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 much food you can get from the remains of older food. Take a look at some everyday kitchen scraps that can go a very long way.

Leeks, Spring Onions, Scallions and Fennel

Leekssamanthaclara via Dollar Photo Club

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 root on the wood background with leavesAndrey Starostin via Dollar Photo Club

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.


GarlicBy Donovan Govan, via Wikimedia Commons

With one clove of garlic, you can grow an entire garlic plant. Just take one 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 this in soil. Place container in a sunny area and cover with topsoil. Make sure to keep your soil moist as the onion establishes itself.

If you repeat the cycle and keep planting the onion roots eventually you should have enough onion plants going that you’ve become onion self-sufficient!

Check out many more plants that you can grow out of your very own kitchen scraps over at Black Thumb Gardener.