Beak Bites ... Waste not, Want not.
So many of us struggle with the balance between feeding fresh, healthy veggies and fruits and the mountains of waste that's inevitable with 'perishable' products. Rescues and those with large flocks know the struggle more than the rest of us so we thought we'd do a little "Beak Bites" mini blog series to pass on some of our tricks.
First up? Do Your Roots!
Most root veggies are fabulous additions to your diet. Not only can the root be used for food, very often the greens can too. Always check before feeding to make sure they're parrot-safe; there are not many that will harm your bird, but some are better from a nutrition standpoint.
This example we used beets here but this will work with other root veggies. When I buy root veggies I try to always get organic and I also look for ones with the green tops still attached.
Cut the root bulb off and cut the greens off about 1/2 inch from the top of the root mass. You will have a flat top of greens and a small mound of root.
Put that into a flat dish of water in a sunny window. Make sure to keep water in the dish at all times. You will start to see new green tops growing from the root mass.
You can either snip these 'baby greens' for a tasty tidbit OR you can plant that little root mass in a pot on the porch or balcony. Let it grow through the summer and in the fall go and pull your veggies.
I don't use anything to keep the bugs off the greens so during the summer your leaves will get a little ragged looking. When the weather turns colder, you'll see those green tops perk back up and start looking good.
Pull the veggies and cut the original root mound off (it gets woody). The root that you have may be a little deformed but hey, it's a second harvest!
Technically you can take the root mass off the bottom and the "crown" and start again.
Follow the same process to grow another set of veggies. (Hey ... every little bit helps and if you have the room you could do a lot of these.)
This little trick got me a nice little haul of beets. Some will be used for chop, some will be steamed for puree to use in my home-made pellet recipe. [click here]