Regrowing Foods from Scraps, Skins, and Seeds

  1. GPS1504
    A lesson we could all stand to learn prior to TEOTWAWKI is how to grow food. Purchasing seeds and stockpiling them to suit your growing needs is wise, but in the absence of seeds or to conserve seeds, try planting leftover scraps from the kitchen instead. Whether it is vegetables, fruits, nuts, or even herbs you crave, it can be grown from parts you might otherwise throw away. By planting instead, you create a new resource from which you and your family can partake. In addition to saving money, choosing to plant and grow additional food from scraps can be something that one day saves your lives.

    Vegetables:

    Lettuce, Cabbage, and Bok Choy are easily grown by placing leftover leaves in a container with a bit of water, spritzing the leaves every couple of days and providing plenty of sunshine. You will soon see the appearance of roots, at which time the leaves should be transplanted in soil.

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    Photo: Seamepost

    Bean Sprouts can be regrown by soaking beans in shallow water. Give them a bit of water to soak in, rinsing the beans daily until they reach the size you desire.

    Avocado seeds will need to be washed before being prepared for growth. They also need direct sunlight while suspended over water with only the base submerged, such as with toothpicks. You will also need some patience, as it may take six weeks or so for avocado growth to occur. When growth appears, allow it to reach several inches, then trim the tip and plant it with a portion of the seed remaining above ground.

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    Photo: Condenast

    Onions grow when the root is replanted. You should retain about the bottom inch or so of onion then place it in soil.

    Pumpkins regrow well from seeds planted in soil. You can also plant a whole pumpkin if you should choose.

    Mushrooms require warmth and humidity to grow and may need a pot as opposed to being planted in the ground. Cut the head off and plant the stalk, leaving the tip exposed. From that a new head will grow.

    Tomatoes require seeds to be rinsed and dried before planting. Once planted, they will need sunlight, support, and warmth to grow.

    Peppers of all kinds can be grown by planting seeds in soil. Each time you eat those that grow, save and plant seeds to stay in peppers for a long time to come.

    Celery can be regrown by taking the base and placing it in a container
    with water in the bottom. Allow your celery to receive sunlight and
    after a week, growth around the base should become noticeable. Once you
    see this, transplant into soil.

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    Photo: Good Clean Fun Life

    Potatoes are grown by planting either a whole potato or peelings, but 'eyes' have to be present for successful growth. Plant about four inches underground with eyes facing up and you should see potato presence in a few weeks' time.

    Sweet Potatoes, on the other hand, need to be suspended over water until roots begin to grow. When those roots reach several inches in length, break them free and drop them into the water below. At about one inch in length, they can be transplanted.

    Turnips can be grown from the top of the turnip. Place this in water until roots sprout and then relocate to soil.

    Fruits:

    Pineapple is another item that needs to be suspended over water to grow, with only the base making contact with said water. It also needs direct sunlight. Cut off the top and suspend it until root growth occurs. You can then transplant, but it may be necessary to grow indoors depending on your climate.

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    Photo: Counter Current News

    Apples can be grown from seeds that are allowed to dry out and then planted. This will take some time, but on down the road you will have apple-producing trees.

    Plums, Peaches, and Nectarines can all be grown from the seed although it will take a couple of years' time. Dry the seed and plant in nutrient rich soil with sunlight availability.

    Cherries grow from their own pits, but doing so is a time consuming
    process. Rinse pits, pack in soil, and keep in the fridge for 3 months,
    then transplant.

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    Photo: Gardening Solutions

    Lemons take a couple of years to produce but require the planting of dry seeds in nutrient rich soil. In cold climates, small lemon trees can be grown indoors.

    Herbs:

    Lemongrass is simple to grow and does so much in the same manner as regular grass. Simply place the leftover root in a moist container and when it begins to grow fresh root, plant it in your herb garden.

    Garlic can be grown by taking one clove and planting it. Keep roots facing down and provide plenty of water and sunlight. Shoots will appear and should be cut back to allow a bulb to grow.

    Basil takes a stem several inches in height to regrow. Place this in a
    container of water, allowing leaves to stay above the water line, and
    provide access to sunlight. Once roots form, transplant into soil.

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    Photo: Five Dollar Garden

    Ginger can be grown by placing a spare portion in soil with buds facing up. Once new shoots appear, they are ready to use, but save a rhizome portion for future planting.

    Fennel needs intact roots to grow, so place the base in a container with water and allow for plenty of sunlight. As roots grow and strengthen, transplant into soil.

    Cilantro requires a container of water to cover only the bottom of the stem and bright sunshine. After roots are a couple inches in length, it is ready for planting.

    Nuts:

    Hazelnuts need to be planted near other hazelnut trees in order to germinate, but they can be grown from dried, planted nuts. There is a couple year timeframe for seeing results, however.

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    Photo: Lied Lodge

    Chestnuts grow from dried nuts but will take a couple years to reach a productive stage. They also require a second tree in order for cross pollination to get an ample harvest.

    Vegetables and herbs are quick to grow in most cases and are something that can be done on the fly. Fruits and nuts, however, are more of a long term commitment and something that should be planted well in advance of a potential need. With the two years it takes for them to produce in most cases, there is no time like the present to start planting your seeds and/or scraps.

    Do you put your food scraps to good use in growing? Let us know how in the comments!

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