Green onions: Typically they are sold with their roots intact. If you only use the green stalk, take the white bulb left over, skewer it with a tooth pick and balance it in a glass, poor the water until the bottom is just covered with water and leave them in your window sill until the roots are substantial, then plant them in a long growing box and set in sunny spot in your backyard.
Celery: When you buy whole celery, chop the bottom off of the stalk and submerge in warm water overnight, then plant bottom side down in fertile soil. Soon enough, you will have new little stalks growing out, talk about getting your money’s worth!
Tomatoes: For this one, you will have to know your tomatoes. If you are sure you have bought an heirloom tomato (hybrid tomatoes seeds will grow stalks, but there is no guarantee they will produce fruit and if they do, what the flavor will be), save the seeds. You will have to clean out the tomato and dry the seeds in your window sill, but once that is done, they are good for up to a year. If you do not plan on planting them immediately, put them in a moisture resistant container and place them in the freezer until you are ready to plant. As an easy starter planter, after making eggs for your family, clean out one of the shells, place in a little soil and sprout your tomato seed. When they are ready to plant, simply crumble the egg, put the shell in the soil and plant your sprout.
Potatoes: Did those few potatoes you had left start sprouting? Cut the eyes off and submerge in a cup (don’t cover the eye with water). Place in a sunny window sill, and watch it grow. Once your plant is nice and strong, place it in your garden. Harvest when the leaves begin to yellow. You could also do it the way they teach kids in kindergarten. If your potato is sprouting all over, and you don’t want to eat it, poke it in four, evenly spaced, places, and balance it half submerged in a cup. Place in your window sill and follow the above directions.
Pineapple: I could go all up in detail, as there are many steps, but this site has a really great walkthrough, even a good tutorial on how to pick a good fruit. http://www.
Avocado: Wash the pit, poke it in four, evenly spaced, places, and balance it 1/3rd of the way submerged in a cup of water (small part of the seed is the top, larger part is the bottom). Place in a sunny window sill, making sure the water level is continuous. Let the roots grow to two or three inches long and them plant in a planter full of soil. They are excellent indoor plants, but can be planted outdoors as well. Keep in mind, like hybrid tomatoes, Hass avocados grown from seeds will not taste like the one it came from. They are grafted to create the flavor profile you are used to. With that said, you will get, in 7- 15 years, fruit from your seed, with a surprise flavor inside.
Carrot: (You will not grow actual carrots from doing this, but you will grow pretty carrot flowers for your hanging basket or garden.) Cut the carrot top off, leaving about an inch of root, poke with a toothpick and balance in a glass. Fill the glass until the carrot is just touched by the water. DO NOT PUT IT IN A WINDOWSILL. Put it in a place it receives medium levels of light, and wait. Within a week you should see the flowers growing. Wait for the roots to grow about 2 inches long and then plant it in your planters.
These are some great ways to get your money’s worth. You can further your gardening skills if you are a beginner, and you are repurposing what most think of as food scraps. All of these can be done with the help of your little ones, where you can teach them the value of being responsible and not assuming something is useless, just because it has been removed from its source.
Until next time, Blessings and Love ~A
Anissa Russell is an Usui Reiki Master/ Teacher and stay at home mother of two. She lives by the principles of Love, Truth, Kindness, Gratitude, and Silliness. She firmly believes that each breath is the beginning of a new life, and that every person has the potential to reach the stars if they allow themselves to fly. She has been crafting since childhood, and teaching herself the ins and outs of responsible living for the past 12 years.