Saturday, July 25, 2015

No Trash in the Garden

I woke up this morning and remembered that I had started some fresh green tomato relish last night. It was soaking in the fridge in a non reactive bowl. As I was cutting up the tomatoes yesterday for it I felt ashamed because I was using a plastic cutting board! Well that stops on payday. Our oldest son got married recently and for a gift we gave them a custom wood board that they love. I will be ordering one for our home soon so I can toss that plastic one.

We use raised beds in our garden that we make from cardboard, old leaves, small branches, animal waste and any soil we get from digging post holes or making paths and such. I firmly believe in the no till method. We also practice permaculture and do plant guilds.

Plant yields are out of this world because we don't walk on the soil which doesn't compress it. Weeds are almost non existent too because we mulch heavily using old horse hay. I feed all food to the chickens that I know they will eat and the rest gets composted right into the beds. Coffee grounds work great along with egg shells.

All that planning makes for a lot of produce so I can a lot. The relish that I started had to soak in salt water, then this morning I rinsed it well and added the onions and spices then put it on to boil. You want the moisture to boil out of it. Well a lot of it anyway.

A lot of my canning equipment is plastic or has plastic parts like my tomato mill. The hopper and pusher stick are all plastic and it has other parts that are too. I need to go on a hunt for items to change these out with that don't have any because I do use it a lot.

As the relish was cooking I decided to make myself a caprese salad and there was no trash or plastic in sight. The heirloom tomatoes, basil, cucumber (yes I had one so threw it in) all came right out of our garden this morning and the cheese came from a local farm. How do you garden? Raised beds, pots or in the ground?

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