8 Vegetables You Can Easily Regrow in Your Home
Whether at a restaurant or in our own homes, it's amazing how much food gets wasted everyday. Most people don't realize how easy it is to reuse what they would usually throw away! Veggies for example - many can actually be grown from the bits we don't eat anyway.
Out of the vegetables I listed below, I've only had the chance to try green onions. They grew very quickly, and it was pretty impressive. I'm planning on trying the others soon - specifically the basil leaves. I love having fresh Basil around. It smells great and fresh Basil is so much better for cooking then buying it dry.
1. Green Onions
Next time you have green onions, don't discard the white ends. Place them in a clear glass cup and fill with water so the roots are submerged. Rinse the roots and change water weekly. Keep in a well lit place. Once they've grown long enough, you can cut off what you need, then simply put the ends back in the water. Now you have an endless supply of green onions. Some may start to dry out and whither, just cut those off.
If you have garlic sitting around the house that's started to sprout, don't throw it out. You can take one of the bulbs and plant it yourself. Plant the clove with the pointy side up in a small pot. Put it in a sunny location. Water it occasionally, but don't drown it. At some point, the garlic will grow leaves. When those leaves turn brown and die, it's time to harvest the garlic. Once it's been harvested, hang in a cool, dry place, so it doesn't rot. The garlic will take about a week to dry.
3. Basil Leaves
Find 4 inch stems in your Basil plant and cut (using a sharp knife) directly below a leaf node. This is the area where new leaves/sprouts grow. Remove any leaves from the area ¾ of the way up the stem. Place the stems in a glass of water and leave in a bright, but not hot, room. Change the water every few days. Once the roots are around 2 inches long, plant the stems in a potted planter that is at least 4 inches wide. Leave in direct sunlight, and let your Basil plant grow.
4. Carrot Top Greens
Next time you're cutting carrots for a dish, make sure to cut the tops so they are 2 inches thick. Take the tops, and place them in a shallow dish filled with water. You want the carrot to be half submerged in water. Place the saucer near a window with good light. Add water to the dish as needed, so the carrots don't dry out. The tops will sprout in 1-2 weeks.
Take a full stalk of celery and, before using, cut off the bottom. At most, you want about an inch worth. Place the bottom of the celery in water, about halfway up the sides of the stalk. Let it sit for 4-5 days, then plant in soil. Keep near light, and water when needed.
Plant part of the root fully into a pot of soil. It will start to grow shoots out of the soil and roots down into the soil. Once the ginger is established (about 4 months) cut off a section of the root to plant in another pot. This way you have several going at a time. It will take 10 months for your ginger to be ready to completely harvest.
7. Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
You've probably had it happen before. You go to use some potatoes and notice large sprouts shooting out of them. Well, instead of discarding those sprouts, you can use them to regrow more potatoes. Cut off a sprout that is 5-6 inches long, and submerge ¼ of it in water. When you start to see new growth appear, you can plant it directly into soil. Add more soil as the plant gets taller. The plant will start to whither, and eventually turn brown. When this happens, you can harvest the potato.
8. Romaine Lettuce
Take the crown of the romaine and submerge in water. Every few days, rinse the crown off, and change the water. You should start to see some lettuce growing within 4-5 days.
Compost The Rest
Composting is another way to use the bits of vegetable and fruit that usually get thrown. There are lots of items, other than just vegetables, you can put into your compost that you would usually just toss. You can use cardboard, paper, grass and leaves, basically anything organic. There are three common ways to make compost:
- Bins: These are nice because you can move them around easily if needed, and it's not unseemly or noticeable to neighbors. The downside is that it will take longer for the compost to be ready because it's not getting the oxygen it needs to decompose, and it's a lot harder to turn the compost.
- Turning Units: You can purchase these kinds of containers. These can be easily turned, so the compost can get the oxygen it needs to decompose.
- Pile: While this is more unsightly, it doesn't require buying anything. With this you can easily turn the compost over when you need to, so it decomposes much faster.
This site has a great break down of how to make your own compost.