Scraps you can use

basil regrow

Regrowing basil

We have environmentally-conscious customers.  So last week we tackled how you can assist in reducing the 90 billion pounds of food waste in landfills each week, including reuse, repurpose and recycle.  Today let’s discuss how you can use some of those scraps you would otherwise toss to grow your own vegetables (and oftentimes in your kitchen windowsill!)

I’m regrowing some Thai basil (above).  Here, I’ve cut several stems that had flowered and removed all the leaves, leaving the flowering section.  In the short term, it acts as a pretty decoration.  In a week or two, I expect to see new basil sprouts!

Avocado.  Technically you can use an avocado pit to grow into an avocado tree; however, avocado trees typically don’t do well in our environment, unless it’s a cold-tolerant variety.  Haas avocados found at most grocery stores are not a cold-tolerant type.  But if you want to keep the tree indoor during the winter months, then take your pit and put 4 toothpicks around the center.  These toothpicks will rest on the sides of a bowl, so the pit is only halfway submerged in water. Put in sunlight and after 3-6 weeks you should start to see the pit split and grow roots.

Basil, cilantro, or green onions.  You can take a cutting of either of these plants and place in a jar of water.  Be sure to change the water a few times per week and keep in a sunny place.  Once the roots have grown about 2″, replant in a pot.

Bok choy or celery.  The base of the stalks should be completely submerged in water.  Within a week, you should start to see new growth.  Replant in a pot once the growth has started.


Cabbage or romaine lettuce.  Unlike bok coy or celery, the base should only be placed in small amount of water.  Cabbage and lettuce require sunlight (unlike bok choy and celery).  You should mist the leaves every few days and change the water a few times per week.  Once growth begins, including roots, you can replant in a pot or garden.

Carrot greens.  Using the top of the carrot with the green still intact, place the cut side of the carrot down in a bowl.  Add enough water so the orange top is halfway covered. Once shoots appear, replant.  Then harvest whenever you like (you’ll just be eating the carrot greens and not get actual new carrots from this process).

Garlic greens.  Place bulbs or clove in water so the water is just touching the bottom of the clove or bulb.  Submersing the whole thing will end up in rot.  Place in a sunny area and change water frequently.

Ginger.  Using fresh ginger (not yet frozen), place a chunk in potting soil. It should only receive indirect sunlight.  Once it’s ready to harvest, pull up the root, cut off a chunk, and re-start the process.

Peppers, pumpkins, and tomatoes.  Clean the seeds from these vegetables and you can replant next spring.

Mushrooms or potatoes.  Plant the stalk of the mushroom in soil, covering everything except the very top.  Or for potatoes, cut in half and wait until dry (24 hours).  Then plant.  Harvest when fully grown.

Onions.  Place onion bottom in soil.  Once new roots have formed, remove old onion piece.

Pineapple.  Like those regrowing avocado, this will require a portable planter that can come inside during our winters.  And this is not for the faint of heart – expect to wait 2-3 years to see fruit.  See instructions here.

Are you trying any of these techniques?  Tell us about it on Facebook!


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