Today, it’s all about reducing, reusing and recycling. While it may sound strange, you can actually recycle your leftovers and grow brand new foods right in your own backyard garden. Doing this is very earth-friendly and it’s a great way to get more out of your garden. Plus, when you are growing and regrowing foods you will be saving yourself a nice chunk of change at the grocery checkout line which is never a bad thing, you’d have to agree!
Here is a list of 5 foods you can grow using leftovers.
It is entirely possible to grow brand new celery from a stalk you would normally toss out. All you need to do is to take a bottom of a celery stalk, soak it in warm water for 12 to 15 hours and then plant it with the cut side up in your garden. It’s important to water the celery well for the first several days. Believe it or not, within 7-14 days, you will have a few thin but hearty stalks of celery you can use in salads.
Recycling ginger roots is simple, regardless if you grow your own or have purchased a few nubs from your local grocer. To regrow ginger, take the freshest root you have that is not wrinkled or dried out and plant in in your garden like you would a flower bulb. Be sure that the small points are pointing upward or to the sides. Water the ginger root moderately. Within a few short weeks you will have a healthy new ginger root that will continue to grow as long as the weather remains warm.
You are probably in the habit of tossing out those oddly-shaped ends from the sweet potatoes you grow in your garden. Well, you can recycle those and root them right inside your home! To do this, simply half-submerge a sweet potato end in a jar of water using toothpicks and put the potato in a sunny, warm location. You will be amazed to find that within a few weeks, new sprouts will begin shooting from the bottom and the top. Once the sprouts are a couple of inches long, cut the potato into sections, plant them in your garden and then harvest them for your dinner table when the leaves start to yellow.
It’s inevitable that you will always end up with those teeny tiny cloves of garlic that you’d rather not bother peeling and using when cooking. Why not stick them in your garden and get good use from them by regrowing fresh garlic? In order to succeed at growing garlic you need to plant it in a very sunny location and remember to cut off the long stalk that sprouts from the bulb. When you remove the stalk, the plant will direct all of its energy into plumping up a big, fat bulb you can harvest in a few weeks.
Instead of pitching the base of your Bok Choy into the trash can or compost bin, you can regrow this popular stir-fry veggie with ease. Simply take the unused base of the plant and place it in a small dish of water, face-up. Set the Bok Choy in a sunny window. As long as the plant has some water a lot of sunlight, you’ll begin to see new growth in just a few days. Once the new growth is a few inches tall, plant the Bok Choy in your garden in fertile soil.
There is nothing quite as rewarding or fun than growing foods in your garden using scraps! You may enjoy doing this so much that you become a bit addicted to recycling your foods to the point that you find you have many pots and planters sitting around which are waiting until the time’s right to go into the earth. Consider taking a look at a few clever garden stakes available at GardenFun.com as they can help keep you organized while creating a whimsical aesthetic touch both indoors and out.
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Kirsten Hunt is a freelance writer. She writes about health, home and gardening.