In the United States, nearly 40 million tons of food is discarded every year. Globally, the food we waste accounts for about 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. An easy way to help mitigate this waste issue is to use your leftover food scraps to regrow your own plants, right in your own window. No outdoor gardening space needed!
You may be wondering...what can I grow in my window from scraps? There are a multitude of possible produce options when utilizing food scraps for your indoor garden. Check out our list below for tips and tricks to re-grow your favorite produce so you can fight food waste in your own kitchen.
1. AvocadosOnce you’re finished eating your avocado, wash the seed and plant it! Point the broad end of the pit downside inside a jar filled halfway with water, pressing three toothpicks around the pit. You should place your jar in a window, watering as needed. Observe closely and your pit should start to sprout roots and a stem in 2-6 weeks.
After cutting the top off a beet, you can put it in a shallow tray of water. After this, beet greens will start to sprout, which you can use in salads! Yum! For a longer harvest, try planting the beet top in soil.
3. Green Onions
These allium-family crops are one of the easiest foods to regrow from scraps! Measure from the base of the onion where the roots start and cut so that you have 1-2 inches of stem attached to the roots. Place these cut stems in a cup of water or soil. Change out the water every few days. In about a month, you will have new fresh green onions to enjoy!
Did you know that a head of romaine or butter lettuce can grow again from its cut off base? With some water and sunlight, you will have fresh greens in a matter of a few weeks. Fill the bowl or pot you want to plant the lettuce in halfway with water, and once the leaves have regrown, transfer the stumps to soil.
Don’t throw away those carrot tops! To start off, use carrots that still have some of the greens still attached. Try to leave an inch of the stems attached and place them cut-side down in a shallow container with a tad of water (ensure the carrot tops aren’t covered in water or they’ll rot). Keep the cut sides submerged in water as time goes on, with the container in a warm spot. It should only take a couple of days for your carrots to start showing new growth. After the carrot sprouts roots, transfer them to soil in more direct sun. The new pinches of leaves can be used for garnishes on pasta or even a salad. Or you can let them flower — your choice!
Does your celery have a little bit of root at the bottom? Well, good news! You can sprout the leftover celery base in water. When cutting, leave an inch or two at the base and place it in a shallow bowl of warm water. Brand new stalks should sprout in a few days! For an enduring harvest, plant the newly sprouted celery in soil after a week.
It’s time to enliven your pastas and pizzas. Pick four-inch long stems from a bunch of basil. Cut off ¾ of the leaves from these stems with a knife. Place these newly cut stems in a jar filled with water and in direct sunlight. Roots will start growing in a matter of days. When the roots grow to two inches, put these rooted cuttings in soil for a harvest to grow new basil plants!
8. Bok Choy
After cutting off the base of a bok choy plant, place it in a bowl bottom-down. Cover the base in water. Replace the water every few days and in a week’s time, there should be regrowth around the base. Once regrowth is evident, it can be transferred to soil, being ready to fully harvest in five months.
That’s right, you can regrow your very own cabbage patch! Put leftover cabbage leaves in a bowl with a small amount of water in the bottom with a lot of available sunlight. Mist the leaves with water every few days, and when roots and new leaves begin to sprout, transfer the cabbage to soil.