From Trash To Treasure: How To Grow Food From Kitchen Scraps (Part 1)

by Simona Terron

Waste has become a part of our American culture—whether it is an excessive dependence on disposables that are choking our planet, or a complete disregard for how we use water, it’s difficult not to notice that we’ve clearly forgotten how to conserve our precious resources or care for the planet. But it’s not too late.

Start by doing little things to live a greener life and reduce wastage. One of the biggest areas where wastage is a concern is food. Did you know that almost half the food prepared in the US and Europe is wasted every single day? You can do something about this in your own intelligent way.

Aside from using simple tips to make your groceries last longer, use your refrigerator intelligently, recycle things like peels and seeds, we show you how to grow your own food from simple items that are in your kitchen, and would have most likely ended up in the trash.

In the first of this two-part series, we show you how to plant things like leafy greens, celery, cabbage, bokchoy, romaine lettuce, ginger and garlic:

  1. Leafy Greens Like Green Onions, Spring Onions, Lemongrass & Fennel: Put the root ends of these greens in a wide mouthed jar of water, but don’t submerge them fully, letting the cut ends stick up and out of the water. Change the water every day and watch as they grow taller in just a few days. If you can, transfer into a pot with soil. Harvest as you need either way, and if you do pot it, don’t uproot the plant. It will continue to grow as long as you nurture it.

  2. Celery, Cabbage, Bokchoy & Romaine Lettuce: Take water in a flat plan and submerge the roots while you leave the tops above the waterline. Spray with water two or three times a week, and replace the water in the pan as well. It will sprout leaves in a week or so. Plant this cutting with the leaves above soil and let it grow. It will be ready for harvest in approximately five months.

  3. Ginger: Soak a large chunk of ginger overnight, then bury completely in moist soil. Water every day until shoots appear, after which it will grow for about a year. To harvest you will need to uproot the entire plant and use the root ginger. To start again, simply repeat the entire process.

  4. Garlic: For best results, use larger cloves of garlic, which you should bury lightly with the tip sticking out a bit. Place the pot on a sunny window and keep the soil moist. The bulbs will take a while to grow, but you will know they’re ready for harvest when the bottom half of the leaves begin to turn dark yellow.

By teaching younger generations how to care for the environment in small, do-able ways, we can ensure that we undo or at least minimize the damage that’s been inflicted up until now. In the process, you will save time and money, eat healthier and also do your bit for Mother Earth. What’s more, did you also know that getting kids to grow their own vegetables makes them more likely to choose healthier food options? We’d say that’s a win-win situation you have on your hands.

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