When people start thinking about growing some of their own vegetables at home, the task can seem simple at first, I mean how hard can it be to put a plant in the ground, water it and then enjoy the bountiful harvest of a fully operational farm? Yeah, not so much, although a wonderful dream, to get the bountiful harvest of your dreams takes a lot of space, work and time! With that said there are millions of small tricks that can make growing vegetables a little easier. One way is to use kitchen scraps to grow plants! Yes a lot of foods you disregard as not edible and/or trash can in fact grow into a plant and give you more fruits and vegetables! It is an alternative way of growing a vegetable garden then growing from seed or buying a bunch of plants.
I’ve had my own vegetable garden for a few years now and I’m always looking for new ways to improve the harvest and balance the ecosystem of the garden. I believe that EVERYONE should grow some of their own food, even if it’s just one herb plant or one tomato plant! So with the unusually warm weather at the end of winter and beginning of spring my ambitions, and free time, were thrust into thinking/researching my vegetable garden. In the process I came across a blog that talked about growing celery plants from the discarded bottom of a celery stalk. At first I was skeptical but also intrigued. I had never thought of growing celery before but after doing some more reading and watching a few videos on YouTube to authenticate the idea, I decided to try it myself. It really was very simple. About a week later after using a stalk of celery for some soup and appetizers (here’s a recipe using celery!) I decided to try it! If it didn’t work it was no loss of time or money to me! I cut the stalk down to the bottom and simply placed it in a small plastic bowl with a little bit of water. I placed it on the windowsill and basically forgot about it. Every few days I would check on it and change the water but within a week I noticed the top center of the celery, where the stalks use to be was rising! A few more days and they were definitely rising. Then one day when changing the water I noticed small white roots growing out of the bottom! It was working; growing from scraps was actually working! I waited a few more weeks before transplanting the celery outside due to cooler weather and in the mean time I started a second celery plant in a different bowl, this one also began to grow! Finally on the last week of April when temps had warm enough and the threat of frost seemed about gone I planted both stalks in a pot on my back deck. They are growing bigger each day and in a few months will have fresh celery stalks from my backyard!!
Celery isn’t the only vegetable I’ve been able to use kitchen scraps to grow! Last year I stumbled across growing potatoes. We had a bag of potatoes that got lost in the pantry, when we found them they had begun to spud, so without thinking I throw them into my compost bin. For the next two months I was pulling foot long sprouts out of my compost bin, each one anchored by a chunk of potatoes! I decided to plant them in mounds and in pots as an experiment and to my surprise I actually got some potatoes, granted they weren’t that big but then again I didn’t really give them the room they needed either.
Another fun kitchen scrap to recycle is the top of pineapple! Yes pineapple! This one I have yet to successfully do and from what I have learned can be very time consuming, taking at least eight months of bright sunshine to grow fruit. Like the celery you take the top of the pineapple, where the leaves are, and pull it off, and then you pull some of the bottom leaves off and place in water till it takes root. Once the roots appear you can plant it in a pot. Growing pineapple may be more difficult because it is a tropical plant that needs warm sunshine for a long time, which isn’t available naturally in the northern latitudes. Never the less it can be accomplished and in fact can be very fun!
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