An unforeseen consequence of this very cold and very long winter has been that our compost bins are overflowing. We have three large bins outside (and two worm bins in the basement), and we usually get pretty full by the end of the winter because the food doesn’t break down in cold temperatures and without the sunshine. But we’ve never actually run out of room before because typically the warm weather comes sooner, and the stuff starts breaking down. No such luck this year.
Grant went to take the compost bin by the sink out over the weekend and found that there was no room outside, so he took an old tree container that we use to grow potatoes in and put the compost in there. Then he took a a piece of wood and put it on top of the container. We figured that would buy us a week at least. But then last night, the neighbor comes over to tell me that a huge possum was getting into some container under our deck. So of course, J goes running back to the deck to inspect the “apostle,” as he kept calling it. They talked about the apostles at church a few weeks ago, so he was SO excited that they had come to visit in our backyard. I go chasing after him as I wasn’t really up for a trip to the ER because my four-year-old tangoed with a possum.
In the meantime, Roxy, our dog, gets out and runs down the deck steps to investigate. I heard some hissing and then watched the possum bolt off toward the woods. Roxy, who typically isn’t the smartest dog in the world, just stood there and watched, which was a relief. Needless to say, the entire rest of the evening was spent explaining that the animal in the backyard was a possum, not an apostle, along with 146 questions about possums (what do they eat, why was Roxy scared of him, why do they make that hissing noise, how do they talk…)
I promise I’m getting to the kitchen tip. In the past, I would have just composted the broccoli stems or given them to the worms, but I am no longer going outside until the compost situation is sufficiently tidied up to ensure that I won’t be surprising our possum friend when I take a trip to the compost bin. So we’ve been eating the broccoli stems too, and they’re quite delicious. J even says he likes them better than the “tree parts.” I trim off the outsides a bit because they’re pretty tough and fibrous, and then just prepare them with the rest of the broccoli (typically roasted).
Side note: if you don’t want to go to the trouble of trimming the stems, I’ve also been juicing the stems for those of you with a juicer. Broccoli juice has all sorts of benefits, but I wouldn’t dare waste those yummy florets on juicing!