Regrowing Groceries

The idea for this post came one day maybe a year ago from Pinterest. As I’m a horrible Pinterest user and don’t actually pin anything, I’ve long since lost that original one but it’s probably a moot point by now as it’s slowly crept back into my social networks. As a conspiracy. A vegetable conspiracy.

You’ve more than likely noticed them by now, breaking news style links expounding the evil grocery stores and what they don’t want you to know. You can regrow root vegetables from the remnants that would normally be thrown out (of hopefully composted). Guess what? The stores don’t really care if you know or not because there are so few of us that would actually follow through with this little green DIY (raises hand thereby including oneself into that group).

Ok, so a lot of the things I do I do to include my fiancé, like how you would do little rainy day projects with your kids to steer them away from writing on the walls with crayons or shaving the cat. It’s fitting then that as today is an icky grey day that I would show you how to bring some more green into your windows with a quick little functioning science-type project that you can do with your spawn.

*For the record, no Rob does not write on walls with crayon, nor do we have a cat that he can shave. Those were just really decent examples of the type of things that he could do if he were so inclined and not being distracted by the project-of-the-moment. When distracted I don’t need to clean up nearly as many messes as when he’s bored, and for me this is a win win J

First off I’ll show you my Green Onions, which have been hanging out in my ill-used shot glasses for a couple of week now. All I did was use down to where the tasty green leaves meet the harder white base of the onions. Normally you would use a little more than that, but for the sake of regrowing them I figured that a good portion of base would help it recover better than without.

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For those of you OCD like me, I left about 3 inches from the bottom of each onion. Just plop your piece into a glass of water (or use shot glasses like me) and let it hang out for a couple days. Literally within a few hours you’ll notice that where you cut it there will be a little raised section. That will continue to expand into a little green onion leaf, which will continue to regrow into a full Green Onion like when you purchased it! The only maintenance required is to change the water every few days as it will probably get mucky. Eventually you’ll want to plant it up into a little pot with some soil and perch it on a window sill or even on a desk with a light.

When it’s situated in some dirt and happily growing like an edible weed, just go around and give it a haircut when you want some yummy Green Onion in your tacos or whathaveyou. It will keep growing like a trooper and you’ve now got yourself renewable oniony goodness.

Let’s keep diving in because Green Onions nary a regrowable grocery post do make. Do a lot of Thai cooking? Lemon Grass is just as easy as Green Onions are to regrow, but will take a little extra time to show progress.

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Again, you’ll want to leave about 3-4 inches of base to work with, so either cut the whole stalk when you bring it home from the store or use it as normal leaf-by-leaf until you’re satisfied you got your money’s worth and can turn it into an experiment. Under each leaf you remove are 2 little nubs (whether you see them or not) which will produce one additional stalk each when rooted. If you’ve gotten confused by that, you basically triple your initial investment when you root each lemon grass shoot. As before you just want to stick it in some water near a light source, and in a couple days you’ll see the center of your cut start to swell upwards and throw some new leaves up. A few days after that you should start to see some roots break through the bottom of the branch into the water to begin drinking some water. Follow the same finishing steps as the onions and plant the Lemon Grass in some sunny-soil and clip away when making curry or lemon tea!

I’ve got once last example of regrowing groceries (mainly because that’s what I had in my crisper), and it’s a good one for parents doing after-school-snacks for little ones; Celery!

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The easiest way to root your purchased celery is to chop all of the stalks off at once when you are getting ready to use some, leaving about 2 ½ inches from the bottom to use for our project. The only thing that I had that was a decent size to hold my celery base in water was a ramekin, but a small bowl would work too. Once more, after a couple days the center of your cut will start to shoot up some leaves, which will eventually be the tops of brand-new celery stalks to munch on with Peanut Butter and Raisins. Bugs On A Log? Anyone? No? Ok, moving on then…

The original, outer stalks still connected to the base will eventually wither and turn a little greyish-brown, but that’s perfectly fine. When you plant it up you’re going to want to cover the whole thing up to the base of your new shoots (submerging all of the old memories of that original Celery purchase with soil).

That’s pretty much it! You can regrow all kinds of vegetables, the “trick” being that they are root-plants. Carrots, Potatoes, Parsnips, Beets, Radishes… they can all be done pretty much the same way with little various changes to each.

If you’d like I can address other ones in a future post? Comment below and remember to subscribe!

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One response to “Regrowing Groceries

  1. Pingback: Regrown Grocery-Lemongrass Update | my small-city urbanite life·

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