Use those veggie stems, ends, and seeds to regrow them into plants instead of throwing them away. This is a great, kid-friendly activity that allows kids to watch how their food grows. ONIE has provided some tips to help you get started. Growing your own plants is not hard and you can do it in your own kitchen! This activity does not require much, just some food scraps, water, toothpicks, a bowl, and eventually, some potting soil and/or an outdoor growing space!
What vegetables can you grow from scraps?
There are lots of vegetables you can grow from scraps, but these ones are some of the easiest.
Remove two inches from the base of a bunch of celery and place in a shallow bowl with water. Spray the top daily to keep it moist. Every couple of days replace with fresh water until a new root appears, then you can transplant into the ground or gallon-size pot with potting soil.
Save the white bulb of your green onions with a small amount of the pale green section. Place it in water on a sunny windowsill. Keep the water fresh and snip the green portions off as they grow, and cook with them! You can transplant green onions to a pot with some soil, or outdoors.
Save the base of your lettuce! Place it into a bowl of water and replace the water every one to two days. By two weeks you will have enough fresh leaves for a side salad or sandwich.
Note: this will not make a new full head of lettuce but will give you some extra lettuce to add to your meals.
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
Next time you have extra potatoes, cut the potato in half, stick toothpicks into the sides of your potato and place into a clear cup, allowing the toothpicks to rest on the rim of the cup. Place the potato, cut side down in shallow water. Within a few days, roots will begin to grow from the bottom while purple/green stems will appear from the top. Then cut the potato in two-inch pieces and let them dry out for a couple of days. Plant them directly into the ground in early spring and enjoy homegrown potatoes by summer.
If you have potatoes that have been left in the back of your pantry for too long and they already have purple/green sprouts, you can just cut the potatoes, (keeping at least one sprout per section) let them dry out, and then plant them.
Save the tops of your carrots (where the leaves and stems join onto the root)! Place the carrot tops in shallow water, replace with fresh water every two days and in a matter of a couple days green tops should start growing. Allow the roots to continue to grow for a few more days and then transplant them into soil to start growing your own carrots!
While most people tend to eat tomatoes whole without giving it a second thought, they can actually be planted! Plant the seeds from your tomatoes into a small pot, keeping them moist at all times on a windowsill, and wait for a new plant to emerge. Once the plant reaches several inches tall, (make sure your window gets at least six hours of full sunlight per day, or supplement with a lamp!) transplant to a gallon pot or outside once the threat of frost is gone.
Note: Try growing unique varieties from the Farmers Markets this season!