Reusing (rather than recycling) in the garden

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Soda bottle cloches
If you've read NPR's "How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled", then you've read this quote: "Here's the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can't be reused more than once or twice. On the other hand, new plastic is cheap. It's made from oil and gas, and it's almost always less expensive and of better quality to just start fresh. All of these problems have existed for decades, no matter what new recycling technology or expensive machinery has been developed. In all that time, less than 10 percent of plastic has ever been recycled. But the public has known little about these difficulties." and are now completely depressed.

In the garden I've been emphasizing the "reuse" portion of the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra, and it looks like we'll be emphasizing it a little more. Yogurt containers to hold seeds out in the garden, holes drilled in the bottom they become pots for veggie seedlings. Keeping the black seedling pots from the garden store, and reusing for the same purpose. Takeout trays collecting water from seedling pots, salad containers for transporting compost from source to destination. Soda liter bottle tops turned into cloches to protect young plants from early frosts. Milk jugs reconfigured for winter sowing. Lemon/Avocado netting bags for daffodil bulbs, dahlia tubers, onions and garlic. PVC pipe trimmings extended with connectors and put back to use in the garden...Heck, we even wash Ziploc bags and reuse them a few times (for non-garden purposes!).

Winter Sowing Seeds
Daffodil bulbs in a lemon bag Hyssop seed heads in a yogurt container

We don't call it the "trash garden" for nothing!

Hardening Off the Indoor Seedlings

It's not much, but if we all started truly reusing and reducing, then maybe we wouldn't have to fall for the ruse of recycling.

Peak Leaf Peeping

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Peak Leaf Peeping in the Garden

After spending the summer enjoying evening cocktails in the garden, I've now switched to morning tea. Too cold for mosquitoes, perfect for sitting on a bench in a lightweight down jacket with a mug of creamy earl grey, accompanied by a furry country dogge, of course.

Peak Leaf Peeping in the Garden

In the spring, I spent hours and hours sowing seeds of sanity into the garden, and it's nice to have yields through all the beautiful seasons. I'm thankful everyday that I can do my leaf peeping and people watching without ever leaving my yard.

Semi-success: Cream of Cabbage Soup

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Cream of Cabbage Soup
Back in March, I made the most Irish thing I've ever eaten: David Liebovitz' Cream of Cabbage Soup.

I really like cabbage. But this soup was...very cabbage-y. I halved the carraway seeds, and I would maybe put in a little bit less if I were to make the soup again. Which I probably won't. There's likely tastier things out there...

A bit of bacon and some flash frozen chives from the garden really do dress it up nicely, though.

Cream of Cabbage Soup

Success: Curry Roasted Green Beans

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Roasted Curry Green Beans

I made a double-batch of these curry roasted green beans from Food. Or at least I thought I did! I may've ended up with only 1lb of green beans from the garden, and then seasoned them as if they were 2lb. No matter, next time will be better, and this time wasn't half bad!

I did, however, drop the coconut from the recipe. Didn't have any on hand!

Success: Swiss Chard with Mustard Seeds

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Swiss Chard w Mustard Seeds

This Sauteed Swiss Chard with mustard seeds from SimplyRecipes is a reasonable way to use up some leftover chard stems from other recipes. Although, I swapped the 2Tbsp rice vinegar for 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. It came out fine. Not exciting, but fine.

Bright Lights Rainbow Swiss Chard Stems

Swiss Chard with Cannellini

Friday, October 2, 2020

Swiss Chard w Cannellini

Lots of Bright Lights Swiss Chard earlier in the garden season. What to do? I really like this Swiss Chard with Cannellini fromWilliams Sonoma, but I adapt to use fresh tomatoes and a random amount of carrots from the garden. Honestly, the quantity of Swiss Chard is sort of random, too, just whatever I feel like harvesting. Same for the tomatoes. How many is in one can? Does it matter if I use beefsteaks or paste tomatoes?! Doesn't seem to! This is a perfectly adaptable Swiss Chard Veggie Slop Recipe that is delicious, too.

Swiss Chard w Cannellini

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