The kitchen is one area we tend to generate a lot of waste especially with expired foods, single use plastics, and food wrapping products. Lots can be done to help eliminate waste: buy in bulk, use re-useable food storage containers and wrap, and re-grow vegetables from scraps…. yes, it’s possible to re-grow food scraps into vegetables.
Many vegetables are roots like carrots, beets, and turnips. Just chop off the tops, leaving about a half inch of flesh attached. Place in water and let root. These plants that grow won’t create more vegetables, but you will get leafy greens. These greens can be used in stock, smoothies, salads, and other recipes. If your leafy tops flower, you can collect the seeds to grow your own veggies.
Some food scraps will regrow continuously like celery and lettuce. To do this, cut off the base (about an inch from the bottom of the celery bunch or the stem of the lettuce) and place it in about a 1/2 inch of water. Change the water daily and spray the tops frequently. Transfer into a pot with soil once rooted. Pick as you need or wait and harvest the whole bunch.
Green onions, leeks, basil, and fennel all have root ends, and will regrow easily. Place the root end into water, ensuring the stock is not submerged. Change the water frequently, plant when roots are 5 inches long, and harvest as they grow.
Many fruits can also be regrown, but the fruit will taste different. Apple seeds will grow apple trees, but the apples will taste different from the parent apple. However, strawberries easily regrow and bare tasty fruit. Separate the seeds from the berries by shaving off the skin or blending the berry and filtering out the seeds. Then place seeds on compost soil and add a light layer of soil overtop. Wait for them to grow and place in larger pots. Remember, strawberry plants won’t grow berries their first year, so be patient.
Many of these regrown plants will thrive indoors, or outdoors in a garden or on a balcony. Try it for yourself and see how much waste you eliminate by regrowing food scraps.