This past Friday, my fellow board members and I hosted a melon tasting to show-off some of the great variety of produce our growers offer. As we sliced and diced, the pile of rinds, well, piled up.
What to do with all that “waste” – wait no, this wasn’t waste, this was an opportunity! Have you ever pickled watermelon rinds? It is so easy, check out this recipe on our website and try it for yourself: sthelenafarmersmkt.org
It got me thinking … what else do we normally just toss in the garbage that we could actually be enjoying? Well, beet greens for one. Personally they are my favorite part of the beet, sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic. Packed with vitamins K, A and C they are a nutritious and tasty addition to any meal. Same goes for turnip and carrot tops. Also, the tops of celery can be used in holiday stuffing as can the fronds of fennel bulbs. Save them all with the odds and ends of other vegetables like carrots and onions to throw into the stockpot for broth.
Speaking of broth, any meat bones or shellfish shells can go into that same stockpot. Freeze the stock and use to make the best soup, braised meats or risotto.
And did you know that all parts of a squash are edible: flesh, skin, leaves, flowers and seeds. Harvest the seeds, dry, salt and roast for a tasty snack or add to salads.
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So in our continued spirit of an eco-conscious and sustainable community, save those tops, rinds and seeds for yourself – or, like our friends at Stemple Ranch, give them to your horses!
And this week don’t miss Jim Leiken, executive chef at Lucy Restaurant and Bar at the Bardessono Hotel at our Chef’s Table demonstration at 10:30 a.m. Bring the kids to “Kids’ Bilingual Story Time” hosted by Rosa Cachú, outreach specialist for the UpValley Family Centers from 9:30-10 a.m, and Market Educator Arwen Gallenkamp will be hosting fun “Fall Bounty” Kids’ Projects at the Kids’ Booth from 9-10 a.m.
The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is held in Crane Park every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon through Oct. 25. For the most up-to-date information, please visit us at sthelenafarmersmkt.org, sign up for the Market’s weekly online Newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
Ann Costelloe is a member of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market Board of Directors and an enthusiastic lover of all things St. Helena and Napa.