Urban Composting

It’s no secret that we love fresh fruits and vegetables. You can find us at the farmer’s market almost every week we’re in town. We usually come home with a few bags full of gorgeous greens for the week, and whatever else is fresh and in season.

Carrots at the CUESA farmers market in San Francisco
Fennel from Eat Well at the CUESA farmers market in San Francisco

We like to make a big batch of vegetable stock once a month so we have it on hand for other recipes, We start with fresh vegetables but we also add vegetable scraps that we collect while we’re cooking and keep in the freezer. We like to add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, parsley, fennel, and peppercorns. Our friend recently suggested adding corn cobs if you’ve recently made corn chowder or corn salad.

Urban composting while making stock and cutting up celery

While we always try to use all of the edible parts of a vegetable, we don’t always have the organization or foresight to plan to make things like carrot top pesto or sautéed beet greens, so inevitably we end up with a fair amount of fruit and vegetable waste (onion and garlic peels, and juiced lemons and limes for cocktails–we’re looking at you). We usually cook with a bowl on the counter for fruit and vegetable scraps so we can collect them for composting. If you don’t want to use a bowl you can get a more chic compost container like this or this to keep in the kitchen.

Urban composting while making stock and cutting up carrots
Urban composting while making stock and cutting a head of garlic
Urban composting while making stock and cutting up an onion to compost

When we lived in a house, we had our own compost bin in the backyard. When we moved to the city, we were glad to find that all housing, even apartment buildings, have a composting program, in addition to recycling. At our apartment, we have a composting chute that goes directly to the green bin. One of the things we really like about living in San Francisco is the emphasis on recycling and composting. To us it’s the common sense thing to do. It always made us cringe to hear people in our building in Chicago tossing wine bottles down the trash chute!

Urban composting is San Francisco is important while cooking and making stock with The Taste SF

Did you know that you can compost even more than vegetable scraps and old leftovers? We were inspired by San Francisco’s Real Foodie’s Compost campaign to learn more about what we can compost. We always try to compost our coffee grounds and paper filters. When we’re baking, we compost our eggshells and when we make recipes like grilled shrimp, clams, or lobster pasta we always save the shellfish shells to make shellfish stock and then compost them when we’re done. Did you know that you can compost pizza boxes and paper take out containers? Also, we were surprised to learn that you can compost dirty paper towels. We’ll definitely be doing that!

Thank you to SF Environment for sponsoring this post. Check out  RealFoodiesCompost.com for more more tips on composting and to learn how you can help San Francisco reach its Zero Waste goal of 2020.




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