April 03, 2020

Growing Veggies From Scraps

Growing Veggies From Scraps

Did you know you can grow vegetables in your kitchen from vegetable scraps? It turns out that there are lots of ways to do this, but most need to be transplanted into soil to actually bear fruit. However, there are a couple that can be done easily and quickly with just a little water and sunlight. I'm not saying this will cut back on your Instacart or Amazon orders, but it's a fun experiment for the kids and for you!

Romaine Lettuce Farm - Day Two

Lettuce (especially Romaine lettuce) - Other lettuce varieties will work also, but we are loving our tiny Romaine lettuce farm. It's so easy! The above photo is from Day Two and the below photo is from Day Four. Just cut the bottom part off a stalk of lettuce, about 1 - 1 1/2 inches up. Place it into a jar or bowl with water at the bottom and change the water every couple of days. The very next day you will see results! Direct sunlight would be good but our kitchen doesn't get much direct light and we are still seeing results. Ours is just 4 days in and not only am I impressed, but my kiddos are as well. This may be the isolation talking, but walking by and seeing the progress my little lettuce has made, brightens my day! 
Growing Lettuce - Day Four
Bean Sprouts (Lentils, Mung beans or even Wild Rice) - There are so many things you can grow sprouts from and they are really easy to grow at home. There are lots of fancy contraptions on Amazon to grow them, but you can also  wash the beans with water (until the water going through them runs clear), soak them in water overnight and then put lay them onto a paper towel in a sealed container, in the fridge. Rinse them every other day and put them back and you should see sprouts within a week!

Other items you can start in the kitchen, but will take longer to grow:

Avocado - I remember my mom growing an avocado in our kitchen. It had toothpicks in the sides of the seed to keep it floating above a jar of water in the bottom. We would tend to it every couple of days and eventually it would sprout roots. I don't remember it ever producing an avocado though. Hmm. Turns out, that's because once it grows roots you will need to plant it into the ground with the top showing and THEN it can take 10-15 years for the plant to be big enough to bear fruit in the right climate. It's a fun educational project and for me at least, it's nostalgic to have an avocado growing in the kitchen. It you have a child under the age of 3, you might give it a try and see if it will product an avocado before they go to college, assuming you don't have to move during that time. I might stick to the grocery store variety for this one. 

Growing Celery from Vegetable Scraps

Celery - Celery is done in exactly the same way that lettuce is grown, from the stalk. However, it requires more sunlight and after it grows roots (1-2 weeks) it really needs to be planted into soil. It's still a fun project for the kids, but doesn't produce anything viable unless you have a pot or some ground outside to use.



Garlic - Break off a single clove from your garlic (or more if you want more plants) and put it into a shallow cup of water, root (flat) end down. You can leave the shell on. Within a week they will have large sprouts growing out of the top. You can then transfer the sprouts into soil and in 6-9 months, depending on the time of year, you will have garlic bulbs.


Potatoes - You can grow potatoes from the eyes of potato peels. You just have to plant them into soil and keep up with them, but it will probably take longer to grow them this way than it would if you started from seeds. So this one that will absolutely work, but is a long term project.


There are many tutorials online that will show you how to grow everything. In our research we found one YouTuber that we really liked called "Home Grown Veg." We might just be enamored with his accent and the mystery of never seeing his face, but if you are interested, it's worth a gander!

Happy Cooking (and Growing)!

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