It’s less than a week until this year’s Think.Eat.Save. event will be held in Martin Place, Sydney (and many other locations around Australia). A UN initiative and run in Australia by OzHarvest Think.Eat.Save. asks us to think about food waste by making lunch for 5000 people from food that would otherwise have been thrown out.
Last year we created a milk crate garden for the event from plants raised by seed that would have otherwise been thrown out. This year it’s pots & pallets.
So what about food waste and the garden?
Well the first point has to be compost. Food scraps should not be going in your general waste bin. The best way to convert food waste into a valuable commodity is via the compost bin. Composting doesn’t have to be hard. There can be a lot of rules about composting but basically you need to put your food scapes in and then cover it with a good layer of torn newspaper or grass clippings or dry leaves or even spent potting mix, anything that’s going to keep the flies down. You make sure it’s not too wet or too dry, give it a stir if you wish or just let it be.
If you don’t want a compost or don’t have room for one there are a lot of other options. Community gardens and school gardens will often take organic waste from local community members. You could get a worm farm (keep in mind they only consume about a handful of food scraps a day) or bokashi bin. You can even dig a big hole and bury it in the back yard.
Other ideas to reduce food waste with your garden:
Grow your own herbs so you’re only picking what you need when you need it instead of buying a bunch and only using half.
Grow leaf lettuces and other leafy greens. Only pick the leaves of these as you need them rather than picking the whole plant. The plant keeps growing and you keep getting more when you need them. Ditto for spring onions – leave the roots in the ground and you can be cutting these for years.
Plant sprouting potatoes, onions (for the tops), garlic and pineapple tops (patience required if you’re hoping for a pineapple).
Share. If you grow too much for your own use, share it around. I’ve never had anyone refuse the offer of something home grown and freshly picked!