La Feria News

One man’s scraps can become a gardener’s next treasure


Re-growing vegetables from kitchen scraps has long been a perfect way to teach elementary age students about plant roots. But it can also provide food for the family when taken further than the initial week or two of the lesson.

Some fruits and vegetables can take a long time, and a lot of patience to provide you with a full-grown tree. But an avocado seed can! It would take years, but what an accomplishment!

A celery plant started from the root end of a bunch of celery bought in a grocery store. Photos: Ann Johnston / LFN

You can also cut the leaf end off of a pineapple as you trim off the outside to serve this fruit. But don’t pitch that end into the garbage. Instead, keep it in a shallow bowl of water and keep the water clean. If you are diligent, you can watch it grow into a large plant that produces another pineapple on top in about 2 years! Being patient is the hard part.

A celery plant and an avocado tree grown from kitchen scraps.

But there are many vegetables that will provide you with free replacements for the one you bought in only a few weeks.

Suggestions: Some of the easiest to grow are celery, green onions, lettuce of many kinds, basil, mint and oregano. These will all grow by putting the root end of your purchased veggie or herb in a shallow bowl of water. Keep changing the water every few days. When you have nice roots started, move it to a small pot of soil.

• Carrots and pineapples are the opposite – you keep the top that you have cut off. The carrots will grow more leaves and eventually seeds.

Keep your avocado seed suspended in a bowl of water with toothpicks to start a tree.

Hints: Don’t forget to water!

• Keep the water clean. This is so important that it’s being repeated!
• Your plants need a warm, sunny location.

Look for: When your cutting has some good roots, move to a pot with loose soil and use a spray bottle to water gently.

Enjoy your small but free food and come through the Garden Gate next week for more hints and suggestions.

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