by Coastal Roots Farm
Did you know roughly 40% of food nationwide ends up in the landfill? This is a major gap in our food system, especially as food insecurity is on the rise. Hive member Coastal Roots Farm does their part to divert waste from the landfill through their compost operation and reduce hunger through their Organic Food Distribution program reaching marginalized members of the community. Since their inception in 2014, they have diverted nearly 4 million pounds of waste from the landfill and fed more than 150,000 people.
Today, as a special feature in our Tips from the Hive series, Coastal Roots Farm shares their Garden Tip Tuesday to show YOU how you can get involved with waste diversion by bee-ing resourceful with your fresh produce!
Here are some of the highlights:
- Root Veggies:
- Root veggies such as turnips or carrots come with greens attached to it. Post-Harvest and Distribution Coordinator Garth recommends cutting the greens from the roots and either wrapping them in a damp paper towel and putting into a crisper drawer to maintain freshness for a few days or placing greens stem-down in a mason jar of water (they also make cute home decor items while waiting to be eaten)! The roots themselves can be stored for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
- Pro-tip from Education Coordinator Megan: submerge carrots in water to make them last longer, but don’t shove them in too tightly or else they can get stuck!
- Note! Some people love using carrot greens in their pesto, but others can have a minor allergic response.
- Greens: Hearty Greens such as kale or chard can be wrapped with a paper towel and put into a mesh produce bag in the crisper drawer to maintain freshness up to a week. You can use the jar method if you’re only going to hold them for a few days. Tender Greens like lettuce especially need to be refrigerated and wrapped in a damp paper towel in order to maintain freshness and crunch!
- Pro Tip: If you don’t have a crisper drawer in your fridge, line the bottom of a glass container with paper towel and place the green, stem side up, with the lid on top and place in the fridge for make-shift crisper!
- Fruit Veggies: Think Cucumbers (or “cuucs,” as Garth calls them!). These can go straight into the refrigerators crisper drawer to maintain freshness up to a week. If you’ve cut open your fruit veggie, you can wrap it with plastic to extend the life. Don’t be afraid to reuse your sandwich bags for them too!
- Summer Squash and Nightshades: Leave these on the counter for a few days in a cool visible space and away from sunlight or toss it in the refrigerator to extend life for a few days.
- Pro Tip: Place these in a colorful cornucopia for decoration as you wait to eat them!
If you want to see their tips in action, you can watch the video here!