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Benefits of Composting with Coffee Grounds by Pam Snethen

Coffee Grounds for Composting, photo by M.Martinez

Used coffee grounds are abundantly available for the asking at your local coffee shop. But just because the item is free, is it beneficial for composting? Compost your coffee - Coffee grounds add nitrogen to the compost, but as fertilizer they do not...

Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 1:21 PM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Decipher Those Dates! Some Clarity about Use by, Best by, Freshness, Pull, Sell By Dates and more. . .

The following is some very good information about dating on food that confuses many. The article linked to below has even more information about food storage and dating, both commercial and home, canned or not. VERY good!




"Deciphering Packaged Food Dates
"Storing Food for Safety and Quality, University of Idaho, PNW 612

"For most foods, product dating is not required by law. An exception is infant formula and some baby foods for which open dating is required. Open dates are calendar dates that are clearly understood by consumers, as opposed to coded dates that are sometimes used by food manufacturers for their own tracking. Infant and baby foods are dated for nutrient retention as well as quality, since these foods often provide the sole source of nutrition. Do not buy or use infant formula or baby food after its “use by” date.

"Many food manufacturers choose to label packaged foods with some type of date. However, there is no universal system for expressing the date. Commonly used date terminology is explained below. These dates are not related to product safety.

"Date of pack or manufacture. Refers to when the food was packed or processed for sale. These are not “use by” dates. Instead, they are printed on canned or boxed goods that are shelf-stable items to identify and locate products if there is a recall.

"Freshness, pull, or “sell by” date. Tells the store how long to display the product for sale. The date allows for home storage and use within a reasonable period of time, as predicted by the manufacturer. The product maybe safely consumed after the sell-by date. Often used on breads, baked goods, and dairy products.

“Use before” or “Best if used by” date. Gives the recommended shelf life for best flavor or quality. The food can be safely used past this date. Often used with frozen foods, fried snack foods such as chips and crackers, cereals, canned foods, pasta and rice.

“Freeze by” date. Similar to a “use before” date. Indicates the product should be used or frozen for longer-term storage by the date shown. Seen on some meat products.
Expiration date. The last day the product should be used for best quality. Yeast and baking powder have expiration dates.

"Home dating. It is a good practice to mark the date on purchased foods that do not have open dates and that you plan to store for an extended time. Likewise, marking the date on stored home-prepared foods or leftovers is the best way to keep track of stored food. Keep a marker or pen and small self-stick labels handy, and date these foods when you put them into storage."  (--this is a good idea to do with any food put in your fridge or freezer--L. Watts)

"Storing Food for Safety and Quality, University of Idaho, PNW 612

Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 6:00 AM


New location for classes, tomorrow's class.

I almost missed this!


Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 10:08 AM

A Little History: Article on Canning with some interesting information

Early Canning Jar: Appert Jar from Wikipedia



A little history for you. . . I was looking at stuff on the net and I looked up the word "canning" and came up with the Wikipedia article below.

Make sure you at least read the FIRST paragraph. It mentioned some canned food over 100 years old; it was still edible and not poisonous, though not the most nutritious or tasty.

"Canning" at Wikipedia

And here are a couple more on-line articles for some more history:

Canning/Food Processing at

Finally, here is a .pdf article on recommended methods of Canning and some info on some methods to avoid:

Methods of Canning from the Agricultural Extension Service of the Univerisity of Tennessee

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Let's Grow Chiles!

Sweet Peppers, photo by Brenda Dawson

In many parts of the world, a chile a day is the centerpiece of a good diet. The chile plant (Capsicum annuum) is native to the Americas, but from the first European contact, the nutrient-packed fruit was transported abroad. For more than five...

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 9:45 AM

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