Pouring blended waste directly on growing vegetables

 

TheGardenLady received this question from Oliver at Lloyd’s Landscaping:

Is it safe to pour blended food waste (vegetable leftovers, bones) directly on growing vegetables?

Gardening friends have bought used blenders at garage sales just to blend their kitchen waste to use in their compost bins. It speeds up some of the process of composting. But they never, never chop up bones of animals. And you should never use bones on your vegetable beds. Bones, meat or fat can attract unwanted pests like rats or insects.

To answer your question about safely putting blended vegetable food waste directly on your vegetables. It is safe. But why do it? It might look unsightly if enough of the mushy vegetables are on the ground. And if you live in a city or town, neighbors might complain. And the odors given off as the vegetables decompose might entice some unwanted animals to your garden.

Why not start a compost pile or bin so that the food waste is out of sight until it has decomposed into beautiful friable soil that will look good in your vegetable garden. There will be no chance of odor to attract animals or insects to a compost pile or bin if the composting is done correctly.

If the reason you want to pour your waste directly onto your vegetable garden is because you have a small space and you worry that you have no room for a compost pile or bin, know that there are bins for all spaces large or small. See here.

And if you have lots of vegetable scraps, why don’t you consider a step that could come before putting them in the blender for your garden. Why don’t you use the vegetable scraps to make a vegetable broth for yourself first. People don’t realize how easy it is to make a vegetable broth that can be the basis of soups or other foods. Wash your produce before you start saving the scraps. Freeze them if you don’t have enough vegetable scraps to start your broth. Some of the vegetable scraps you can use for your broth are:

  • mushroom scraps
  • leftover water from boiling potatoes or other vegetables
  • ends of carrots or carrot peelings
  • celery leaves
  • stems from parsley
  • you can even use potato peels

I then add more mushrooms and onions that I like to brown in oil. You don’t have to use oil or even brown these two veggies. Then I add any scraps I have collected and vegetable cooking waters that I have saved and add water to cover the vegetables to about 1 in of the water higher than the scraps. I use salt and pepper and herbs – use any herbs of your choice though I like a bay leaf. Bring the water in the pan to a boil and simmer for about a half hour. Voila you have vegetable broth either to be used immediately to make some vegetable soup-you can strain these cooked vegetables out and just use the broth and add fresh vegetables of choice to make the soup. The last soup I made I did not strain but added a clove of garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, some canned corn and fresh spinach leaves. My vegetarian daughter-in-law said it was yummy. (in a 4 cup pan, I had about 1 inch of scraps and about 3 c. of vegetable cooking waters plus water which created about 3 c. of broth that I used to make both a vegan vegetable curry AND the vegan vegetable soup.) Or if you prefer, you can blend the vegetables to make a cream type soup and add milk or cream or almond milk if you like (after you had removed the bay leaf). If you do not want to make a soup out of the broth, you can freeze the strained broth for later use or use the flavorful broth for savory dishes that call for water. Try cooking your rice or quinoa in broth instead of plain water.

The cooked-out vegetables in the broth, if you are not using it as a soup or a creamed soup, can NOW be strained out and blended and thrown in your compost bin. You have just made those vegetable wastes go the extra mile. And saved even more money.

Back to composting. Here is how to do it and things that can be composted. Breaking down the food wastes will accelerate the compost “cooking.” Read

this

and

this

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