When people think of farming or growing crops, they mostly imagine it on a large scale or think about raising capital to buy seeds to plant. They rarely consider growing crops from the kitchen leftovers.
Pause for a minute and reflect back to the random moments where you would throw out the water containing the seeds of pepper or tomatoes and they start sprouting up from that same spot. As little as they would bring up, these plants/produce do really come in handy.
Each year, 1.6 billion tons of food worth about $1.2 trillion are lost or go to waste. That is, unbelievably, one-third of the total amount of food produced globally (Bcg 2018). Food wastage is a very important issue globally and we all have a responsibility to put an end to it every way we can.
This article will highlight a list of the crops that can be grown from kitchen leftovers and how you can easily grow them yourself.
This is the most commonly grown fruit made from scraps or leftovers. Instead of unconsciously throwing away the seeds from tomatoes just anywhere, be intentional this time. Find a small space with fertile soil or get the soil in a bowl, place in a place with good sunlight, pour the seeds on it and watch the plant begin to sprout up. After 3 or 4 days, you will notice the roots beginning to appear along with new leaves. Be sure to water your plant daily.
This just requires one clove of ginger. Find one with the roots and plant it facing down in a pot with soil. Place pot in a place with direct access to sunlight at all times. Do not submerge in water. After a few days, the clove or bulb will start to produce roots. The sprouts would grow as long as 10 inches long and you can start harvesting for consumption.
This follows the same process as the tomatoes. You can grow this from the leftovers too. Get the seeds from the pepper and plant them in a space with direct sunlight or in a pot with the soil and place in a space with good sunlight. They grow really fast and planting can be recycled. ie. After harvest, you can repeat the process.
If you prefer to buy the whole pineapple fruit and do the peeling and cutting yourself at home, then this is for you (and anyone else planning to try). All you need to grow your own pineapple is the head/top of the fruit. There are two methods of planting.
- You can plant directly to the ground or in a pot with soil, and place in a spot with good sunlight. Take time to water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist.
- You can also plant first in a container with water. For this, hold the pineapple crown with small sticks above the water to prevent it from being submerged. Change the water regularly to avoid molds. After 6- 8 weeks, the roots would begin to appear and then you can transfer from the water to a pot with light soil mix. It is quite easy to plant and just requires patience as pineapple takes a couple of years or more to fully form.
If you have been discarding the bottom of your onions, this is a good time to put it to better use. Onions are quite easy to grow indoors or outdoors. Simply plant the bottom in the ground or pot (with soil), place in a sunny area and watch the roots grow.
This takes two to three weeks to begin to germinate. To regrow lemon grass, soak roots in warm water, in a container with direct access to sunlight for two weeks. Transfer to your garden or pot afterward.
Green Spring Onions
The bottom of spring onions when placed in water can “spring” up a whole new set of onions. Yes, it is that easy. Just ensure you keep your bowl where there is direct sunlight.
Allow the roots of your ginger dry overnight at room temperature if they are freshly cut. Transfer to plant deep in the soil (could also be potted) afterward. This can be grown and regrown over and over again.
Just like planting pineapples, place the seed of your avocado into a jar with 2-3 toothpicks attached to it. This is to prevent the seed from falling into the water. It should be placed just enough for the water to cover the bottom half of the seed. When the roots begin to spring out, transfer to plant deep into the soil.
See those potatoes in your kitchen storehouse that are already sprouting out stalks? Those are ones you should not discard as they can be a source of more potatoes. To grow, cut the potatoes into two halves (each half should have stalks growing out). Leave them to dry out overnight and then simply plant them about four inches deep in your garden. Ensure there is direct access to sunlight and water crops regularly. The potatoes can be prepared for harvesting by trimming the stalks above the ground when the flowers begin to appear at the top.
We can never really exhaust the list of crops that can be grown from kitchen leftovers. Other crops include:
If this isn’t a great way to save some grocery shopping money, then we would love you to also share some great ideas in the comment section.