Thoughts from the Cottage…
Growing vegetables from seeds is great and expected, but growing them from kitchen scraps is totally out of the box for me. Does it require some time? Yes. Is going to the grocery store easier? Definitely. But I’m going stir crazyand it sounds like fun and there are a lot of benefits. Upcycling your kitchen scraps - love it! Rooting basil stems, onions and ginger will save money and I can do it indoors (don’t even think of going outside). Just make sure to use fresh scraps (not stuff that’s been composting for a week) and remember to pay attention to your baby future plant, making sure it has the water and light it needs. Reminds me of science experiments in grade school...oops just dated myself.
Vegetable rooting 101…
I have the hardest time keeping basil fresh so this is worth a try!
Choose 4-inch stems and using a sharp blade (not scissors) cut just below a leaf node - the part on the stem where new leaves/stems sprout.
Strip any leaves from 3/4 of the stem then place in a glass of water and leave in a very bright but not too hot place until roots start to form on the stem. Be sure to change the water every couple of days.
Once the roots are around 2-inches long, pot up individual stems into pots filled with potting compost. Water in and then place in direct sunlight. Try to give the plant at least six hours of bright, direct sunlight each day.
…steps 1 and 2 are done and hopefully in a few weeks I'll have a new basil plant ready for potting…I can just taste the pesto!
Pesto ...Basil !
Use all the celery stalk you want, just keep the root end intact. Put the white end in a glass of water and watch it. Make sure the roots are in water but don’t submerge the entire plant. Make sure to place the bowl into a sunny window and mist it with water weekly to keep the top of the plant moist.
Several days later you will begin to see the roots and leaves sprouting. In 7 to 10 days remove the plant from the water and plant it into soil( container gardening here I come) with only the leaves above the soil. Your plant will continue to grow and in several weeks you will have a new head ready to be harvested.
Treat romaine lettuce, cabbage or bok choy the same way! Use the ends to regrow a new plant, just like you would celery. Never buy another head of lettuce or bok choy again…oh boy!
Celery, Romaine Lettuce, Cabbage, Bok Choy…oh boy!
Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps?
Before you let that last little knob of ginger shrivel up in your fridge...
Well …at least it makes a nice houseplant!
You can grow garlic sprouts and garlic from a little clove.
Garlic sprouts are excellent on top of baked potatoes, green salads, vegetable salads, or stirred into egg salads, pasta salads, dips, and as a quick garnish over hummus or guacamole.
…like chives with a different flavor! ..OR..
Scallion, Spring Onion, Lemongrass, Fennel & Leek
You can shave a few bucks off your grocery bill by growing a few of these staples. Best part, it is so easy! You don’t need seeds or anything fancy. You can simply use kitchen scraps from your next meal. How great is that! Yes my kitchen window looks like a science experiment but I didn’t have to go outside! Had everything in house…water, glass bowls and vegetable scraps, didn’t even need any dirt …yet. Will let you know if there is any fruit from my labor!
Usually this time of year I am out trimming the trees. So easy to do without the leaves. But with the extreme cold Michigan has been experience - that is not going to happen! So I stay inside an ponder what to do? Could make a wreath ..but need to go to the store for supplies - nope. It is a little early to start a seed garden for me but I have come across something new to share. Instead of throwing away or making broth from the “waste” of some vegetables , for a change of pace you plant them! Just made some soup (did I say it was cold outside) so I am ready to start growing vegetables! This really looks like fun!
Garlic…have it both ways!
With all 5 of these examples you will use the end of the vegetable with the white roots.