What kind of eco-friendly, homesteading type of person doesn't compost their kitchen scraps????
Now before Tom falls over from the mere thought of losing all that potential worm-food, let me say that it does not go in the garbage. It just doesn't go into making compost for the gardens. And although I'd just love to have more items to add to the compost heap as that pile is one of only two main ways we obtain dirt around here (click here to see the other way), those kitchen trimmings never make it to the pile.
We have chickens. And chickens need to eat. And chicken feed prices are continuing their upward climb. Although the chickens get to free range the entire day and gobble up all sorts of free greens, bugs and the occasional mouse, they still need additional feed. They get store bought grains / scratch, but I try to supplement those pricey bags of feed with food from our kitchen waste.
I'm sure that just like we have, any of you that own chickens have the obligatory "Chicken Bucket" on your counter top or under the sink. But when I first started my chicken bucket, I left out the citrus and banana peels, melon rinds and other items too chunky for the chooks to pick at or eat. I even left out the eggshells because I was afraid that they would take to the ever-dreaded habit of eating their eggs.
Then I re-discovered one of the awesome capabilities of my blender; blending stuff! Duh!
All those tough banana or citrus peels? Cut it into a few pieces then toss into the blender. Melon rinds? Pop 'em in! Hard cores from the cabbages? A couple chops with the knife and in with the rest of the stuff. I've even made smoothies (for the chickens!) using acorns and pressure cooked leftovers from making chicken soup, bones and all!
I start out with liquids first, like whey, old milk or even just water. Then all those chunks go in and the chickens end up with a nutritious Extreme Chicken Smoothie for lunch! One recent chicken blender concoction consisted of syrup from canned peaches and pears, orange peels, banana peels, yogurt (found in a cup under the table.....wonder how old that was??), some old chocolate syrup and a bunch of goat cheese that got lost in the back of the fridge. The blender made quick work of those normally tough peels and I have to admit that the smell was quite delightful.
|Today's Chicken Smoothie Du Jour:|
Eggshells, butternut squash, banana peels and orange peels.
The compost heap will have to be content with just the wasted animal bedding, leaves and occasional grass clippings because if it's food, it's going to end up becoming a smoothie for the chickens.