Many root vegetables can be regrown in your kitchen with a glass of water and a sunny ledge.
While composting is a great way to make use of peels, skins, and ends of your old vegetables, there are many things you can do with your scraps before throwing them away. The outer skins of fruit and vegetables are filled with flavour and vitamins and can have many different uses. For instance, you can use them around the house to clean greasy messes or your tea kettle. You can use them to enhance food by creating zests or sugars. You can also throw your vegetable scraps into boiling water and make a broth.
You may have seen that some vegetables have their roots attached, particularly leeks, green onions, and fennel. Instead of scrapping the roots, you can actually regrow the entire vegetable. All you need is a jar of water and a ledge in the sun, and you’ve got yourself a kitchen garden. You can do it all before the official garden season starts.
Green Onions and Leeks
Place at least an inch of the root ends of your green onions in an inch of water. Make sure to change the water every day or two so you don’t end up with slime. You should have a medium-length green onion to trim and eat in about ten days. The roots will eventually get bigger and will need some nutrients to keep growing. At that point, you can transfer them to a small pot of potting soil to re-nourish or start over with a new bunch of green onions. You can do the same thing with leeks, although they might take a bit longer to regrow.
Place the bulb in a container, with the base facing down and stem-end-up. Cover the bulb end in water. You can trim and eat the stalks and fronds (the leafy part) as needed. To continue the growth, you will eventually need to replant it in soil.
It’s a little tricky to regrow garlic in water, but you can promote the growth of the green sprouts, which can be used in salads, dressings and stir-fries. Place a whole or partial bulb in a glass and add enough water to come partially up to the bulb. The sprouts will grow and regrow a few times in water before needing soil.
Cut off the bottom of the head of lettuce and place it in a small bowl of water. You will see new growth begin from the center of the in as little as three days, and you’ll have a new half-head of lettuce in about two weeks. You can do this with romaine and red and green leaf.
Any fruit or vegetable can be regrown at home with water or placed directly in the soil. It’s an easy and affordable way to grow fresh produce right in our homes. Grab a glass of water and start growing!