One of the ways I like to keep fresh veggies in the house throughout the year is by regrowing vegetables from their scraps. Some vegetables can be easily regrown without much of any effort and it can be a great way to get a head start on your summer garden.
My favorite for this is green onion. Green onions grow really fast on their own and you can have a full stalk regrown from a 1-inch end in about a week. Considering the cost to purchase a bundle of 5-6 green onions in the north can cost you $6 or more, this is a great way to have a free resupply at the ready throughout the year.
Once the green onions grow, you can harvest and regrow them once again. Typically I only do this about 4-5 times per stalk, as I find the onions can begin to lose flavour and colour over time, but its still well worth the effort. I usually just put them in water in the winter, but in the summer when I have soil available, I’ll also plant them – typically the onions grow bigger and more dark green when in soil (as you can see from the photos above).
I’ve recently started trying out several other vegetables with some success including hydroponic lettuce. You know the kind that comes with the roots still attached? These are super easy to regrow, and all you have to do is place the base with roots in a little container of water. After a few days you’ll begin to see new lettuce leaves sprouting from the base. You can also place the bottom of a regular Romain lettuce into water with similar results I’m told, but I’ve yet to try it out.
If you save the original plastic container of the lettuce it can come in handy too. Just fill it with soil and replant the lettuce bottoms in it (or any other seedlings for that matter) and create your own mini-greenhouse for even faster growing.
Like lettuce, celery regrows quickly in just a little water. In a few days you can get fresh new greens popping up, and within weeks you can have new stalks too.
Root vegetable tops are also an easy one when they’re placed in water or soil – from carrots, beets, radishes, parsnips, etc. Although the root itself won’t regrow substantially enough for you to eat them, you can use this method to keep a steady supply of tasty and healthy greens in your home for salads, stir-fries, and pestos.
Ever find your garlic starts growing green shoots before you have a chance to use them up? These are perfect for planting in soil or you can just throw them in a container of water with your celery and lettuce and you’ll start growing fresh garlic greens in no time! Garlic greens are similar to green onions, but more garlicy, and are great additions salads, dressings, soups, stir-fries…the possibilities are endless! If you leave them in soil long enough, you’ll eventually grow brand new garlic pods that can be dried and used later in the year too.
Have you tried regrowing your kitchen scraps? What has worked for you? Feel free to comment with your own tips and tricks.