Waste Not

We try not to let anything go to waste around here. We try to put everything we grow to good use.

We freeze and preserve some of our harvest for the winter. Cherie also makes jams, jellies and pickles. Over the last couple of days, for example, she has made watermelon jelly, tomato jam and pickled okra. We aim to eat, sell or give away as much of the food we produce as we can.

We’re also careful to avoid food waste. In our kitchen we keep  containers for food scraps, one designated for the pigs and one for the chickens. We also have a container for tea leaves and coffee grounds–those go to the worm bin.

Anything that can’t be eaten by us, by pigs, by chickens or by the worms, goes into yet another container, and from there to the compost pile.

We have a couple of compost piles going at all times–one cooking and one ready for use.

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I read recently that about 40% of the food produced in the country is wasted.

That’s too bad. At least we’re not contributing to that.

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20 comments on “Waste Not

  1. Buffy says:

    I want you tomato jam recipe. Is it in your cookbook?

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    • Bill says:

      It is not in this year’s cookbook but Cherie is planning to include it (I think) in next year’s version. I’ll pass your request along to Cherie and maybe she’ll post the recipe on her blog. It is amazingly good!

      Liked by 1 person

    • nebraskadave says:

      I’d like to have the tomato jam recipe as well. I have people asking me to make it and I haven’t got a clue how to make it. All the Internet recipes use jello as an ingredient. I didn’t really care to try those.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BeeHappee says:

    Pigs are awesome. When I think of my grandma, we produce 0 waste there, all leftovers went to pigs, and teeny tiny non-edible waste was just burnt in wood stove.
    If you had not seen the documentary Dive! by Jeremy Seifert, on dumpster diving and food waste, I highly recommend, it has a good recap on how much food and how exactly it gets wasted.
    Pickled foods are best presents for your family and friends for Christmas gifts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • bobraxton says:

      “great minds think alike” – what we fed our pigs (rural North Carolina, 1950’s, was a combination of kitchen, waste (or spoiled) milk and mixed in alphalfa and other products of perhaps a hammer-mill. By the way, I thought it was the pigs which smelled bad. However, we keep our materials now for composting (more than 30 years) in a five-gallon “pickle bucket” and that inside a metal garbage can much larger – and that smell remains. It wasn’t the pigs at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I’m Facebook friends with a young man who regularly goes dumpster diving at grocery stores, then posts photos of all the food he gets. The amount of perfectly edible food we through away in our culture is just outrageous.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bobraxton says:

    Two nights for many hours I am typing (furiously) from two hand-written journals written throughout the 14-day church mission trip to Kenya (about 11th or 12th, latest of many over the decades). The title of this blog post comes up within the pages of the new book (a personal memoir) and, for your winter reading when things let up (slow down) a little bit, I would be happy (separate cover) to provide a copy – in Microsoft Word format – for writer(s) of this blog. Second night I have reached page 48 (typed) of which the Title Page I am counting. This might be around 2/3 of what I wrote by hand and I intend to keep typing it. The phrase – somewhere – comes up (and I link to Ps. 23 – “I shall not want.”

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  4. shoreacres says:

    I do end up throwing away food from time to time, but I’ve managed to train myself to buy less, and that really helps.I think single people and the elderly often run into the issue: either because of over-purchasing or simple forgetfulness. One nice thing is that, during the growing season when the farm is open, the you-pick-it place I go to will allow people to bring food scraps out to their multiple compost piles. It’s a perfect solution — buy their food, bring back the remains!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great the farmer does that. We want to provide our future CSA customers with a lidded bucket to put their scraps in and they would just drop it off when they pick up their veggies. No reason for it to go in a landfill!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      It’s great that they do that! My sister lives in Alexandria, just outside of Washington D.C. The farmers market in her neighborhood has a compost bin so people can bring their food scraps when the come to buy food. Same concept and such a great idea.

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  5. I LOVE composting! Ever since I turned my first pile of “garbage” into beautiful, rich smelling, nutrient dense compost, I’ve wanted to yell it from the rooftops!
    I’m debating getting my best friend (she lives in the big city) a worm bin for her birthday – but I’m afraid she might not appreciate it – at least at first…

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    • Bill says:

      We’re dedicated composters. Anything will decompose goes into our compost pile.
      I think a worm bin would make a great birthday present. Not everyone would agree with that of course. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue says:

    I’m feel so guilty when something “gets away” from me —pushed to the back of the fridge or whatever.
    I try and justify it by thinking that at least it’s compost to be used to grow new food, but I still feel bad–especially if I PAID for the item.
    I’ve got a 3 bin area for composting—one of the sections is HUGE—for chopped up leaves from autumn. Leaf mold is some amazing stuff—takes forever to make, hence the HUGE area for it, but so worth the wait. It’s got a totally different texture from regular compost. Lovely stuff for mulching…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I used to feel bad when vegetables went bad in the garden, or when we ended up with more than we could use. But here nothing is wasted. Anything that isn’t eaten goes back into the soil, to be reincarnated as food in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. If it was a plant, we give it back to the earth. No pets or livestock here to share with, but I sometimes find wildlife dining in the compost hole.

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    • Bill says:

      Compost piles are usually teeming with life. Sometimes our chickens scratch around in ours. Sometimes wildlife scavenges them.
      I like how you put it–giving it back to the earth. 🙂

      Like

  8. df says:

    I must admit, we were slow to realize just how much in the way of scraps we could give our chickens – we were a little over careful in that regard at first. It’s one of my pleasures, bringing our little flock little tasty bits from the kitchen that we’re done with, they love anything new appearing. We also have compost piles for ever on the go. I can’t say that we’re as good as you are, but we certainly try.

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    • Bill says:

      Our chickens coming running whenever they see me, in hopes that I’m bringing them treats. That reminds me, I have to go shut the coop up. They weren’t in bed yet when I went out earlier, because they were still pecking away at the watermelon rinds I gave them. 🙂

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