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Life without Plastic

Friday, May 20, 2016

Humans Down to Compost, Zero Waste Circle of Life

We went to a community plant sale last weekend, but it wasn't advertised as cash or check only...so we ended up not buying anything. Word to the wise (from the foolish/tired), always carry cash when working with local farmer's markets, plant sales, or any community organized event. They often don't take cards and you may end up missing out on smaller vendors.

The red potatoes and sweet potatoes are growing roots and should be ready to plant soon. I'm now trying to grow some yellow onions from organic root half/bottoms I cut off for a recipe. The onions are just starting to develop roots. Normally these are discarded, but in the name of frugality and zero waste, I'm trying to regrow anything we eat that can be easily regrown. Here is the progress:
Spending some time with my local grandparents this week and using their computer for work training for Mr. Greenie, provided some nice time away from the house. My grandmother also offered to let us borrow her food dehydrator for the season, which is great since we can't afford the solar oven/dehydrator combo for this year and she won't need it until Fall. She's an awesome thrift shopper and will be on the lookout for a used one for us.

Our water bath canner came the other day and was only in cardboard with some tape to close it. I found a used Presto pressure canner for free, but can't seem to get it open. The givers didn't know much about it and seem to have sealed it closed by putting the lid on wrong after showing the inside to me. One of the handles is broken from trying to open it (it was already cracked) and will need to be replaced. Hoping I will find someone who knows more about canning and can help direct me on fixing/opening it.
Water Bath Canner:
Pressure Canner:

I made some rose water in my water bath canner as a distiller and strained my vanilla extract after about 6 weeks of waiting. (See Recipes page on how to make rosewater and vanilla extract) I also started some more vanilla extract and some mint extract using the vanilla extract recipe and crushed fresh mint leaves.
I've been enjoying harvesting and drying herbs and will be probably finish up with everything but mint, chamomile, and red raspberry leaf which I will be harvesting over the next several weeks.
All from Our Garden, Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Reused Glass Jars:
The dill is so prolific that I will have to keep pulling it up and feeding it to the chicks. They are thrilled to eat anything, including weeds, which makes them a perfect compliment to a zero waste homestead! In our house the people get food first; dog gets crumbs, spills, dog food, and bones from beef bone broth; guinea pig and chicks get squishy produce, weeds, and pellet foods; worms get produce that's too bad for guinea pig, and compost pile gets the rest.

Here's to Zero Waste Living!
Little Urban Greenie

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