Home' Otago Southland Farmer : March 22nd 2013 Contents 22
DEAD OR ALIVE!
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Ph 03 488 3201
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215-8899. Open Monday-
MATURE MALE, exp in
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Trades and Services
INVADING YOUR HOME?
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TO GET RID OF THEM NOW!
Trades and Services
LET me organise/adminis-
trate your Xero for you.
Reasonable rates. Phone
Linda (027) 236-5576. 5266056
Farm Employment Wanted
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MISSING in Gore, Ma-
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Woolly Ewes, dead or
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Stock Feed & Rural Supplies
'gibb-gro' 'NOW' $8.00
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MEMBERS of other Intro-
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Gore A&P Association Ewe Hogget
Judging Wednesday 3 April 2013.
Romney, Coopworth, Composite, Crossbred
Entries to T McCall, Ph 208-7607
or R Powley, Ph 208-1450.
Entries close Saturday 30 March 2013.
BBQ & presentation following judging at
at the Hokonui Pavilion,
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GET THE RESULTS
FOR all your Gorse
Phone Ashley at Sim Ag
Contracting 027 604 0959.
Great herb to use
instead of sugar
Sweety: Stevia likes a reasonable
amount of water but the soil must be
free-draining. If plants sit in water, or
the soil is constantly soggy, the roots
may rot. Feeding isn't necessary if
compost is added.
When I give a talk on herbs
to local garden clubs,
Stevia rebaudiana, aka the
sugar herb, is always the
herb that gets the most
interest. The leaves of this perennial herb
are more than 20 times sweeter than
sugar and the extract stevioside is 200-300
in stevia are also resistant to heat, so the
plant can be used in cooking and baking
with no adverse effects. And all this with
If you're interested in cutting back on
sugar, this is a great herb to grow. You
can use the fresh leaves throughout
summer or you can dry the leaves in
autumn for use throughout winter.
If you were to buy stevia from your local
health shop, it's most likely the white
stevia powder that you would buy. But
you can also use green stevia powder (the
dried whole green leaves) and liquid
stevia to the same effect.
Stevia is a tender perennial so it needs to
be planted in a warm, sheltered spot. In
cooler areas, it's often treated as an
annual though it can be grown indoors
over winter. If you spot one in the garden
centre now, mollycoddle it over winter as
young plants are sensitive to cold.
Stevia likes a reasonable amount of water
but the soil must be free-draining. If
plants sit in water, or the soil is
constantly soggy, the roots may rot.
Feeding isn't necessary if compost is
Excess nitrogen will promote rapid
growth with poor flavour. If you wish to
feed your plants, use well-aged manure or
blood and bone whose nitrogen is
released slowly. Or use a commercial
fertiliser that's low in nitrogen.
As plants grow, pinch off the growing tips
so they branch out.
You can add the fresh leaves to food and
beverages, or make your own liquid
stevia, as follows:
Place 1-2 stevia bruised leaves in a small
bowl and add 200ml of boiled water. Let
stand for 10-15 minutes, then taste for
sweetness. If it's not sweet enough, leave
it to steep longer (your liquid will start to
take on a green tinge). If you have a sweet
tooth, you can add another leaf or two at
the start. Add the required amount of
liquid stevia to your beverage or food.
To dry leaves, harvest just before
flowering in autumn when sweetness is
at its highest. Cut stems and hang up to
When dry, store the whole leaves in an
airtight container. Crush them just
before using. You can make a syrup out of
the dried leaves as follows:
Bring 500ml water to the boil, reduce to a
simmer and add 3 teaspoons crushed
dried leaves. Simmer, covered, for three
minutes. Allow to cool. Strain and keep
your syrup in the fridge.
Availability: Look for plants in the herb
section at garden centres. Or buy seeds
from Kings Seeds.
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