How to Grow Food From Scraps
I was amazed that you could actually grow food from vegetable scraps you would normally compost or throw in the trash.
I tried it out on my 1-inch stubs of romaine lettuce a few days ago (in a glass loaf pan next to a window with some light, keeping an inch of water in there all the time and occasionally throwing some water over the top for the heck of it), and new leaves (up to 5 inches high!) are growing out of the remains!
The next step would be to plant these stubs in dirt; the leaves are supposed to get even bigger.
I next tried it with some green onion remains. I kept an inch at the bottom of each onion. They were put in a see-through glass cup and are now double in size. I think I’m on to something here!
See here are some instructions:
These are plants that can be grown from what you would normally throw away:
1. Garlic. When garlic starts to sprout, the little green shoots are too bitter to cook with. Rather than throwing away sprouted cloves, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a much milder flavor than garlic cloves and are great in salads, pasta and as a garnish.
2. Carrot greens. The ends of carrots you usually chop off and throw away will grow carrot greens if you put them in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit windowsill and you’ll have carrot tops to use as a garnish or in salads.
(Note: I do not think these would taste good…?).
3. Basil. Put a few basil clippings with 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in a spot with direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, you can plant them in pots to grow a full basil plant.
(Read more at: http://cepsinthecity.blogspot.com/2011/06/basil-plants-from-cuttings.html)
4. Scallions. In as little as 5 days you can completely regrow a full scallion (or green onion) from the scraps. Leave about an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water. In a few days, you’ll have all new scallions.
(Read more at: http://www.thekitchn.com/re-growing-green-onions-grow-your-scallions-back-on-your-windowsill-165274)
5. Romaine Lettuce. If you have a stem from a head of romaine lettuce that’s still intact, place the stump in a bowl with about ½ inch of water and put it on a windowsill. You’ll start to see new leaves in about 2 weeks, and they’ll be full grown in 3 to 4.
(Read more at: http://removeandreplace.com/2013/05/07/how-to-easily-re-grow-romaine-lettuce-from-a-stump-indoors/)
6. Bok Choy. Just like romaine lettuce, bok choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In a week or two, you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head.
(Read more at: http://www.17apart.com/2012/02/how-to-regrowing-bok-choy.html)
7. Onions. Plant the discarded root end from an onion in a pot or directly in the soil outside to regrow. You can harvest it early and get fresh green onions or wait until the bulb is fully developed.
(Read more at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Grow-Onions-from-Discarded-Onion-Bottoms/?ALLSTEPS)
8. Ginger root. Like onions, ginger root can be planted in soil to regrow, but the process is a lot more lengthy. It can take a few months for it to sprout, and you should be able to harvest a fully grown bulb in 8 to 10 months.
(Read more at: http://www.17apart.com/2013/02/how-to-plant-and-grow-ginger-root.html)
9. Mushrooms. Plant mushroom stalks in soil with some compost or used coffee grounds and keep them in a moist environment, preferably where it will be cool at night. They can be tricky to grow, and within a few days the stems will either start to sprout new heads or rot.
(Note: Mushroom heads are also used. Read more at: http://earth911.com/home-garden/grow-food-from-scraps/11/)
10. Cilantro. Like basil, cilantro can grow roots if the stems are placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, just plant them in a pot. In a few weeks new sprigs will be starting, and in a few months you’ll have a full plant.
This is good news!!
Onions– When cutting up your onions leave 1/2″ of the root end, you can plant these directly in your garden covered with soil. Place them in a sunny patch and keep soil moist. Replant the new ends each time.
Celery – Slice off the bottom of celery as you would normally, place it in a dish of water, covering the bottom but not the entire thing. Set dish in a sunny window, within a week you will have sprouts. Plant in soil covering up to your new sprouts.
Potatoes– Once your potatoes start sprouting, cut them into 2″ pieces- leaving 2 to 3 eyes on each section. Allow your potato pieces to sit out for two to three days to dry out then plant 8″ deep in rich composted soil with the eyes facing up. Keep them watered well and soon you will have your own patch of potatoes growing in your yard.
SWEET POTATOES can be grown much the same way. Once shoots reach 4″ in height, pull up your sweet potatoes, spread them to 1′ apart to give room to grow.
Garlic– Anytime you have a leftover bulb or two plant them in the soil, in a sunny spot, root end down. When your garlic bulb has produce shoots keep them cut back so all the energy of your growing garlic goes into the bulb. You can repeat this each time with a new bulb.
Ginger- Plant a piece of the thick, knobby ginger in soil, with the small buds pointing upwards. Once your plant has grown roots and has shoots on it remove it from soil, cut off another piece and start a new plant all over. Ginger is fabulous in dishes but it also makes for a pretty houseplant.
Comment on the site directly above:
“I had a Roma tomato plant in a container that I had growing for 8 years in the same container. I would flip the flowers to self pollinate and be able to pick 2 or 3 roma tomatoes every other day all year long.”
There is so much to learn! Expect another post when I figure out how to do more.