Did you know Americans throw away approximately 150,000 tons of food every day? This habit isn’t only wasteful — it also contributes to world hunger. But you can cut down on the amount of food you toss in the rubbish bin by regrowing produce.
Many favorite veggies have natural ways to regenerate quickly using just the scraps left behind, which means significant money savings at the grocery store! Plus, you’ll enjoy the thrill of creating and nurturing new plant life. Here’s how to get started regrowing salad greens and more from scraps.
Start your food regrowth journey with easy-to-grow onions. Place the root end of the onion in water, so the roots begin to sprout. Once they do, plant the onion in a pot, wait for new plants to start growing and separate the seedlings into different pots for a neverending onion supply.
Love Caesar salad but skeptical of store-bought lettuce? Grow at-home organic romaine lettuce by saving the root end when chopping a head up, and place it in a small bowl of water.
If you adore coleslaw but prefer to make it from scratch, extend the life of your cabbage indefinitely. All you need to do is place the root end in water, similar to how you did with your romaine. Cabbage sprouts in just a few days, so either separate plants or pick off the leaves as needed.
You can easily regrow many herbs from scraps. Cut basil right at the first leaf node, and place each stalk in a different bowl of water. Change the water every other day, and in just a bit over a week, the cuttings sprout roots you can plant.
Those yucky eyes you cut off before baking spuds form the roots of new potato plants. Select a potato with eyes sprouting on each end, slice it in half and leave it to dry overnight. The next day, plant the taters in eight inches of soil and watch your endless supply of French fries grow.
If you keep your home cool, picky cilantro will love you. While getting cilantro to root from cutting takes a bit of trial and error, once it’s growing, you’ll have enough fresh herb to make ceviche for years to come.
Like onions, leeks easily perpetuate themselves indefinitely. Follow the same simple procedure by placing leeks root side down in water, and you’ll be ready to take a new leek in just a few days.
Celery adds a tasty crunch to soups and stews and tastes heavenly dipped in peanut butter. Place it bottom-side down in water, and watch the roots grow until they’re ready to transplant into potting soil.
Adore Asian fusion cuisine? Make a perpetual stash of lemongrass by placing stems root-side down in water — do you see a pattern yet? Plant when ready and enjoy!
Why spend a fortune on ginger ale for tummy troubles when raw ginger works better? To regrow ginger, you’ll only need to soak bits of root overnight, then plant them the next morning. Ginger grows more slowly than other items on this list, but still only takes about three weeks to regrow.
Carrot tops don’t just make for silly comedian nicknames — they can also regrow fresh supplies of Bugs Bunny chow. Since the entire carrot is a root, place the discarded tops in water, place in the sun and transplant when new root sprigs emerge.
Mint propagates as easily as basil, and as with that herb, you’ll want to take cuttings by snipping the plant at the first leaf node. Some folks have success with placing cuttings directly in moist soil, but if that fails, start the root growth in an inch of water first.
Enjoy Your Endless Supply of Food
There’s no need to waste money on groceries when much of the produce you buy weekly can regenerate if you follow the right steps. Gift your family and friends with your “babies” to save them money, too. Even without a green thumb, regrowing your food feels rewarding and establishes you as the local organic gardening guru!