So in the picture above, you see what I threw away this week:
- pork bones and other remnants
- chicken broth
- summer squash
I should have put the pork bones in the freezer to save them until I had a chance to make broth, but no. I left them in the fridge like a dum-dum, and there they sat for 2 weeks or more, waiting in vain for me to broth-ify them. *sigh*
Then there was the broth (made with chicken bones that I did put in the freezer once upon a time) that got shoved to the back of the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which spells certain death in the perishable food world. I have no idea how old it is, so I say better safe than sorry.
And finally, the saddest tale of all, the beautiful little summer squashes that I bought at the farmers market 2 weeks ago. I just forgot about them, can you believe it? By the time I realized they were too far gone, I couldn’t really face it, so I left them in the fridge a few more days. Ahem. So the next week, when I bought squash at the farmers’ market, I took it home and shredded it and put it in the freezer. No more rotting squash for me!
The good thing is that I am learning! Over the past month since the farmers’ market opened up, I’ve realized a few important habits I needed to develop in order to make the most of the fresh local produce I bring home every week.
Here’s what to do with the random fruits and veggies you pick up at the farmers’ market or in your CSA box before they end up in the compost pin or the trash disposal.
- Make a plan. If you just wing it – which is what I like to do – it ain’t gonna happen. You’re going to end up with spoiled produce every time. Incorporate your fresh fruits and veggies into your menu plan instead of just assuming you will eat them at some point.
- First eat the produce that deteriorates more quickly. Berries and green beans are right up there on this list! When you make your menu plan, incorporate these short-lived fruits and veggies into the earlier days so they at least have a fighting chance.
- Freeze what you won’t eat before it goes bad. Almost any fruit or vegetable can be frozen, and it’s super easy, too. Most veggies benefit from some blanching or parboiling before freezing, but most fruits can be frozen as is.
- Store the produce properly. When stored properly, many fruits and vegetables will last longer than you might think. I stumbled across a fabulous blog post that shows you how to store almost any kind of produce.
- Invest in special produce storage containers. I really love the Tupperware Fridge Smart System, but others swear by the Debbie Meyer Green Bags. My Fridge Smart containers really do a fabulous job of extending the life of my produce.
Find more inspiring and informative posts at Make Your Own Monday, Motivational Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, The Bulletin Board, Better Mom Monday, Natural Living Monday, Trivium Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Teach Me Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Titus 2 Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Open Call Tuesday, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Encourage One Another, Thought Provoking Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Homemaking Link Up, Keep it Real Thursday, Frugal Thursday Rewind, Your Green Resource, Homeschooling on the Cheap, Thrifty Thursday, Fellowship Friday, Fight Back Friday, I'm Lovin' It, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Weekend Whatever, Snacktime Saturday