Learning to Love the Scraps

Gardener:Northland Backyard Gardener

Date:04 Sep 2023

Blog Type:Vegetables

Often you stumble across something and it strikes a chord with you, and that certainly has been the case for me recently. Like a seed starting to germinate, the roots have taken hold, and over the past year I have started to question a few things on how I do things like can I grow tomatoes in winter? What else could I grow? What do I need to do to make it work? And it hasn’t stopped there. It has broadened to include food wastage. 

I will admit, I am a pretty frugal chef as I was brought up that way. My nana, who was an amazing cook was also born in England, and like many of that area who went through wars and the depression, she could make a meal out of nothing, and nothing went to waste. Inevitably, my mother learned from her, and then down to myself. While in my teenage years I was oblivious to those skills that were being past down, I am now eternally grateful.

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a “love food hate waste workshop’ via school. As the seed was already sown, and my interested was already sparked, my primary goal was learning to use up more of the plants that we tend to toss in the compost/chuck to the chooks. I will admit – I am notorious for that. Not as bad as hubby though, and there is so much that we could actually turn into meals with just a bit more knowledge and knowhow. And that is where my goal lies at the moment. Coincidentally, this is how I discovered that you can grow kumara slips for the tips of the original plants. After a less than productive kumara patch last summer, I googled ‘can I eat the leaves’. And as they say, the rest is history, or history in the making. 

As our broccoli and cauli grow, we are now have an abundance of recipes in the wait in order to use up the stems and the leaves. The obvious is stirfries which we do at times, but we also have broccoli leaf fritters, and pesto planned for this week. I’ve also found a soup that looks really appealing. And in regards to potatoes - on those rare occasions where we actually peel the potatoes – a quick coating of olive oil, a dash of salt, and into the air frier for some quick snacks. That later one was a case of ‘seriously, why haven’t I done that before – it makes so much sense’. 

Once this Romanesco Brocolli is harvested for tomorrow's dinner, it's leaves will be the next on the menu.

Learning to Love the Scraps