Food Wastes by Barb Boyce

We waste a lot of food each year. According to an article in the NY Times 2-25-15, “60 million tons of food is wasted a year in the US, with an estimated value of $162 Billion. About 32 metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills, at a cost of about $1.5 billion a year to local governments.” “Food waste is not only a social cost, but it contributes to growing environmental problems like climate change, experts say, with the production of food consuming vast quantities of water, fertilizer, and land. The fuel that is burned to process, refrigerate and transport it also adds to the environmental cost. Most food waste is thrown away in landfills,, where it decomposes and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”

According to government figure, an estimated 40% of all edible food in the US is wasted at a cost of $165 billion a year. This is from farm to fork, all segments of the food chain.

Percentage of food waste by average American (from Natural Resources Defense Council):

·       33% meats

·       25% seafood

·       20% vegetables

·       18% grains

·       17% dairy products

·       15% fruits

Remember the three R’s: recycle, reuse, and reduce when it comes to food waste. Recycle by using compost; reuse black bananas into banana bread or smoothies; reduce the amount you make or purchase. We need to prevent food waste as well as find better ways to deal with it.

According to USDA: FOOD:

1.     Buy it with thought

2.     Cook it with careimages-1

3.     Use less wheat and meat

4.     Buy local foods

5.     Serve just enough

6.     Use what is left; don’t waste it images

Sustaining the Gardner by Pat Boyd

This is the first report of the sustainability series initiated by the Countryside Garden Club. Each of our members will participate in reporting a subject of their choice.

Need to sustain the species responsible for the care of our landscapes.

  • Use deciduous trees on south side of our home to creScreen Shot 2013-11-08 at 6.24.29 AMate summer shade and evergreens on north side to stop winter winds.
  • Water efficiently – use soaker hose or drip irrigation – water directly to root zone preferably in the morning – avoid sprinklers – water infrequently but deeply to encourage deep roots.
  • Group plants with similar water needs.
  • Reduce storm water runoff by using rain barrels and/or rain gardens.
  • Stabilize stream banks or pond edges using water-loving plants that reduce soil erosion.
  • Stabilize slopes with ground covers.
  • Reduce or eliminate lawns!!!
  • Minimize the use of impervious surfaces so rainwater can be filtered before reaching storm water system.
  • Choose drought-tolerant plants, except in wet spots.
  • Weed regularly – because weeds compete for water with the plants we want.
  • Let lawns go dormant in summer.
  • Mulch.
  • Compost.
  • Adopt low maintenance techniques such as:
    • Relying on trees and shrubs
    • Planting in sweeps and masses
    • Use simple curves around landscape beds
  • As sustained gardner, we increase local plant and animal diversity while creating the air and filtering water– so gardening benefits the environment more than we may have thought!!