Kitchen scraps can go into your compost bin, but why toss them away so frivolously when they can actually help you grow more food? You’d be surprised just how many yummy ingredients you can get from the remains of older food. It’s like the old adage, “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure,” but in this case, we’re not talking about cool thrift store finds, we’re talking about all-natural ingredients that are super simple to repurpose and grow.
Let’s take a look at some everyday kitchen scraps that can go a very long way…
Leeks, Spring Onions, Scallions and Fennel
You can use the ends of all of these veggies to grow more veggies. Just take the leftover white roots and put them in a container with a small amount of water. Make sure the roots are wet but not completely submerged in water. Then put your container in a sunny windowsill. You should start to see new growth within 3-5 days. Just remove the produce as you need it and leave the roots in water to keep growing more. Refresh the water once a week to keep your plants healthy.
Ginger grows beautifully indoors. Just use a chunk of ginger and place it in some soil with the newest buds facing up. Place your ginger in a place that gets filtered light as opposed to direct sunlight and you’ll start to see new growth soon. When you need ginger, pull the plant out of the soil, cut off the pieces you’d like to use, and then replant it and start the process over.
With one clove of garlic, you can grow an entire garlic plant. Take one clove and plant it in soil with the root facing down. Put your container in a warm part of your home that gets direct sunlight. The garlic will begin to root itself and you’ll soon see new shoots emerge from the soil.
After the garlic becomes established in the soil cut back the shoots and the plant will begin to put all its resources into growing a big delicious garlic bulb. Just like the ginger above once you harvest your produce you can repeat this process and run through the cycle again.
Use the root end (the end you cut off when preparing onions) to plant in soil. Keep about a 1/2 inch of onion above the roots and then bury it in soil. Place the container in a sunny area and cover with topsoil. Make sure to keep your soil moist as the onion establishes itself.
As a bonus, you can also grow them right on your windowsill or fence using soil-filled, repurposed water bottles. A great option for green onion lovers!
Avocado toast fans rejoice! Yes, you can actually grow these creamy, ultra-healthy fruits by simply placing a seed into a contraption called an AvoSeedo. Learn more about the process here.
Believe it or not, you can actually grow your own pineapples right in a pot! All you need to do is slice off the crown of a matured one, wait a week for the leaves to fully dry, then plant it in a pot with nutrient-rich soil. Give your pineapple plenty of bright sunlight and soon you will have a fresh one to pick.
Have a potato that is beginning to sprout? If so, cut that spud into several pieces and bury them in a few inches of soil after a night of “drying out.” This method works with most varieties of potatoes and is one of the simplest to execute provided that the weather is above freezing and the soil contains plenty of compost/manure. For small varieties, a plastic container will do, but if your goal is to grow large russets, try an elevated planter bed.
Gearing up to make a chopped salad for dinner tonight? Make sure to hang onto its bottom end–the little, round nub that sits firmly on the base of the head. Simply place the head in a container of water and in just a few short days, you should notice new growth on the leafy green.
Carrots can be given new life by using two different replanting methods. Firstly, their tops sprout yummy carrot greens when immersed in water (similar to the technique used for cabbage). You can add those greens to add a rich, earthy flavor to any dish, or you can re-plant the greens in soil to grow entirely new carrots. Now, that is a win-win!
Like many other herbs, mint can easily be re-grown using cuttings from an original plant. Just put a trimming in a glass of water, and after the plant matures a bit, transfer it into soil for a reliable herb that will return season after season. Easy peasy!
Planting organic lemon seeds, found inside an organic lemon, is an activity that often yields great results. Just make sure that your lemon plant gets plenty of warm sunshine, water, and TLC.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these kitchen scraps re-growth hacks! Have you tried any of these before? Do you know of any others? What’s your favorite edible plant on the list?