Monday, January 5, 2015

Grow Something!

I had a great assignment awhile back to test growing plants from vegetable scraps. While they don't grow into actual food producing plants (well, maybe the garlic), they make for a great project in the dead of winter.

When possible, use organic produce and wash the produce very well. Check the water every day and change it every 3-4 days as it will start to stink- especially the garlic.
Also, have a spray water bottle on hand to mist the plants occasionally too.
We tried garlic, scallions, lettuce, celery, carrots, ginger root, avocado pits, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, beet tops and basil. I'm just going to show you a few of the kitchen scraps we tried.



Yams
Wash the yams well then cut them in half.
Place the cut surface in a shallow dish of water.
Little spuds will appear about a week later.
Leaves will shoot out in about 2 weeks.
They can get quite long and lush.




Beets
Start with whole beets; cut the green tops off about .5" from the top of each beet. Cut the beet top off, leaving about a half-inch of beet.
Rinse the beet tops, then place them in a shallow dish of water.
Little shoots will appear within several days.
























Basil
(At least 2 weeks for roots to start)
Make a clean cut for each stalk from the original plant; remove/pinch off the larger leaves from the top (so the plant energy doesn't go into the growing the leaves).
The bottom of the stalk will get dark as if it’s rotten before it shoots out little roots.
Do more than one as not all the stalks will root.



Celery
Cut the celery stalks off about 3 inches from the bottom.
Place the celery bottom in a shallow dish of water.
Leaves will grow out of the center in a about a week- tiny roots will also show in the water.
Peel away any really rotting stalks.
 



Garlic
Set several peeled cloves closely together in a small container and cover the bottoms with water. Roots will appear within the first few days, and then sprouts will come out the top within a week.
Change the water often! Stinky!
I planted ours in dirt and it lasted for quite a while.


So as I mentioned- these aren't about planting seeds but rather using the energy trapped inside the bulbs, tubers, and cuttings and watching it release. I was surprised how long some things took (we planted a ginger root that took forever) and how then how quickly other things took off.
Here are our crazy fast white potatoes!