August Third

Do worms eat your garbage?  Do chickens?  Do pigs?  Do your dogs or your cats?  Where do your beet tops and onion roots and cabbage centers and basil stems all go?  Is it called 'garbage' in your home?

We're a little uuber-weird about recycling on the farm.  Our "garbage" falls under at least 3 different categories.  We have burnables (all paper products of any kind that are burned in our stove), recycleables (your classic tin, glass, plastics and so forth), and our food scraps, or what we like to call "compost".  The remainder of our "trash" is usually packaging materials that things we buy come in that are not either burnable, recycleable or edible to a pig or chicken.  Our biodegradable waste is all fed to our pigs at present.  Has anyone ever told you that pigs will eat anything?  They will!  Sour milk, tea bags, bananna peels, nut shells and more!  I would recommend that you all get your own personal pig for your back-yard, but I do realize that this isn't truly practical.  

I do often wonder, however, what I might do if I were you: a concious urban dweller with nearby neighbors that might get cranky at the idea of pigs, chickens or neglected and stinky compost piles in your back yard.  If you're anything like our family and the amount of honest waste that you produce weighs heavily on your mind with a guilty concience, you're wondering what you can do to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.  I'm not going to pretend to have the solution for you today or to announce that we'll be offering a "How-To on Backyard Compost Piles" workshop.  I'm merely hoping to bring the issue to your conscious mind so that you're at least aware that the food scraps that you scrape off the edge of your cutting board are actually considered nutrient-dense organic matter to a farmer.  Those stems and leaves and un-used peels that you wrap up in your plastic garbage bags and send off to the land-fill are really valuable soil-food to a farmer or a tasty treat to an egg-laying hen.  

I know that in Dubuque, Iowa, where I was born and raised, now collects city "compost" like they collect city recyclables.  Madison, Wisconsin permits up to 4 laying hens per household to be kept in the backyard of city-dwellers.  UWL in La Crosse, WI now has a large Vermi-composting bin (red wiggler worms) that eat all the waste from their school cafeteria.  We like to buy local food.  But what about recycling our waste locally as well and using it as plant and animal food rather than shipping it off to the landfill?  The ball is rolling and folks are thinking about it.  Today one of our CSA members who packs CSA boxes with us on packing night was telling me that he wants to get rabbits to feed his compost to because rabbits are supposed to be one of the best animals at converting forage and compost into meat.  One of our La Crosse members has shared some of her personal stash of red-wiggler worms with us that she uses to digest her food scraps.  

To have an interest in composting usually means you have an interest in using finished compost.  Not all of us are gardeners, domestic-houseplant tenders, or livestock farmers-I know this.   But perhaps is it wise of us to consider where our waste goes and to think about what we can do to reduce the "garbage" in our lives.  If you have an easy, fun or insightful solution to this 'problem' we all share of forwarding waste outside of our homes, please share with me.  I'm interested to know.  In the mean time, I highly suggest that you take a minute to watch this cute film called The story of Stuff by Annie Leonard.  Also check out the short and widely popular Worms Eat by Garbage by Mary Appelhof.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Carrots- Finally the carrots have arrived!  

Green Beans-  Plenty of hours spent on our knees bent over the the bean patch.  More green beans to come!

Cucumbers-  Cucumber production seems to be waning already.  We're having a tough time with the cucumber beetles this year.  Some of the long and skinny asian cukes have very blemished skins, but their flavor is wonderful on the inside.  Feel free to peel your cukes before you eat them!  

Summer squash, zucchini and patty pans-  More soft summer squashes where those came from!

Hungarian Hot Wax pepper or small yellow pepper-  We tried to get a Hungarian Hot Wax for everyone which is a very mild hot pepper (like a banana pepper), but some folks got little lime-green peppers that are an under-ripe gypsy red pepper variety.  

Green Onions-  It won't be long until we're sending you the real deal!  

Curly Green Kale-  More cooking greens to fill your quiches, stir fries and soup pots.  

Lettuce-  The last lettuce week for a while!  Enjoy it while it lasts!

Cilantro-  The cilantro patch wasn't looking the best, but we got in there and salvaged what we could.  We were about 10 bunches short of giving everyone cilantro and a few folks got basil bunches.  Don't refrigerate your basil or it will turn black!  

Next Weeks Guess:  Beets, Green Cabbage, Green Onions, Summer Squash, Zucchini and Patty Pans, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Basil, Pepper, Garlic


Cold Cucumber Soup

Kale Chips

Zucchini Lasagna