Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest
Welcome to the July Newsletter. Lots of quick tips to get you thinking about the food you eat and grow.
This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow and use food wisely in just minutes. Dig in and help others by sharing these tips!
Clean out the Fridge Soup
In this quick video lesson, I share an easy way to use up small quantities of vegetables, herbs and spices in your fridge. I call it my ‘Clean out the Fridge’ Soup – a simple idea for using up leftovers! Recipe below – I hope you enjoy it.
Vegetable Leftovers Soup Recipe
How to Use Compost + 7 Benefits of Composting
Many of the problems gardeners have with their plants are caused because of poor soil. Plants are often ‘hungry’ or ‘thirsty’ and suffer ill health as a result! When you improve the quality of your soil, your plants automatically benefit.
Compost is one of the easiest ways to help you resolve these issues. In my latest article, I share 4 easy ways to use compost to grow healthier plants and boost the quality of your garden soil. Compost will help you save money on expensive fertilisers and reduce the amount of water you use too. That’s something to smile about. 🙂
I also give you 7 powerful reasons why composting should be on your gardening ‘to do’ list. CLICK HERE to read now.
Reduce Your Kitchen Waste
Think about how much food you eat in an average week. What happens to the food scraps? Like peelings, stalks, seeds, outer leaves, roots and inedible bits.
One option is to regrow more free food from some of the leftovers. Another is to feed to pets, chickens or your worm farm.
What about spoiled food in your fridge or pantry? I call them UFO’s (Unidentified Food Objects)! In your house, do these squishy or furry foods get binned or recycled to avoid waste? Old food may look a bit yucky, but these ‘science experiments’ as my husband calls them, are nature’s way of decomposing into nutrient-rich plant food. It’s just the lens you look through!
“When plants die, they’re recycled into basic elements [by the biota in the soil] and become a part of new plants. It’s a closed cycle. There is no bio-waste.” — Alice Friedemann
According to FoodWise foodwise.com.au in Australia, “Up to 40% of the average household bin is food.” Around 345kg or $1000 worth of food is thrown into landfill annually, producing harmful greenhouse gases. It’s pretty similar in other countries too. When binned, the water, fuel and resources it took to get the food from paddock to plate is also wasted. That’s a huge amount of organic matter ending up in garbage, that could be used to grow a healthy garden.
I hate waste. I try to see the embodied value in materials and look for sustainable options to repurpose and reuse whenever possible. Simple habits can make a difference.
3 Quick Ways to Preserve Food
One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to only buy what you need. Ideally, grow as many of your own foods as possible, so you only harvest what you want. Menu plan around fresh ingredients from your garden and use up food before buying more.
Check your fridge weekly. I have a drawer for salad ingredients, one for vegetables and another for fruit. I can quickly see what I have left and menu plan around them. Here are a few quick tips to store food rather than waste it:
1. Herbs: Collect any unused herbs and hang to dry. Or put on a tray in a low oven until crisp. Store your dried herbs in clean jars. This helps preserve the nutrients and flavour.
2. Vegetables: Chop any leftover vegetables and freeze. I use these as the base for my dog’s vegetable soup or to make my own vegetable stock.
3. Fruit: Not going to use up all your fruit? Try slicing leftover pears, apples, citrus and bananas thinly. Dry in your oven until they are like ‘fruit leather’. Enjoy as quick dried fruit snacks.
What are your tips for avoiding food waste? Share in the comments!
“The preservation of health is easier than the cure for disease.” – BJ Palmer
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Thanks for reading! Until next time, I encourage you to embrace dirty fingernails, muddy boots and the joys of growing your own.
I look forward to sharing more ways to grow good health soon.
Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener
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Ever since my sons went to a camp that practiced a no food waste policy, I have started implementing the practice here at home. It really is fascinating to see how little food waste you can create. Love your tips!
Thanks Anne, I love all these ideas for using up food. We have zero food waste in our bins. Anything not eaten by us or the chooks goes into the compost. I’m just about to use up orange peel by cutting off the pith, drying it and turning it into powdered zest! Yay for no food waste!
Good on you Jo! Thanks for sharing your inspiring example of living without food waste. I freeze my peels and add to herb teas, curries and when poaching fruit. It’s delicious and nutritious.