Words by Natalie Caulfield
Growing what you can at home is a great way to live a more sustainable life, and it won’t hurt your bank account either. You can get started without a garden or a balcony. All you need is a window sill, an empty glass or container, water and some veggie scraps.
How to regrow food from veggie scraps
A general rule of thumb with any vegetable or herb you are trying to regrow is to leave about 2-5cm of the plant base and the roots (if they are still attached). Once cut, put the base into a dish of water and change it every couple of days. You should see some new growth within a week.
If you have access to a garden or a pot on your balcony, transfer your plant when it begins to grow new shoots and roots. Dig a small hole and place the plant into wet soil, remember to water daily as it is still small and won’t be able to survive too long if it’s neglected in the early stages.
Plants that regrow well from scraps:
- Lettuce: Most whole lettuce you buy from the shops theses days still have their root systems attached which will make it easier for the plant to take up water and nutrients right from the start.
- Spring Onion: These cuttings grow very easily and can survive in your kitchen for weeks. They are also quite a sturdy plant and do well in you transfer it to your balcony or a verge garden.
- Celery: Cut the bottom 5cm of the bunch and place it in a deep dish of water. As celery is mostly water you need to make sure you give this one enough in its early stages while its growing.
- Herbs: Mint and Basil are great herbs to have on hand in the kitchen. Leave 5cm of the top of the plant and remove all leaves except the top 2-3.
My herb and veggie ‘farm’
I’ve personally had success with spring onions, lettuce, spinach, celery and basil. Every time I shop for food I think about how I can add more veggies to my little apartment ‘farm’. It’s always exciting to be greeted by a window of green plants when I enter the kitchen each morning. I’ve since planted many of my scrappy plants into the verge garden I helped to restore a few months ago.
Give it a go! Experiment with your favourite herbs and vegetables. You might be surprised what grows. If you’ve experimented with regrowing plants from food scraps, tell us how it went in the comments.