According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more that 34 million tons of food waste were generated in 2010, second only to paper. (via timefreepress.com)
You recycle your bottles and newspapers, you upcycle thrift store finds into decor treasures, and you reuse all your plastic bags. But do you upcycle your food scraps? We’re not talking compost (yet), we’re talking re-growing food from scraps you might have tossed right into the garbage!
Turns out, several odds and ends you might have tossed can be re-grown into more food!
When your recipe only calls for the green part of the scallions, don’t toss the white end with the roots. Stick it in a glass jar with a little water and the greens will grow back. You can just snip off what you need as you go. This also works with leeks.
This delicious, aromatic herb is really just a grass and will grow well in a pot in a sunny spot. Take the root ends (after you’ve used the rest in a recipe) and put in a jar of water in a sunny spot. After a week or so, you’ll start to see roots appearing. Once the roots look healthy, transplant your lemongrass to a pot and let it grow. You can start harvesting when the stalks get to be a foot or more tall.
The next time you’re chopping a bunch of celery, save the root end! Place it in a shallow bowl of water, and after a few days, you should start to see roots and new leaves appear. As soon as you see these, you can plant the celery — leaving the leaves just above the soil. The plant will continue to grow, and soon you’ll have a whole new head of celery!
Did you know that ginger makes a beautiful (and useful) houseplant? If you’ve got a piece of fresh ginger going spare in your fridge, you can plant it in potting soil. Ginger is a root, and before long, you’ll notice a lovely plant sprouting from it. Once the plant is big enough, you can actually pull it up, whack off a piece of the root, and replant it whenever you need fresh ginger–or just enjoy your culinary houseplant.
Here’s a way to grow pineapple at home from a pineapple! Pick one with healthy, green leaves on top. Some brown tips are normal, but the center leaves should be all green. You need a 12 inch wide by 12 inch tall pot filled with potting soil mixed with compost. You can start them in smaller pots, then transfer them to larger pots. Pineapples don’t like wet soil, so be sure your potting soil has an additive like vermeculite to promote drainage. The pineapple can stay in this pot, but the plant can grow up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide, so you may need some help when moving it!
Want to learn more about composting? Check out what the University of Oregon has to say about the subject, which is a LOT!
Organic Gardening online magazine is another great site that can give you even more hints! Now….get out and get dirty!!