Our Modern Society Throws Away Too Much So…
Recycle That Waste!
What do you do with the throw-away parts when you slice, dice, and prepare your foodstuffs? If they end up in the garbage disposal (not recommended) or the trash can, you may want to rethink this practice and salvage them for use elsewhere.
You can recycle that waste because, many of the peelings, leaves, cores, seeds, and stems can be used to extend your food supply. At a minimum, these “throw aways” are great candidates for your compost pile…or evenly distributed throughout your garden…because, they will decompose and add additional nutrients to the soil.
NOTE: Any diseased plants should be burned or placed in a trash bag for disposal. Scattering them in the garden or dispersal in a compost pile will spread the diseases…infecting future plants!
Why Not Reuse Unwanted Foodstuff Parts When Possible?
I have put together a wide-ranging list that will give you insight into how useful peelings, leaves, cores, seeds, and stems of vegetables, fruits, and herbs can be. My goal in creating this informative listing is to influence your “throw-it-away” mentality and make you realize that you don’t really have as much “actual” garbage as you think you do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see that you can constructively utilize more of your organic waste than you think!
Other Good Candidates For Reprocessing
In addition to the group of vegetables, fruits, and herbs discussed here, there are other items, normally tossed out as garbage, which can be salvaged for adding nutrients to your garden or compost pile.
Lack of calcium can cause blossom-end rot in tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini, yellow squash, and a host of other veggies and fruits growing in your garden. Eggshells are an enormous source of calcium.
I love eggs…fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, scrambled, omelets, etc…and I always grind up the eggshells for reuse.
I will either deposit crushed eggshells directly into my garden around specific plants or dump them into my compost pile!
NOTE: Rinse the eggshells to remove any egg juices. The juices of egg whites and yellows fall into a no-no category because they will produce anaerobic bacteria…which are the wrong kind. I crush up the eggshells with a blender and a little water so that they will decompose faster and more completely.
- Sprinkling eggshell pieces around the garden will not only add much needed calcium to the soil, the sharp edges act as a barbed-wire fence to crawling garden pests like slugs and snails.
- Putting crushed eggshells into a compost pile will add a “calcium supercharge.”
- For chickens, you can substitute crushed eggshells as a replacement for oyster shell supplements…and they will love you for it.
- Grind eggshells into a powder and give salads or other food preparations a calcium boost. Some pet owners have successfully used the powder to treat their dog’s diarrhea!
- I have even used eggshell bits to help scrub food off a hard-to-clean pan!
Coffee grounds should never go down the kitchen drain…even through a garbage disposal. Mixing with soaps and fats in the drain pipe, the grounds can quickly plug the drain. And, coffee grounds should never be trashed unless they are decaffeinated! Grounds containing caffeine are an excellent addition to sprinkle around plants or enhance a compost pile. The grounds will help draw more flavor and nutrients into the fruits of plants in a backyard garden.
Make the most of used coffee grounds. They will:
- Contribute nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus to the soil.
- Act as pest repellent for ants, slugs and snails.
- Attract more useful worms to your garden or compost pile.
- Remove the dead cell surface layer and encourage blood circulation of your skin. This is really beneficial for sufferers of acne and cellulite.
- Soak up onion and garlic smells from your hands. Coffee grounds also work in place of baking soda to remove smells from my refrigerator. Throw a few tablespoons of into an ash tray to reduce stale smoke stench.
- Reduce slipperiness and speed up ice melting on an ice covered sidewalk or driveway.
Tea grounds also contain a moderate amount of caffeine so, these grounds can add to the health and well-being of both you and your garden plants…almost as much as coffee.
- Create weak tea by boiling used tea bags in a big bucket of water. Cool it…then use the liquid for watering plants. Sprinkle the tea leaves around plants. This will not only fertilize the soil and help protect plants from fungus diseases, it will discourage mice.
- Throw old tea bags into the compost pile. NOTE: Metal staples do not decompose. Remove them!
- Just like coffee grounds, dry tea leaves will absorb nasty odors from refrigerators, litter boxes, trash cans, and any other items that may potentially reek of nose twisting scents!
- Wet tea bags can draw the venom out of insect bites and stings. They are also a help to reduce swelling, cool sunburn, minimize pain, and remove infection…to aid in healing.
Caution – It is not wise to add Meat, fat, and bone to your garden or compost pile! Do not add beef, chicken, or fish! If you do this, it will introduce the wrong kind of bacteria…anaerobic. And, adding animal products will attract a host of uninvited guests including raccoons…and mice, which will bring in snakes (lovers of mice as their primary food source).
And, Then…There Is Jed…
My neighbor Jed stopped by to see my garden the other day. Jed was a retired farmer and he always seemed to have a new and fresh story about his many years on the farm.
On his farm, he had cows, horses, mules, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, and bulls, along with fields of corn and wheat.
On this occasion, he recounted the time a tornado came through and demolished his farmstead.
He said that he was able to get his family into the storm cellar just before the tornado struck. The twister seemed to last forever. But, when it was over, he peeked out and saw that both the farm house and the barn were completely destroyed.
Jed then checked on his farm animals and saw that the cows, horses, mules, chickens, sheep, goats, and pigs were all lying flat out on the ground…not moving. Sadly, he realized that they had not survived the terrible storm.
Then, Jed looked on the other side of the barn and saw that all of his bulls were still standing which completely amazed him!
He walked over to them and asked how they were able to remain standing when all the other animals had fallen to the ground?”
The bulls replied, “We bulls wobble…but, we don’t fall down!”
If you’re interested, you can search this website for more of Jed’s stories…
After learning more about recycling your garbage, are you ready to recycle that waste? What do you think about recycling eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags into your garden or compost pile? Let me know in the comments below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.