Regrow Food from Scraps! Part 1
Did you know that you can regrow food from scraps? It’s true! Now, not everything can regrow from scraps, but there are a lot of vegetables (and a few fruits) that can.
If you’re not using veggie scraps from your garden, I recommend using organic produce. Companies may spray conventional produce with an anti-sprout chemical that keeps them from growing.
All you’ll need to start most of these is a sunny windowsill, filtered water, and your veggie scrap of choice! Some can or may need to be moved to soil eventually.
Let’s get to regrowing some food from scraps!
When you use green onions, do you normally use the bulb? In many recipes, you don’t. Did you know that you can regrow green onions for an endless supply? You can!
Once you cut the tops off of the green onions, place the bulb in some filtered water on a sunny windowsill. You should see some new green growth in a few days! Harvest the greens for them to regrow again and again. You’ll want to change the water every few days, and, if you want, you can plant your green onions in a pot.
When we use carrots in our recipes, we normally don’t use the top. So reuse it for some carrot greens!
Place the top of a carrot in a shallow dish of filtered water. Change the water daily, and in a few days you should see new growth. Use the carrot greens in pesto or in your favorite fry-up.
Down to the last of your romaine lettuce? Leave the base along with 1 inch of the stem lettuce on the plant. Place in a shallow dish of filtered water on a bright windowsill out of direct sunlight. Change the water every day or two and you should see growth in a few days.
Did you know that many herbs cuttings can be propagated? This means that if you love chocolate mint but can’t find plants anywhere you can make your cutting grow roots.
You can use a dash of cinnamon or some rooting hormone in an inch of filtered water with your herb of choice. Place on a bright windowsill. Keep an eye on the water so it doesn’t get smelly or slimy. You should see root growth in a few days.
Some herbs will keep in water, but others should be potted. Use as you would any herb and don’t let it flower unless you’re wanting to grow more from seed. Many plants will die back after flowering!
Those eyes on those organic potatoes could be making you more potatoes! To start some potatoes you’ll need potting soil, compost, and filtered water. First, cut your potatoes with eyes into pieces that are at least one-half inch of room under the eye. One inch is preferable. Let them dry on your counter for two to three days to produce a scab.
Plant them, eye side up, in a pot. For gold or red potatoes, plant them about two to four inches from the surface. Gold and red potatoes are both a determinate type of potato, which means they will only grow so much. They produce potatoes from the top down.
For russet potatoes, put two to four inches of soil in a pot then cover with two to four more inches of soil. Once the plant peaks out and grows four leaves, then cover it again. Continue covering it until the pot is full of soil. Russet potatoes are an indeterminate type of potato. This means they will keep growing up. They produce potatoes from the bottom (the eye that was planted) up.
Have your sweet potatoes started sprouting? Don’t throw the sprout away! If it’s summer (May-July, depending on what your temperate zone is), plant them instead. Gently pull the plant off the sweet potato and place it in a glass of filtered water on a bright or sunny windowsill. In a few days, you will have roots! You can let this go for a few weeks or you can plant it immediately!
Plant in a deep container or a garden bed and keep well watered for the first two weeks. Once established, sweet potatoes love the heat and do well in poor soil and arid conditions. But do water them!
Harvest your potatoes at the end of the summer. You can also harvest their leaves throughout the year. They make a great addition to stir fry or you can blanch and freeze or dry them for use in winter soups.
Would you like to grow a pineapple? Pineapples can be a very attractive houseplant! And in the right conditions, in about three years, you’ll have a pineapple fruit! Plus, how neat is it to say to people, “Oh, and that’s my pineapple plant?”
The first way is to cut the top off a ripe pineapple with a healthy-looking stem. Twist the stem off the top of the pineapple and take off the lower six to ten leaves. Let it dry out for about a week, then place it in a shallow bowl of filtered water on a sunny windowsill. Change the water every few days so it doesn’t get stinky or slimy. Roots will grow over a few weeks.
Once roots form, you can move the plant to a large pot. You may want to use cactus, palm, and citrus potting soil for the plant since it’s used to more acidic soil. Keep it fertilized and in a sunny window in cold weather. In warm weather, you can move it outside.
Have you regrown any food from scraps? Let us know what and how it went in the comments! We’re looking forward to reading your stories!
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