Turn Kitchen Scraps Into Christmas Dinner

By on Dec 11, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

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What can you do with kitchen vegetable scraps? It might take six months but there is a way to convert leftover cabbage, carrots, pumpkins and other veggie scraps (lettuce, asparagus stems, celery stalks) into ham. Here’s how.

Collect refrigerated kitchen scraps from a restaurant or commercial kitchen, we get most of our kitchen scraps from Grappone Conference Center.  Make sure there is no meat in the mix and that the scraps have never been served to humans. If they have been on a plate, toss them. Be sure the veggie scraps have been refrigerated and mix the scraps with pig pellets to provide protein that veggies are lacking. Then feed them to a pig or two.

Do this for six or eight months and your pig will be ready to become ham for Christmas or Easter or maybe just ham and cheese sandwiches. This is one way to reduce landfill in a tasty and sometimes fun way. I say “sometimes fun” because baby piggies are cute until they get bigger and pushy, and create more manure to manage, and eat like pigs.  Then they are not so much fun.

Besides kitchen scraps, another overlooked food for pigs is acorns. A recent Concord Monitor article about Snow Brook Farm in Eaton, gave details about a farmer who swears that finishing pigs on acorns makes the meat tastier. Always looking for new ideas I decided to try this and recently a friend gave me several boxes of acorns which the pigs devoured within a day. They devoured the acorns, not the boxes. I’m now looking for more acorns and if you can find some in your yard, under the snow, please bring them to the farm. The pigs will love you for the treat and you will be happy knowing what might have been waste is now food.

Pigs Love Acorns

Charlotte, our 800-pound “pet” sow, munches on donated acorns. Photo by Carole Soule Miles Smith Farm

To bring the food cycle full circle, this Christmas we are providing ham, raised partially on Grappone Conference Center leftovers, for the annual Holiday meal that Grappone serves free to the less fortunate. Miles Smith Farm donated ham and turkey will be on the menu and I’ll be in the Grappone kitchen helping prepare the food while husband Bruce washes dishes. It’s wonderful that Grappone provides this meal to the community and we are happy to give to the community this Christmas.

And don’t give up on those kitchen scraps. Everything has a purpose and if done correctly you too can help convert kitchen waste or acorns into ham. Hope you all have a squealing good Christmas!

Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH, where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com.