We all look forward to crowding around the Thanksgiving table, but strategic use of leftovers can keep the holiday cheer going for weeks! Last year, my family of three ended up with a 25-pound heritage turkey. Even after giving our neighbors one of the 7-pound breasts, we still had enough meat to feed a small army. With that much material, we had a chance to get creative—making everything from turkey sandwiches, to soup, this gumbo, and even plant fertilizer!

However, even after the bones are picked or boiled clean for turkey stock, they too can yield a valuable leftover—bone meal! Phosphorous, Nitrogen and other minerals are essential for plant health, whether you are a large scale tomato farmer or a window box gardener. Grinding (and steaming) animal bones allows for a natural influx of phosphorous over the next one to four months (see here). Although bone meal is typically made from beef bones, why not get a little extra value from your turkey, and eventually flowers from your plants?

Enjoy your turkey, and don’t forget to make use of everything!