Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Ugly Side of Thanksgiving: how to minimize food waste

Turkey Day 2014 is almost here, and it's a great day to spend with friends and family. There will also be a lot of leftovers. Food waste is becoming a bigger issue these days as we learn that some 40% of edible good food ends up in landfills. How can you minimize food waste?  EndFoodWasteNow has some great ideas.  Here are a few more:
  • Prepare only the amount of food you'll need.
  • Have your guests bring a along some containers so they can take leftovers home.
  • Have a leftover meal with friends over the weekend.
  • Make soups and freeze it for later in the winter.
  • Make soup stock from the turkey carcass and freeze.
  • There are some 7000 homeless living in DC and DC Central Kitchen, Martha's Table, Capital Area Foodbank, and Food & Friends are just some of the DC organizations providing meals for homeless everyday.  While they won't accept half a pie or turkey, they will accept unopened packages or cans. 
  • Leftover Swap is an app that allows you to post and seek leftover food though it seems to have a limited number of users at this point.
  • Post leftover offers on a local listserv or email among friends.
  • As a (next to) last resort, compost what you can. Check out CompostCab and FatWorm Compost for pickup services if you don't have a compost..or can't find a neighbor who does.
Want learn more about food waste and how it impacts people and the planet?  Check out Tristram Stuart's TED Talk.  Want to get involved in the Food Waste Movement?  Check out EndFoodWasteNow and the Food Recovery Network. GW, American and U. Maryland all have chapters. Follow   Get involved!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tis the Season - To PLANT THINGS

Now, before it gets too cold, is the ideal time to plant bulbs and even trees so they can settle in over the winter and come forth in all their glory in the Spring!  

In addition to daffodils and tulips, plant cloves of garlic so you'll have your own stash of scapes and bulbs ready to harvest in the summer. Just take a bulb apart, keeping the papery coating on each clove.  Soak in baking soda and seaweed for a couple of hours.  Right, seaweed.  I just plant mine about 2# deep, rooty side down.  Worried about squirrels?  Pick up some dried blood at your local garden/hardware store and sprinkle some around the bulbs.  The squirrels will never touch them.