Help shave valuable dollars off your grocery bill and make the most of what you've already purchased by regrowing common produce items. It’s also an effective way to teach kids how to grow food.
- Celery: Cut the bottom 2 1/2 centimetres (1 inch) off a stalk of celery and place it in a bowl with the cut side facing up. Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the bowl, and place it in a sunny place. After a few days, roots and leaves will start to form. At this point you can either plant outside in the garden or transfer to a larger pot.
- Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes: Use about a quarter of a potato (a piece with two root eyes is ideal). Either keep it inside to watch and ensure it sprouts, or place directly into the garden, eye side up.
If you keep it inside, let it dry out for a day to reduce the chance of mould. Place toothpicks into both sides of the potato piece, then place it on top of a glass of water. The toothpicks will hold some of the potato above water, but the eyes should be submerged. The roots will grow into the water and the leaves will grow toward the top. When there are enough roots, transplant into the garden.
- Ginger: Use a piece of ginger with a knob, or one with an arm sticking out of the main body of the root. Soak the root overnight, then bury it in a pot of rich soil with good drainage. Be sure to keep the soil moist. Ginger does best in the shade or as a houseplant. It cannot tolerate cold weather or drought. If given the right conditions, ginger is easy to grow.
- Green Onions: Cut off the bulb and roots (the white end) and place it roots down in a glass of water overnight. Replant outside or in a large pot the next day, and it will start growing quickly.
- Leeks: Cut off the bulb, just like you would with green onions, and place it in a shallow glass of water. Change the water and wash the roots once a week. Harvest fresh leeks when they’re big enough to eat.
- Romaine Lettuce: Cut off the bottom 2 1/2 centimetres (1 inch) of a head of romaine lettuce. Place it roots down into a shallow glass of water, and new leaves will grow from the top.
- Garlic: Plant a single clove of garlic root side down (flat end) into a few centimetres of potting soil. Once shoots start sprouting, cut them back so the bulb will be able to grow, and eventually you will have a fresh garlic bulb. Use a clove off the new bulb to start growing another for later.
Tip: Regrowing food is the perfect gardening activity for winter. Try our other six winter gardening projects to stay busy until spring arrives.