‐generation is projected. All the t’s must be crossed and the i’s dotted, as well as all relevant parties being informed, including experts of their craft. The moment decisions are made to circumvent this process, it will lead to trouble.

Although I take this example from an area of London where I reside, the lesson to be learnt is applicable to all languages and countries. After all, how are we able to proceed if ignorance, and maybe greed, is evident? See Paradise Gardens for further information.

Rat‐Eating Pitcher Plant

Rat Eating Plant

Even the most benign of pitcher plants is strange and amazing, but the species discovered in August 2009 may just be the weirdest carnivorous plant yet. It is believed to be the largest meat‐eating plant in the world, and is capable of digesting rats.

Scientists found it on Mount Victoria in the Philippines and named it Nepenthes Attenboroughii after the famed nature broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough. Back to top

Plants that Clean Your House

Cleaning Plants

Most plants are beneficial to our health but there are some that will do more. When Winter arrives, and the heating kicks in with the windows closed, indoor plants become most effective. They provide cleaner air as well as informing us that our homes are protected.

See Video for more information. Back to top

Roundup Weed Killer Linked to Cancer

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, is the most popular and most commonly used herbicide in the world. Recent studies have shown that The International Agency for Research on Cancer has linked Glyphosate to certain types of cancer such as Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, while classifying Glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.

Who is at risk?
No matter where you live, whether it is in the city, suburb, or rural area you are at risk and may have been exposed to Roundup and the deadly chemical Glyphosate. The product, Roundup, is so commonly used on farms and in homes around the world that just about anyone can be exposed to it. Anyone who has been exposed to Roundup may be at risk of developing Non‐Hodgkin Lymphoma. Even with the warnings now out there, Roundup is still being used by thousands of farmers, crop dusters, and other professionals in the agriculture and landscaping businesses.

Exposure to Roundup and Glyphosate can include:

  • Breathing the air near a recently treated area
  • Touching treated plants or weeds before the chemical dries
  • Drinking from a contaminated water supply
  • Eating food that was grown in soil treated with the chemical

Increasing exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, may be at least partially to blame for rising rates of numerous chronic diseases in Westernised societies, according to recent research. The finding, published in Entropy, has ramifications for virtually every man, woman and child in developed nations, as this pesticide is widely used on both conventional and genetically modified (GM) crops.

If you eat processed foods, most of which are made with GM corn and soy ingredients, you’re consuming glyphosate residues, probably in every bite. Knowing this, the tests show people in eighteen countries across Europe already have glyphosate in their bodies.

See this interview with co‐author Stephanie Seneff PhD, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT. Back to top

The Wonders of the Radish

The radish is well‐travelled and ancient having been mentioned in historical Chinese annals as early as 2,700 B.C. Egyptians cultivated them even before building the pyramids. Greeks and Romans liked them as large as they would grow, and served them with honey and vinegar. Radish cultivation reached England, Germany, Mexico, and Puerto Rico by the 1500s. In Britain, radishes had medicinal as well as culinary uses, usually for kidney stones, bad skin, and intestinal worms. It may have worked, because the colonists brought radish seeds with them to the New World.

Radishes are a natural diuretic, purifying the kidney and urinary systems and relieving inflammation. They can also regulate blood pressure, relieve congestion, and prevent respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties, and contain compounds that soothe rashes, dryness, and other skin disorders; they also help oxygenate the blood. As a detoxifier, radishes are one of the best and the whole plant is edible. We are now entering a period of excess, because of Christmas and the New Year, so start to grow some now. Just planting a few seeds will show growth in twenty days. If you have no ground, grow indoors in pots. Back to top

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2 unbaked pie crusts: one for the top of the pie, one for the bottom
  • 2 cups of peeled, sliced squash (butternut or sugar pumpkin)
  • 2 cups of peeled, sliced tart apples (Northern Spy, Cortland, or Granny Smith)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • ¼ cup of dried currants
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (preferably a dark sherry, such as Oloroso)
Pumpkin Pie

Method: Cut the pumpkin into thin slices. Dip in beaten eggs and herbs (not necessary if using butternut squash. Heat the oven to 425F. Peel the squash and apples and slice them. Melt one tablespoon in a frying pan and sauté the squash until softened (about 10 minutes). Combine the cooked squash, apples, raisins, and currants in a bowl. Toss them gently with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sherry. Set aside.

Place the first (bottom) pie crust in a pie pan, allowing for two inches of crust to drape over the sides. Layer the squash/fruit mixture into the pie. Dot the top with the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Cover with the second (top) crust, crimp the edges, and cut a few vents in the crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425F for fifteen minutes, then lower the temperature to 375F, turn the pie, and bake for another 50‐60 minutes. Total baking time is between 65‐75 minutes. Back to top



Previous issues of The Voice