Garden Home & Garden Recycling by Sindia Bharwani August 3, 2020
Can vegetables grow from vegetable scraps and if so, what?
During this global pandemic, we have a lot of time to think. One thing that I came up a lot for me, was the environment, am I doing what I can to make and leave the world better than I found it. There are of course, a mountain of ways to answer this question for you, but for me the answer was the get to zero waste, and so recycle, reuse and repurpose. I eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, so I wanted to find a way to grow more and possibly compost the waste. I’ll cover my composting in another post, but for now I want to focus on growing vegetables from scrapes. Now, you can easily grow most vegetables from seeds or cuttings, but I really wanted self-suffiency and a bit of a challenge. So I set about researching, what can you grow from vegetable scraps and what grows fairly quickly? This was around March so I wanted to start the germination process now and after memorial day, put them in pots outside, and pots because in the winter, as its really cold here in the north east of US, bring the pots indoors.
So, I did a bunch of research and decided to start with 1) what I have at home, 2) what I enjoy eating and 3) what is easy or fast to grow. I decided to start with carrots, beetroot, avocado, celery, lettuce, spring onions, and a pineapple. So, they all met the first two criteria. There are some that will not bear fruit, such as an avocado, or pineapple for at least 3 years, but i was intrigued with the idea of self-propagation of plants and decided to give it a go. I also started them in my bedroom in water, with access to daily sunlight. I switched out the water daily.
I let them “grow” for about two months, and then on memorial day, transferred them into pots and into the ground. I planted the carrots and beets into the ground, as they are root vegetables and then others into pots.
So, the spring onions, celery, romaine lettuce, pineapple and avocado were all placed in pots. So, after a month of being in pots and with twice daily waterings, I’m happy to report and quite surprised that the pineapple and avocado are doing really well. I don’t except either to bear fruit, or at least not for a long time, but they are fantastic to watch. The spring onions grow like gang busters, and as I cut them to use in salads and dishes, they grow taller and strong. The gift that keeps giving! The celery well needed some pruning, it started to spread out alot, so I have to nip it in the bud, to encourage it growth upwards. It is doing well. The lettuce has probably surprised me the most, it had grown tall and strong, I have snapped of the leaves and just chewed on them, they are slightly bitter and a little hard, but still tasty. It is now bearing yellow flowers, and seeding. Curious, as to what that means for romaine lettuce.
Planting has been a fun distraction, during this global pandemic and I have learned a lot and enjoyed farm to table vegetables in the process. So, even in this time, it’s possible to watch mother nature, grow from itself and surprise us with her magic. More updated pics soon!
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