Food Recycling Tips
by Sandy Swegel
Winter is going on and on. One day of sun and ice melt is followed by three days of cold and snow. I’ve been cooking a lot, trying to meet my need for gardening by preparing great food. One of the best things about cooking, from a gardener’s perspective, is that I’m making compost! But there is one more way to cheer up a snow-bound gardener and achieve kitchen recycling and that’s to regrow the vegetable scraps rather than just feeding them to the worms.
I first encountered the idea of re-growing food scraps from a children’s gardening book because it’s fun to do and a great way to teach kids about food and where it comes from. But this long winter, re-growing carrot tops and celery bottoms is also a great way to entertain the gardener yearning for Spring.
It’s super easy to regrow your scraps. You don’t even have to have soil, water works. Cute cups or plain bowls or recycled tin cans are good containers. And you just need the tiniest shaft of light to keep things green.
When you shop, choose:
Vegetables with roots (like green onions)
Roots with leaves (carrots, beets)
Whole plants (bok choy, celery or kale)
Fresh herbs (mint sometimes has little roots already growing)
When you’re making salad or soup:
Save inch stubs of carrots and onions. Carrots can go on a shallow bowl or plate of water. Onions can be put in a couple of inches of water in a juice glass.
Save two-inch ends celery or bok choy or an onion.
Growing your scraps is pretty easy
You want to put the roots in water and the top of the plant above water. Ideally, change the water every day so slime doesn’t happen.
As the food scraps grow, you can pot up the vigorous growers like celery and beet greens, and snip from the new growth all winter.
Remember, it’s your food. It should not only be yummy and nutritious and pretty. It should also be fun to play with.
Best Heirloom Vegetables
Wildflower seed mixes
Grass seed mixes