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  • Brianna Maxwell

Food & Garden Prep for Fall

Preparation is important during seasonal transitions. In this post, Brianna shares low waste tips on growing and storing food during the fall.

Over the past few months, I've been watching a lot of homesteading videos on Youtube and I have been in awe of how much food can be produced and stored by a single person on a small plot of land. I don't have the capacity to do that in my small apartment (and balcony) yet, but I have been inspired to explore more ways of growing and storing food in the space I have in a low waste way.


On my balcony...

I've been growing herbs, green onions, and tomatoes which have provided us with lovely fresh herbs over the past few months. As the growing session winds down, I'm losing hope for my tomatoes, but I am starting to collect more and more of the herbs to dry and freeze so we can use them over the winter months. Next year I'm planning to focus my efforts on growing more herbs in a smaller area so we can get even more out of the space we have.


I also have a small composter on my balcony (read about it here) which I made with some of our kitchen scraps and it's looking like I'll be able to add that material into my pots at the end of the season! As I mentioned before, composting is a great way of reducing your food waste and adding more nutrients to your garden (however small it might be).


In the kitchen...

I've been making more food and using less plastic. Here's a snapshot of what I've been working on recently:

  • Lentil wraps: since I saw found out it's possible to make lentil wraps, I've been trying to find a way of making these wraps using dried red lentils. I finally succeeded with this recipe, and the results were oh so good. Now I just need to figure out if I can freeze them so they're ready to use whenever (and so they can hopefully replace the store-bought ones!)

  • Yogurt: we go through a fair bit of yogurt in my house and after comparing the cost of yogurt to milk (its the raw ingredient which- no surprise- is much cheaper of the two), I decided to try my hand at making yogurt in my slow cooker using this recipe. It was surprisingly easy and the results were delicious, low waste and cheaper than store-bought. I'll definitely be trying this experiment again!

  • Bread: I've been making bread off and on for the past 4 years or so, but only recently have started baking it weekly (or biweekly) for the family. I use this book a lot, but I also liking making unique breads with ingredients on hand (such as the whey from my yogurt!). What a delicious and nutritious way of using up extra ingredients.

  • Canning: believe it or not, this is actually a new one for me! I've helped some people with their canning before, but I've never tried to can myself. We decided to make dill pickles using fresh local cucumbers, dill and garlic, and I also made a jar of quick-pickled jalapeños as an experiment. We have to wait a few more weeks on the pickles, but the quick-pickled jalapeños turned out nicely! I'm already planning on what to can next year.

Finding ways of reducing our single-use plastic through our food has been an ongoing passion project for me. Now that I have the time to go these things and get a better sense of how easy they are, my goal is to keep it up and in doing so reduce the amount of plastic we're using day-to-day. I hope this snapshot of my current projects will encourage you to explore what you can do with the time, space and resources (like food) around you.

Brianna is a community planner who is passionate about sustainability and living a low waste lifestyle. Since 2017, Brianna has been striving to live a "zero" waste lifestyle while being a full-time student and now a working professional. From making her own personal care products to rejecting disposables and finding creative new uses for items past their prime, Brianna has been actively searching for sustainable ways to reduce her waste long term. She is excited to learn from and share her diverse knowledge with the Network to help others continue their low waste journey.

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