How to Grow Food from Food

Save your kitchen scraps to grow more of your favorite produce.

Yes, you can grow food from food. These vegetables, fruits, and herbs regrow themselves, and some even grow in water alone. By regrowing your favorite produce, you'll spend a little less time in the produce aisle and a little more time in your kitchen and garden. Bonus: You'll also save some cash in the long run.

Basil

There's nothing better than a batch of homegrown basil (did someone say pesto?). The fact that you can regrow basil in your kitchen makes it even better. Cut the plant a few inches below its highest set of leaves. You'll want a few inches of bare stem to reach the water.

Place the trimmings in a jar or vase and fill with water. Keep the plant near natural light but not directly in light to be sure that your herb doesn't burn. Transfer to a pot once hairlike roots have sprouted.

Lettuce

Grow lettuce straight from the fridge! Go ahead and eat your batch of lettuce, but leave the central part of the vegetable untouched—this section holds all of the power in producing new growth. Cut the leaves about an inch from the bottom of the lettuce bunch.

Place lettuce stem in a shallow dish. Change the water every couple of days; after 10-12 days, you'll have bits of lettuce perfect for making small salads or topping deli sandwiches.

Green Onions

Grow green onions on your windowsill, even while there's snow on the ground outside. To start, cut store-bought green onions near the white root, being sure to leave some of the pale green portion next to the cut root (cutting right at the white part will mean a longer regrowing time).

Place onions, roots down, in a small water-filled glass and set in a sunny spot. Replace the water every 2-3 days; transfer to a pot if you'd like the onions to last longer.

Celery

No need to stock up on celery in your refrigerator. Like lettuce, cut the celery base from its stalk, leaving about 1-2 inches of celery. The central part of the celery holds the nutrients for producing new stalks.

Place the cut celery base into a bowl of water. Change the water every other day to keep the roots fresh. Now you can enjoy quick-and-easy ants on a log whenever you please!

Onion

Plant this veggie right in your garden! Regrowing onions is simple. Start by cutting the onion at the root, then place the onion root in the soil, cut side up. Cover the onion in about an inch of soil; water, then let the roots regenerate themselves. Once roots start to appear, remove the original onion bottom and let the roots grow out.

Avocado

Hold on to your avocado pits instead of throwing them in the trash—each one can be its own indoor avocado plant. Wash and dry the pit, and fill a jar or glass almost to the brim with water. You will put about an inch of the broad end of the pit into the water. After determining which end will be submerged, press 3 to 4 toothpicks into the side of the pit. The toothpicks allow the pit to stay suspended from the rim of the jar or glass.

Place the container in a warm spot with indirect sunlight. Since warmth will evaporate some of the water, refill as needed. You should see roots emerge in 2 to 6 weeks, and a stem will sprout from the top. Once the stem has leaves and grows to about 6 inches, trim it back by half (to 3 inches). After leaves have returned, you can plant the sprouted pit in soil. When placing in soil, keep half of the pit above the surface of the soil.

3 Comments

  1. I am also wondering how to remove the onion without disturbing the roots.

  2. I was wondering the same thing.......

  3. I have a question regarding planting onions. Once you plant the bottom of the onion and it starts to grow, how can you remove the original onion bottom without disturbing the roots?



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