So I managed to run into someone who worked as a building manager for an assisted living facility. Every week they get a food truck, packed with veggies. And every week, since they don’t finish them, they throw them away.
Sometimes the building tries to donate the food to churches and the like, but only if someone comes to pick it up. Ultimately, since all these organizations are non-profits nobody wants to fund picking it up or dropping it off so it gets tossed. It’s “cheaper” that way. Also unfortunately this girl I met has no real food processing equipment at all. She takes home what she can and uses it but we’re talking a quarter ton of food ever month, there’s only so much one familly can do to cut through that. Lucky us we managed to meet up. She brought me what must be 100lbs of food and she said that wasn’t even all of it. It’s all a little older, but in there was some 50lbs of potatoes, 20lbs of carrots, 10lbs of onions, and a big box of some 25lbs of apples and pears. (Mostly apples.)
Now, while the apples were starting to go questionable on me and I have a lot of experience doing Things With Apples (especially old ones), I have NO idea what to do with 50lbs of potatoes. I sure as all heck won’t be using them all before they go bad! I go through some mere 15lbs every few months!
I managed to turn the majority of the apples into Apple Butter, something I got practiced at after doing a Pick Your Own Apples thing with my familly last year and something I used to do as a kid at this amish farm. So now I have four pints of apple butter cooling on my shelf and I am out of jars or I would have made more. I also made an apple pie, for which my sister generously donated a crust and for which I gave her half the pie. I am thinking I may need more jars to use the last 15 apples I have. I gave some peels to the dogs, rabbits and chickens but the chickens didn’t like them much and the rabbits would only eat a few before stopping. Makes me wish I had a small and delicious pig to feed them to…
But what about these root veggies? I am really not sure. I could make a massive curry pot (or five) until I ran out of onions but I’d be left with tons of potatoes still. And that’s the real kicker; 50lbs of potatoes. The rabbits like eating carrots, so they’re not a HUGE problem since I have ANY sort of use for them. Not so much the potatoes. And there’s only so much three chickens can eat, as much as they flip their wigs for potato peels. And these potatoes are HUGE. I chopped two of them into cubes, blanched them, and froze them so I could use them later on like frozen peas… But just the two potatoes filled my gallon ziploc half-way (which is the maximum for allowing them to lay flat nicely). I think I’d have to do about 20 more of those to go through the whole box. Not to mention the chickens barely ate through the potato peels I put out today as it is.
And I was informed I would be getting boxes like this from her occasionally (possibly weekly?) in exchange for some of my own home-brewed things such as trading for eggs, rabbit, furs, or even just processing or preserving them into other things (like the apple butter). Not just root veggies, either, but tons of greens too.
Help! I think I am drowning in vegetables! What do I do with them all!? Any ideas?