20 DIFFERENT KITCHEN SCRAPS YOU CAN REGROW

Have you ever really thought about sustainability and what that word actually means? It could mean a lot of things. Big things, like a global shift to green energy. Or, a more sustainable way of practicing agriculture and feeding the world. But it can also mean small things. Things that we as individuals can do to contribute to a more sustainable way of life. 

Remember, going “green” isn’t about caring the weight of saving the world from over-consumption on your own shoulders. We weren’t biologically built for that. Lol Many of us have already adopted simple and sustainable habits like recycling and switching to more organic gardening practices. Which is really great! But, we do live in an economy-based society. And “green” products and services tend to be more expensive. How about one that may actually save you money?

Regrowing kitchen scraps is a fantastic practice that does just that. You could potentially get twice or even three times the produce using odds and ends you only had to pay for once. I’ve been doing it for a while, now. And yes, it was a bit tricky at first. Just wrapping my brain around the idea was, but once I got it, I got it. And now we have a small greenhouse indoors, in which we regrow all kinds of things. Lowering our food bills and giving us the satisfaction of providing for ourselves, independently. Without needing a PhD in horticulture or hydroponics. Keep reading to see how you can too.

HOW to REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

HOW to REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

Regrowing produce can save you money but what about the set up? What kind of gadgets do you need? Are they expensive? In my experience, no. Not really. I started out put celery ends in a bowl of water. Holding it up with toothpicks and sitting it on a window sill. Lots of people start that way and it’s pretty effective. This is especially successful for those living in temperate climates. You can grow things in sunny windowsills all year round.

Regrowing Lettuce in a Bowl of Water

My husband and I hang our hats on the Canadian prairies, though. At the top of our province is, pretty much, the North Pole. Not exactly temperate.  So, we looked into how we could manage regrowing kitchen scraps away from frosted windowsills in October through May.

Regrowing Lettuce in a Bowl of Water

ACCESSORIES FOR REGROWING KITCHEN SCRAPS

If you live in region with a short growing season, there are some fairly economical accessories that you can buy to set up a modest regrowing station of your own, indoors. These can be placed in a sunny, warm room inside your home. With proper heating and light accessories, resprouting kitchen scraps will also do well in an insulated garage or basement. Unlike larger, outdoor greenhouses, these don’t take up a lot of room.

In regions with cold but less severe winters, outdoor cold frames give your re-sprouting produce extra room with direct access to sunlight and fresh air circulation. 

FOR INDOOR GROWING

Tabletop Greenhouse

Credit: IKEA

Table top greenhouses are small enough to sit right on a sunny kitchen counter and contribute to a lovely contemporary or modern farmhouse esthetic.

3 Tier Greenhouse

Credit: IKEA

Tall and tiered greenhouses fit perfectly in the corner of a warm laundry room, garage or heated basement. The see-through cover traps heat and light, encouraging vigorous, new scrap growth.

FOR OUTDOOR GROWING in MILD WINTER REGIONS

Cold Frame Cover

Fitted covers can turn an open, raised bed into an instant cold frame with fitted covers.

Permanent Cold Frame

Built-in cold frames can capture the heat from your home as well as sunlight to create the perfect environment for regrowth, even on a snowy day.

WHAT YOU CAN REGROW from KITCHEN SCRAPS

Lots of different items we pick up in the produce section can be regrown. The effort is pretty minimal  and definitely worthy of a try. I’ve broken the different options down into four basic “food groups”, if you will.

HERBS

Depending on the season, herbs can be some the most economical to regrow. These include green onion, basil, mint, cilantro and lemongrass. Feel free to try this with others herbs, as well. With a little thoughtful preparation, they’ll regrow in a simple glass of water, for a swift return on investment.  For easy prep instructions, read 5 Different Herbs You Can Root and Grow in Decorative Jars

LEAFY GREENS

How lovely will it be to continuously grow healthy, leafy greens like lettuce, bok choy, celery, kale and cabbage by the kitchen door in summer. Plucking a few, here and there,  for quick lunch and dinner recipes. In winter, you can regrow them in water and keep them by a warm kitchen window or your mini greenhouse.

ROOT and TUBER VEGETABLES

Potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots and ginger regrow best in soil, allowing the tubers to multiply. Once harvested,  they keep for a long time in a cold, dark place (we use our cellar pantry) and can be used in lots of soups and stews over those long winter months. You can keep some to regrow in your winter cold frame or wait until spring.

BULB VEGETABLES

Like root vegetables, your yield from regrown onions, asparagus, leeks, garlic and fennel will also get you through a long winter. Without having to haul yourself through the snow to get to the store. The shelf life of these are extended when stored in the same cool, dry place. And as you use them for recipes, you can simply pop them into water to harvest the growing greens or nestle them back into the soil of your cold frame for further bulb multiplication.

NOW YOU'RE READY to REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

Now that you have a good idea about what kitchen scraps you can grow, and how and when to do it, you’re ready to go! Give it a try and don’t give up. Once you’ve got it, the practice will pay you back over and over again.

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