Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Waste Not

Since I switched to sweet cob from that old lactating goat chow, all the girls are gobbling their breakfast and licking the bowl clean and the mice leave nothing, either.  As a post-depression era and then WWII child, I was raised hearing the idiom "Waste not, want not," and seeing food left uneaten or dumped on the ground hurt my soul as well as my wallet.  Thinking these thoughts while listening to the goats crunch their cereal, my mind went freewheeling (again).

Every household had a button box to hold buttons cut from clothing that had finally given up the ghost after having been outgrown and passed on to the next smallest (and the next), or had frayed cuffs and collar turned, or the hem let down.  Even then, still usable material was cut into strips and braided into rag rugs.  When next to nothing was left, clothing became dust rags.  And those buttons?  Why, they were sewn on to new creations made by housewives from scratch.  I grew up hearing the sound of my mother's sewing machine.  I still have her button box and can remember specific dresses and such just from seeing the buttons.

In a recent conversation with my son Pete, he mentioned remembering the two cans always under the kitchen sink, one for disposable grease and one for the bacon fat that gave flavor to so many dishes.  There were times in my mother's childhood when bacon fat (in essence, lard) was smeared on bread because there was no butter.  There are still grease cans under my sink because, with a septic tank, one simply does not pour grease down the drain.

Camille frequently asks the produce manager for trimmings and unsold, semi-spoiled fruit and vegetables for the chickens.  For awhile, the store's policy forbade giving it away and instead put it all in their dumpster, and what a waste that was.  The chickens happily overlook a bit of mold and gorge on lettuce trimmings, etc.  When there is enough to share, my hens dine well, too.

I recently found to my dismay that the closest recycling center had closed.  In this disposable society, there is so much that is going into landfills that could be reused, and the land, as well.  What a waste.  What a shame.

1 comment:

Emmy Abrahams said...

Here too, where I live...all waste and garbage goes not separated into same bin...and then , somewhere, people are paid to assort it,
I have never lived in a place where it all goes in together before...what a shame....
Having lived on a farm years back..there is no garbage as such...always an animal or a special can to get it.
In Nepal, a friend told me, there is no word for garbage.