Friday, June 21, 2013

Re-Growing Kitchen Scraps

So I've heard a bit of a buzz about regrowing store bought romain hearts and I wanted to give it a try.  And you know what?  It works!
Three Budding Romain Hearts
I started them on my windowsill, but when some of them started to grow a little mold, I moved them outside to the garden where they have done very well!
Romain Hearts Get a Second Chance
I've learned a few things though.  If you keep them inside, try to give them a bit of sun.  Change their water when it gets yellow.
And if you cut them too short, they end up taking longer to grow, and when they do grow, it's in kind of a funny way.  I'm definitely keeping this guy to see what he does.
I've tried with different little artisan heads, and they all seem to do well.  I'm so in love with this idea, I plant a head or two a day.  

Apparently, you can do the same thing with lots of different vegetables!  I tried leeks. I cut them too far down and damaged the center of the leaves (Does that make sense?  I cut into the part that holds all the leaves all together. When you cut, you want to see the tiny leaves all the way to the center of the lettuce or leek). It started sprouting more roots, but it started attracting bugs so I ditched it. I'm trying again this week and will let you know if it works!

Here are some vegetables I hear tell you can re-grow:
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Bok Choy
  • Basil (I have done that. Just take your little basils out of the plastic and put them in water and they grow roots! Even if you don't plant them, they stay much fresher much longer.)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Potato (Melissa? Nonie?)
  • Avocado (?!)
  • Leeks
  • Pineapples (just cut and plant the top, although I guess it takes a couple years. Fun to have a pineapple plant, though!)
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Fennel
  • Scallions
  • Lemongrass
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes/Peppers (anything with seeds)
And also, if it has seeds... (this is probably illegal) try planting them!  I was frustrated that my pepper seedlings weren't coming up, so when I was cutting a store bought pepper, I just plopped all the seeds in a little pot with some good dirt and they came up!  Wow!  (You can tell I'm new to this garden thing, I'm surprised every time I put a seed in the ground and up comes a plant.)
Happy First Day of Summer!
I'm sure there is some kind of spiritual analogy here: one eternal round . . . born again . . . circle of life? I guess that will be another post. That Meredith will probably write.

Have you given new life to any of your kitchen scraps?  What has worked and what hasn't?


  1. I have never heard about or even thought of doing this. Super cool Ariel!

  2. I've never had luck with the pineapple- I must be doing it wrong (although I keep trying!). But I've had great success with green onions. I'd never thought of planting tomato and peppers seeds! Will definitely have to try that in the spring.

  3. Wow Ariel, you are so advanced! I never knew this was possible. So excited to get into the gardening world this fall.

    And REALLY excited to meet that little Evelyn bundle this week!!! Finally.

  4. Wow, what a list! I want to try so many. One of the first thoughts I had was about the hybrid seed issue... have you read anything about that? I know that if you save seed from a hybrid plant, the fruit could turn out quite differently the next year, right? Would the principle apply if you we're re-rooting the actual celery? Would you have to be sure the tomatoes were heirloom if you were going to replant the seeds?

    As far as potatoes go, the eyes are the seeds, so you can just throw them in the ground and they'll grow for you. Our backyard neighbor threw a bunch of old peels out in the dirt, and was surprised to find a whole potato garden grow from it! That being said, you do want to make sure the potatoes are untreated with sprout inhibitors, as some are.

  5. "Whatsoever a Woman soweth, that shall she also reap" - Galatians 6:7

    Wondeful Ariel.

    My celery sprouted beautifully - yes the one you put into water in late June at the cottage when you were here. I'm still getting around to putting it into the ground. I wish I were prompt, like you. Thank you for this wonderful post.