Devour Your Food Scraps

Directions & photos by Brooke Constance White

Did you know you can regrow many of your food scraps? If you have a stocked fridge, you probably don’t even need to shop for any supplies—just look in your produce drawer and remember to save the produce ends you normally throw away. While there are endless possibilities, we picked four veggies that are easy, fun to grow and require few supplies. You’ll be able to watch daily progress as the veggie scraps grow into a ready supply of produce.


Chop It and Weep

Ingredients
1 onion
One small pot
Potting soil
Tap water

Process
Cut the onion in half and put the side with roots in a cup of shallow water so the roots are covered. Change the water every day. After a few days, you’ll see some root growth. After about a week, roots should be an inch or two long. Plant the onion, root side down, in a pot with well-draining soil or directly into the ground. You can trim and eat the green sprouts as the bulb develops. In three to four months, you will have a mature onion.


Lettuce Eat

Ingredients
1 lettuce head (the same process works for celery heart or green onions)
One small pot
Potting soil

Process
Place the bottom portion of the lettuce head in a small dish of water. Change the water daily. After a week, you should see small leaves growing out of the top. You can trim the leaves to eat as they grow or let it grow back over 10 days and use it all at once. Once the main stalk shoots up, it’s bolted and will likely be too bitter to eat.


Care for a Carrot

Ingredients
Carrot tops
Shallow bowl
Tap water

Process
Place a carrot top in a shallow bowl of water so that the bottom ⅛” of the carrot is covered in water. Wait seven to 10 days, changing water daily. You should see a few small green leaves growing out of the top. After two weeks, the carrot greens should be ready to eat and are perfect for making carrot top pesto, chimichurri or putting in salads or soup.


How Sweet It Is

Ingredients
One half of a sweet potato
Toothpicks or wooden kabab sticks
Mug or small bowl

Process
Cut a sweet potato in half. Using toothpicks, prop the sweet potato in a cup so water covers a ¼” of the cut end. Wait two to four weeks and you’ll start to see shoots, known as slips, growing out of the potato. Once slips are a few inches long, separate them from the potato and place the stem bottom in a shallow bowl of water. After a week, roots will emerge from the slips. When the roots are an inch long, plant the slip in well-draining soil. You’ll have mature sweet potatoes in three to six months.

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