When it comes to creative ways to save money on food one of the best ways is to simply take the food you would normally throw away like the bottoms of your celery hearts and turn them into fresh food that you can use to feed your family. As a large family, this trick is a great one for adding to our garden and reducing our food costs. This also makes for a great science experiment for the kids.
How to regrow vegetables from scraps
Carrots – Regrowing carrots is a great way to get more carrots from your garden. If fresh from the garden you can trim down the tops but leave a large bit of the greenery to speed up the process. This is much faster than starting another round of carrots from seed.
Getting carrots to grow again is an easy process. Leave about 1″ of carrot tops attached when preparing carrots for cooking. Place them bottom side down in fresh clean filtered or distilled water until the tops begin to sprout leaves. Once leaves appear, plant them in potting soil and allow them to grow through the season.
Celery – Celery is my son’s favorite for regrowing at home. He loves to much the leaves of celery so this project makes him happy as he essentially can have an endless supply with just a few celery hearts. You can grow a plant if you submerge its bottom part in water for three to four days. Place this bowl in a sunny window or outside where it will receive some shade to prevent it from drying out. It should take three days for the roots to appear, so plant your celery and watch it grow.
Potatoes – Potatoes are one of the easiest foods to regrow from scraps. In fact, they are so easy to grow from scraps that this is how to grow potatoes. Organic potatoes are best since they have not been sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting. Each piece of potato with sprouted eyes must contain an eye. After they have dried overnight plant them deep in a barrel, the ground, or even a trash can leaving room to keep adding soil for a few weeks.
Sweet potatoes – Just like potatoes, sweet potatoes are easy to grow from scraps. Sweet potatoes with sprouted eyes should be cut into pieces that have at least one eye on them. You can plant them deep in a barrel, or even just barely touching the water to encourage rooting. Sweet potatoes have much more nutrition than regular potatoes making them more beneficial.
Green onions – Green onions are a favorite vegetable of many who want to grow their own. As soon as these are established and growing nicely, you can trim some off to use whenever you want green onions. Cut off the green parts you intend to eat then burrow the bottom and keep it well watered while it grows. Choose onions that have strong roots before you begin in order to achieve the best results. If you can not find any with good roots placing your green onions in water to start the roots works well. To prevent rot, keep the water shallow and only cover the very bottom until you are ready to plant.
Onions – Growing onions is as easy as taking the bottom chunk of onion with the roots still intact and planting it. You can regrow onions by planting a thick slice of onion with the center pice intact by planting this disk in the ground. My favorite way is by saving the centers for planting. I do not cut through the entire onion when chopping onions for a meal. You will find the very center of your onion is the same part you buy at the nursery to grow onions from, I realized this one day when strolling around my favorite produce market. Once you learn how to cut your onions to avoid slicing this you will have an endless supply of fresh onions in your home.
Most Lettuce verities and salad greens – If you have the base of your favorite lettuce, you can regrow it easily by soaking the bottom part of the plant in water. The leaves should start growing after a few weeks and the root system should be strong. When the lettuce is ready, you can transplant it into the garden or hydroponics system.
Cabbage – If you have the base of the head, you can replant cabbage in the same way you plant lettuce and other salad greens. For about 3 to 4 days, place the cabbage bases in shallow water, changing it daily while you wait for the roots to form. Once your cabbage has a strong root system and a few new leaves, you can transfer it to your garden bed so it can spread out and grow a fresh head that you can use later in the gardening season.
Mushrooms – Would you like to grow those specialty mushrooms you see at the farmer’s market? The Farmer’s market is where my husband discovered his love for more unique mushroom verities. When spring comes around, morels are a favorite, but if you do not like to forage for food. Even for the forager, this project can help you ger more mushrooms with less work so you can enjoy the benefits to the fullest each season.
If you own a patch of lawn that is usually neglected, you can use it to grow your own mushrooms. The mushrooms take a year or two to grow, but if you lay the groundwork now, you’ll have your own homegrown mushrooms when the time is right. If you wish to grow mushrooms, blend chunks of the mushroom with water in the blender, and then dump the water out in a location where nobody will dig it up or use chemicals to treat it. As the spores enter the soil, they begin to create the underground network necessary for sprouting this fresh food.