At least not in the traditional sense. Instead we feed scraps, trimmings, cuttings, etc to our flock of ducks. Most things they demolish no problem. A few things they dont care about/ arent good for them. The big ones in our house are citrus peels and onion skins.
Since we dont have a compost pile, they dont really have a place to go. We have experimented leaving them in the woods across the street, and leaving them in the duck pen. Anybody have a better idea? Any chance those things might keep predators away if left in the right place?
Stacy Witscher wrote:I save onion skins and scraps for the stock pot. Granted they still get thrown away (or composted), but at least they get used.
Yes, me too. Any veg scraps that the chickens don't/can't eat go into a container in the freezer: this includes onion and garlic skins, rutabaga/potato/etc peelings, carrot ends--anything too hard or fibrous These, along with any bones we've collected (including the ones we cooked and chewed the meat off first, like pork chop bones) get saved up until I'm running low on stock.
The stock simmers for 2-3 days in the slow cooker until the bones crumble; I strain it and give all those solids to the chickens, where it disappears rapidly! They particularly like the soft bones, but seem to make short work of everything. I can't say if ducks will be as enthusiastic, but it couldn't hurt to try.
The strained stock goes into the freezer in convenient portion sizes, and is great in soups, stews, gravy, rice, and even just for boiling up some veg.
If for some reason I don't have any bones but am running low on frozen stock, I'll make a pot of veg stock. It only needs to cook about overnight (on the stovetop it would probably take an hour or less), and the result won't have the same body and richness, but is an acceptable substitute, particularly for cooking rice or other grains, or to make gravy.
Onion skins dye best on wools and silks (animal proteins) but also work on linen, hemp, rami and cottons.
It's a great one for kids to try and one of very few 'kitchen leftover' dyes that is actually color fast.
It's one of my favorites and even when I'm not actively dyeing I save them for other dyers.
And they definitely add a nice color to a soup stock as others have mentioned.
If you store them for dye, store only the dry parts and there ill be no onion smell at all.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
You don't need to actively compost by turning your pile regularly. You can create a passive pile and do lazy composting. I have a couple of places in the garden where I just toss stuff like citrus peels or veggie vines and let them molder away for six months.
If you want it to look a little bit neater, then tie 4 palates together with some old rope and situate your lazy-man's compost bin in a forgotten corner where it will not bother you to look at. I usually put down a thick layer of wood chips below (like, a foot or more) so that any stinky runny stuff that emerges from the passive pile will be absorbed by the chips. Then I basically ignore it unless I'm dumping something onto the pile. It breaks down slowly.
In the fall, when I've got all the vines from the garden (tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumbers, zuchini, etc.), I just pile that stuff into the passive bin and leave it for the winter.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
For citrus peels, you can make candied peel. Requires some boiling, then simmer in a concentrated sugar syrup and dehydrate. Add to baked goods. If you have a lot, you might know bakers who would appreciate this as a gift.
Some people remove more of the pith and process long strips which they then dip in chocolate to make candies.