Martha Stewart Has a Brilliant (and Unexpected) Kitchen Trash Can Solution

Martha Stewart Has a Brilliant (and Unexpected) Kitchen Trash Can Solution

Oh, Martha: Never, ever change.

In a recorded video, the original Domestic Goddess gives us a tour of her pandemic-inspired kitchen renovation. In the clip, she shows off her “Martha neat” tools and utensils (“We are organizers!” she states in the understatement of the year); shows off her extensive knife collection housed in a cork-lined, pull-out drawer; and encourages the fine art of decanting (aka pouring rice, pasta, nuts, and sugar cubes into meticulously labeled glass jars). Martha’s kitchen was, is, and ever shall be #goals.

But the sleeper tip in the whole video is her trash can. “We’re always looking for garbage pails for the kitchen,” she says. (Same, Martha, same!) She then casually shows off her garbage pail, which may be the most beautiful garbage pail that has ever been shown on national television. But — plot twist — it’s not a garbage pail at all! It’s an old pickle crock! (I know this because she states, “It’s an old pickle crock.”)

This may seem a little silly — why not just use, you know, a trash can? — but it’s actually one of the most clever, efficient kitchen design ideas I’ve ever come across.

Pickle crocks don’t have a storied use as rubbish bins. Made from glazed clay, they were traditionally constructed for fermenting vegetables. This means pickles, of course, but also carrots, dilly beans, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Historically, pickle crocks have also been used to brine and cure meat and make fruit preserves

The qualities that make fermentation crocks ideal for home ferments also render them brilliant as garbage pails. They’re thick-walled, so smells stay locked in the crock, and because they’re made of stoneware, rubbish is kept relatively cool. (In other words, It won’t get super funky when temperatures rise.)

Of course, they’re also beautiful — much more so than modern trash cans. A lidded fermentation crock is made for farmhouse-style and Arts & Crafts kitchens. I wouldn’t bother investing in a pickle crock trash can if you store yours under the sink — but for garbage bins that are kept in plain sight, this is a quirky, but elegant solution.

To make Martha’s tip work for you, you’ll want to line your pickle crock with a plastic bag. Martha’s crock actually contains a smaller bin that’s lined with plastic, so technically speaking, her pickle crock is a container FOR her trash can. Putting a cheap plastic bin inside your crock makes cleanup easy and less messy, and helps further avoid smells.

While massive pickle crocks like Martha’s are harder to find, you can buy smaller models online. This five-gallon one would be great for everyday kitchen trash. Or a smaller model, like these little cuties, could work for compost scraps. 

I may never own as many knives as Martha, and my chocolate chip cookies may always be non-uniformly sized, but I’m going on the hunt for an old pickle crock to upgrade my trash can. Once I find one, I’ll display it proudly: It may be the only thing I’ll ever have in common with the relentlessly excellent Ms. Stewart.

Rochelle Bilow


Rochelle Bilow is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, the former social media manager at Bon Appétit Magazine and Cooking Light Magazine. She has also worked as a cook on a small farm in Central New York, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. Connect with her @rochellebilow.

Martha Stewart Says To Remove Flowered Vegetables From Your Garden — Here’s Why

Martha Stewart Says To Remove Flowered Vegetables From Your Garden — Here’s Why

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Legendary home and garden expert Martha Stewart is getting specific on why people struggle with their vegetable gardens in her new show, “Martha Gets Down and Dirty.” In a recent episode, she takes viewers behind the scenes in her greenhouse where she’s growing a variety of vegetables. But one tip in particular is helping gardeners everywhere figure out the secret to successful veggies: by removing the ones that are doing more harm than help.

During the educational episode, Stewart surveys her vegetables and explains that it’s important to look for ones that have “bolted.” This means they have flowered and seeded too early, and she says gardeners won’t like the result — bitter tasting vegetables.

To prevent this, she pulls out these plants, which often stand straight up and can feel tougher than other parts of the plant. There’s also a chance that it may start to slow the growth of the rest of the plant, signaling you need to remove the bolted part sooner than later.

With this tip, Martha promises better tasting vegetables. But there are plenty of other Stewart gardening enhancement tips where that came from.

Stewart shows that she gets by with a little help from her gardening accessories — specifically, a seed vibrator. This device separates the seeds that tend to clump together so that during the planting process, you plant just one or two seeds rather than a bunch. The vibrator shakes the seeds loose from one another and uses a slanted metal slide to place them in the soil one at a time. And of course, Martha can’t resist a few naughty jokes.

Stewart also recommends buying cell blocks, calling them her “little greenhouse” that start her vegetable plants. Then, when they are bigger, she can move them directly into her garden without disrupting the growing process. She suggests that new gardeners should use these, then cover them once the seeds are planted.

For more tips from Martha on growing the best-tasting vegetables on her farm, check out her show on Discovery+.

Martha Stewart’s 5 Steps To Growing Your Own Tomatoes at Home

Martha Stewart’s 5 Steps To Growing Your Own Tomatoes at Home

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Martha Stewart, America’s favorite home and garden guru, is back hosting a new show called “Martha Gets Down and Dirty.” In each episode, she teaches viewers everything they wished they knew about gardening, entertaining, and much more.

In the premiere episode, Stewart teaches Kim Kardashian how to plant tomatoes so she can garden with her children. And after learning her step-by-step process through a series of clear and simple tips, you might want to try your hand at gardening, too.

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Get dissolvable pots.

Use dissolvable pots to give your baby tomato plant an optimal chance at survival. Stewart explained that these pots keep their shape, help create the “nice big root balls,” and can even be planted right into the ground (or a beautiful patio garden) without having to transfer anything. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

Step 2: Open your bag of seeds the right way.

Cut a slit at the top of the bag of seeds (Kardashian and Stewart were using large cherry tomato seeds), but don’t remove all of the seeds at once. Keeping them in their bag will help you remember what you are planting the next time you do so.

Step 3. Use the right soil.

Use soil specifically for potting seeds, which you can identify by asking someone at the store or doing some quick research. Stewart joked that Kardashian probably hasn’t seen the inside of a home and garden center in years, but for us mere mortals who do have to go there in person, it can be confusing to choose the right type of soil. 

Step 4: Plant one to two seeds per pot.

You only need to use one to two seeds per pot, which Kardashian struggled to do using her gloved hands. Stewart encouraged her to remove a glove to get a better grip on the tiny seeds. Make an indentation with your finger, then cover with some soil.

Step 5: Water, then cover with plastic wrap.

Give your new tomato plant a small drink of water, then cover them with plastic wrap. In 10 days, Stewart promised you will have a plant sprouting, as they are “notoriously good growers.” When this happens, expose your plant to as many hours of sunshine as possible (or if you have little sunlight, try one of these low maintenance house plants instead.)

For more tips from Stewart, check out her new show “Martha Gets Down and Dirty” on Discovery+.