It’s roughly this time every year when the issue of food waste starts to make itself very clear to me. This is mostly because everything I grow at home likes to produce at the same time and I end up with an overwhelming amount of fresh homegrown veggies. Of course there are a handful of worse problems to have, I know. However the idea of not using all of the great stuff I watched grow over the past few months makes me crazy. Not to mention all of the overwhelming statistics and negative environmental implications of food waste.
The EPA states that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste. As food decays in landfills it creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas considered being 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Its my opinion nothing puts this concept of food waste more at grasp than a pile of rotting home grown garden veggies. This is the stuff that you’ve put time and energy into to get back nutritious sustenance and it just doesn’t feel right to see it go to waste.
Being at best a beginner in the world of home gardening I spent some time discussing garden waste with other gardeners and we came up with a few suggestions on how to make the most of your home garden by not wasting it.
Preserving: Whether it be canning, pickling, or roasting and freezing veggie’s preserving food is possibly the best way to reduce waste and get the most out of your garden.
- It's a good way to stock the pantry for coming months
- Reduces waste associated with pre-packaged foods
- Personal satisfaction from doing it yourself
Soups: There are a number of great summer soups that utilize a fresh summer harvest, here are some those recipes.
Parties: Of course there is the option to distribute the remainder of your garden to neighbors, friends, and co-workers - but why not bring all those people together and share a meal with them. Besides there are few things better than sharing a meal with good friends...especially when it involves homemade foods, a few drinks (mint juleps!) and of course reducing food waste.