You sliced, you chopped, you diced. Now you’re wondering what to do with that messy pile of kitchen scraps so you can minimize your trash. Sure, you can take all the leftover produce and create compost to feed your garden or container plants. Or, you can go waste free in a way that’s even more appealing: Regrow all that food. Why not hit that zero waste target for Earth Month and – bonus – save yourself a trip to the grocery store?
Here are three types of produce that are favorites on the Eminence Certified Organic Farm as well as perfect candidates for your kitchen scrap experiment:
We all know that you can pop the roots of a green onion in a glass of water and regrow a whole new shoot, but did you know that you can regenerate a peppermint plant the same way? Jozsefne Koronczay – mother of farm founders Attila and Boldijarre – describes peppermint as a “grateful” plant that flourishes in all types of conditions: “You can grow it outdoors, or indoors at your kitchen window, even forget to water it, and it will grow extremely fast.” This fresh tasting herb, which gives a spark of flavor to everything from dips to salads to drinks, is so adaptable that it can regrow easily in just water. Here’s how:
- Cut a few stems from the top three inches of a peppermint plant, ensuring that you cut right below leaf nodes and remove lower leaves.
- Place stems in a glass of water and leave in a light and airy place for a couple of weeks until roots grow.
- Once the stems have established a good root system, pot them in compost and water well. (Adapted from Gardeners World)
Regrow Fruit From Seeds: Pumpkin
The pulp of organic pumpkin is rich in enzymes, beta-carotene, amino acids and antioxidants, helping prevent cancer and protect the skin. This orange colored squash is also packed with Vitamin A – a vital nutrient for keeping your eyes sharp. Pumpkins take center stage every Halloween, during which we sculpt our scariest pumpkins by slicing off the top, scraping out the seeds and carving spooky designs. Post-Halloween, if composting or roasting seeds is not enough of a challenge for you, opt for growing an entirely new Jack O’ Lantern with your seeds. Here’s how:
- Cut open your pumpkin and scrape out all the membrane and seeds.
- Place membrane and seeds in a colander, separating them under running cold water.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Line a cookie sheet with newspapers, spread seeds in a single layer on top and leave in a warm, dry, airy spot until dry to the touch. This could take one week.
- Store in a covered jar until next spring and wait until ground temperatures are at least 65F.
- Mound soil on the ground and plant three to five seeds one inch deep.
- Once the pumpkin seeds germinate, select the two healthiest sprouts and thin out the rest. (Adapted from SFGate)
Regrow Vegetables From Cuttings: Kale
Lacinato kale is a classic “cut and come again” plant – you pick off older leaves and new leaves keep on growing. But did you know that you can also propagate an entirely new plant from just a cutting? High in iron, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, this superfood should be a staple in everyone’s diet. Here’s how you can increase your kale output and get more of this leafy green on your daily menu:
- Cut off three inches of the top bud from the center of a lacinato kale plant, including several budding leaves. Cut right below a leaf node.
- Dip stem in honey or rooting hormone, if desired, to encourage growth.
- Plant stem straight into compost in a pot, just so it’s standing upright.
- Cut some of the foliage off so plant focuses on root growth.
- Keep moist and the plant should develop a new root system within weeks.
(Adapted from Gardenerd)
Are you ready to regrow your food and reduce your pile of kitchen scraps to zero waste? Experiment with these herbs, fruits and vegetables – all grown on the Eminence Certified Organic Farm and essential to Eminence Organic Skin Care products- and find out how you can propagate them in your own home. Tell us about your success stories in the comments below or on social media at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | G+.