Adventures of an unfussy foodie.

April 11, 2012

Practically Free: 5 Plants You Can Regrow at Home

Does it get any better than free? I mean, really. You cannot beat getting something for nothing. (I think it harks back to the Bible -- all those miracles and such.) I particularly love making something of an item I would normally throw away. (Maybe that's why I love thrifting so much.)
Want to make something out of nothing? I can't help you there. But if you want to make something out of kitchen "leftovers" or scraps you would usually discard (which, let's face it, is practically nothing), I've got 5 bright ideas for you.


Scallions/Green Onions

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If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen this, but if you haven't yet I've got good news for you! If you're about to toss the white bulb end of your bunch of green onions, DON'T. Instead, set them in an inch or two of water and let them hang out on your windowsill. They will regrow, allowing you to trim off the greens indefinitely when you need some.

I love this trick because I never need a whole bunch of scallions, and I hated seeing them go to waste and go bad in the fridge. This way I snip off what I need and leave the rest to grow away.
(Rumor has it that this same method works with leeks as well!)

Avocado

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While it will take 7-15 years to bear fruit, you can grow an avocado tree from that pit you were about to throw out! This one is great for the kids because you can watch the roots grow in a glass of water. The California Avocado Commission has a great guide here.


Celery

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Trim off the bottom of that bunch of celery you just got at the store and plant it in your veggie garden. Very quickly, you will see new growth! You can also plant the leafy heart of the bunch instead of trimming the entire bottom off, if, like me, you tend to peel off one or two stalks at a time and are left with the tiny, yellowish, leafy stalks in the middle.

I potted mine and left it in the windowsill until it was warm enough to transplant outside this past weekend. So far, it's doing pretty well!

Garlic

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When you think about it, it makes complete sense that you can plant a bulb of garlic and grow more garlic. It's a bulb, after all. Check out instructions at Birds & Blooms.

Pineapple

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If you're feeling exotic, you can regrow a pineapple tree by planting the leafy crown (top) of your store-bought pineapple. Head over to You Grow Girl for all the growy details. (See what I did there? Growy instead of gorey... my dad would be so proud of that pun.)

What are you growing this year? Do any of the ideas above interest you? Leave a comment!






9 comments:

  1. OK so... I am ridiculously excited about growing my own green onions. I'm sure I buy a bunch a week! Thank you for this insight!!

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    1. I'm so glad you'll find it useful! It's one of my favorite things, too. Mine have been going strong for several months now.

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  2. I swear I commented on this days ago... but I tried the onions and it was a total soggy smelly fail. Kristyn, what did I do wrong? Do you have green onions growing in your house?

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    1. I've had some going for a three months or so, but I'm on my second bunch. After a while, the roots did start to sort of disintegrate, so I picked up another bunch at the store. Still, they last a LOT longer than they would have hanging around the fridge. (So, when I say indefinitely, what I guess I mean is that they will last a long time, but not forever.)

      Also, I do rinse the roots every once in a while and give them fresh water because they get kind of slimy. Is that what happened with yours, or did they just die from the get-go?

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    2. To avoid it getting slimy, just plant them in dirt in a pot. I have one on my windowsill and I water it and they're growing like crazy. I've had them growing for around 5 weeks or so.

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    3. Thanks, Andrea! I think I did see something like that on Pinterest the other day -- I'll have to give it a try and see how it works for me.

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  3. No problem! I was browsing your site and was wondering if you've ever posted your recipe for polenta squares and veggie ragout? I had something similar a few years ago and really liked it.

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    1. By the way, I saw the planting onion tips on pinterest too!

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    2. I haven't yet posted that dish, but I would be happy to get a post together once we have it on Sunday.

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