How to Grow Food from Scraps
When you are done with dinner, what are you going to be doing with all of those table scraps? Before you toss them out or put them into the bin for composting, you might want to consider using some of them to start growing your own food. If you have a garden, even a small one, there are plenty of different types of vegetables you can start growing right from your scraps. Let’s look at some of these below, so you can get an idea of how to do it for yourself.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
When you peel your potato or cut out the chunks that have “eyes”, you can simply replant them to grow some brand new potato plants. To do this, you will want to leave your potato scraps out overnight to dry them out a bit. Then, take them and plant them in the soil where you want them to grow. Make sure the eyes are facing upward. Even though it’s just scraps, it can grow into a new potato plant, which is amazing. This can also work with sweet potatoes in the same way.
You will also find that celery tends to be much more renewable than you realized. It is also one of the easiest plants that you can regrow from scraps. Cut the bottom off the celery. However, rather than getting rid of the very bottom, you will keep it and place it in a shallow container with some slightly warm water in the bottom. Keep the bowl with the water and celery in a sunny, warm location.
Within about a week, you will start to notice that the leaves are growing. You can then opt to let it grow to the size you need and harvest it—and start over again—or you could replant the celery in the garden and let it keep growing into a larger plant. The choice is yours. You’ll get more celery when you replant it, but it will take a bit longer. You will find that bulb fennel can be regrown in much the same way.
Root Crops Like Turnips Carrots, Radishes, and Beets
Do you like root vegetables? They are tasty and useful in countless types of dishes. You will be happy to know that they are quite easy to regrow, and they are all done the same way.
You will need to keep the tops of the vegetables, where the leaves and the stem join the root part that you eat. Place the tops of these scraps into a container filled with water. Within a few days, you will notice that the green tops are going to start to regrow.
You have the option of harvesting and using the greens if you would like, or you can let the roots keep growing until they are large enough that you can transplant them back into the ground.
Leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce are easy to regrow too. To grow the lettuce, you will want to cut off the base, so it is about an inch tall. Place it with the cut side up into a shallow bowl with about half an inch of water. You will want to add water regularly to keep it at about half an inch or so deep. Place the container in a sunny location, such as a windowsill that gets plenty of light.
Once it starts to grow, you have the option of harvesting from the plant when you need some lettuce. it will continue to grow as long as you take proper care of it. Of course, you will also have the option of transplanting it from the water to the soil once it starts to show roots and you notice new growth from the lettuce.
When you cut green onions, instead of getting rid of the end that has the small roots, keep it and regrow it. Plant the onion with the roots down in some potting soil and place it on a windowsill that gets plenty of sunshine. Make sure to keep it watered, and it will start to grow sooner than you might think. Most of the time it will be large enough that you can cut off the top and eat it. You can keep doing this and it will keep growing.
Since you are likely to use more than just one green onion every few weeks, it’s a good idea to plant quite a few of these, so you can continue to have a rotating crop available to you.
Garlic is one of the best and handiest foods to have in your kitchen. It’s also easy to regrow, but it will take some time. Here’s what you do. When you have a garlic bulb with several individual cloves, keep some of the cloves and then plant them in your garden during the fall.
Make sure you are planting it root-side down. When the following spring rolls around, you can harvest an entire bulb of garlic from that single clove you planted. You will note that it’s ready to dig up when the top starts to turn yellow and fall.
If you don’t want to plant them outside, you could also do this indoors, as long as you have a sunny window. It’s nice and easy, and when you do this, you can have enough garlic that you never run out and have to buy more.
Why Should You Grow Your Own Food?
Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do this? Not only is it always great to learn something new, but this skill can come in very handy. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could grow some of your own food to help reduce the amount you are spending at the grocery store? It’s also nice to learn skills that make you more independent, so you can start to live a more sustainable life. As you can see from the foods above, these are all nice and simple to do.