Working on reducing your waste in the kitchen? You probably recycle, and maybe you even compost! Have you tried growing your own food? It’s an amazing way to promote your self-sufficiency, save money, and reduce your impact from buying non-local fruits and vegetables.
Read on to see how you can grow food from average kitchen scraps (yes, you don’t even need to start from seeds!)
To grow your own potatoes from scraps, cut the potato(s) into two pieces, making sure each half has at least one to two eyes. Let the pieces sit at room temperature overnight or for a few days until they’re dry to the touch. Once the potato halves are dry, plant them about one foot apart in 8 inches of soil. When they’re fully grown, potatoes can be harvested for several months—even after the plants die.
Celery is one of the easiest foods to grow from leftover scraps. Just cut off the bottom or base of your celery and lay it in a bowl with just a bit of warm water in the bottom. Keep the bowl in direct sunlight as long as possible each day and after about a week, you will begin to see the leaves thickening and growing along the base. When this happens, you can transplant your celery in soil and wait for it to grow to full length.
All you need is a single garlic clove, and you can regrow your entire head of garlic! Remove a single piece of garlic from the head and plant it in soil, making sure the root faces downward. Put the pot with the garlic into direct sunlight, and keep it out of doors during the spring, summer, and fall. New shoots will soon begin to form, but trim those back to ensure that a bulb forms. That bulb will one day become your head of garlic, which you can use to start the cycle all over again!
Lemongrass is a fragrant tropical grass that is widely used in Asian cooking and in perfumery and medicine. It’s a great herb, but is not easy to find fresh at regular grocery stores. To grow it, just take the root, place it in a bowl in an area with full sunlight and cover the root with water. In about a week, this can be planted outside once you notice new growth.
Liven up pasta dishes, sauces, and pizzas, all for the price of one basil plant. Select several 4-inch stems from a bunch of basil. Then strip all leaves from about 75 percent of each stem with a sharp knife. Put the stems in a jar of water and place in a sunny (but not too hot) location. Change the water every other day. You’ll soon notice new roots form along the stems.
When the roots grow to about 2 inches in length, plant the individual stems in a 4-inch pot. Keep the pot in an area that gets at least six hours of sunshine each day, and water regularly. Harvest when the plants are full grown but do not remove all the leaves at one time.