Flex Your Green Thumb: How To Grow Veggies From Scraps

 

At Vineful we aim to be respectful of and support the environment. We believe it’s possible to enjoy seriously good wine that fits our lifestyle while also minimising our footprint on this precious planet. We partner with organic and biodynamic farmers and winemakers who champion alternative practices. Where possible we use recycled cardboard and limit the amount of paper used. And for every box of wine we sell a tree is planted! Another way we like to be sustainable is by reducing our own food waste.

With so many of us moving into urbanised areas, oftentimes the only bit of greenery in our life is a monstera from a homewares store or bouquet of flowers from your local supermarket. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but did you know you can grow your own veggies from scraps? Create a lush urban oasis and grow your own food at the same time. Here’s how to do it - make sure the veggies are organically grown for best results!

Spring Onions, Onions, Garlic, and Leeks

All of these flavoursome beauties are members of the allium family. Easily enough they are often sold with intact roots ready to replant! Simply chop off the parts of the plant you want to consume and keep the base with the roots intact. Place these in a shallow dish of water in a well-lit area. In a few days, you should see some new green shoots. These can be used in your cooking straight away, or you can plant in soil. Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out too much and they have a lot of sunlight. Onions and garlic will grow new bulbs and the spring onions will divide and form new clumps. You’ll never have to purchase spring onions again! Cheers to more flavoursome dishes on a budget!

Potatoes

Have you ever forgotten about a bag of potatoes at the bottom of your pantry only to discover that they have sprouted? This is excellent news! These are “seed” potatoes, and if you purchased organic spuds that were not sprayed, you are in business, the business of growing your own taters. Potatoes can be grown in pots, hessian sacks, compost sacks and more. Whatever you use for a container, make sure it has good drainage, you will need to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Pick up some high-quality potting soil and organic fertilizer. Fill your container about halfway with the potting soil and place in your seed potatoes with the “eyes” or sprouts pointing upwards - these are the stems not the roots. Don’t crowd the taters, leave a good amount of space per spud. Cover with a few inches of soil and water really well making sure the water drains out the base of the container. Leave in a sunny place and check moisture level daily. You can harvest the potatoes after the plants have flowered or once the flowers have died off. Hot chips and Rosé anyone?

Basil

Make sure your dishes are the tastiest in town with fresh herbs from your own balcony herb garden! All you need is to purchase one basil plant. Select a few 4-inch stems from the plant, strip most of the leaves back, and place in a jar of water in a sunny place. You can replant the stems as soon as roots form into pots. Many herbs can be regrown using plant cuttings like this. Make sure the plants get a lot of sunshine and water regularly and level up your dishes. Be careful not to remove all the leaves at once.

Root Veggies

As the name suggests these root plants are the actual root of the plant. But you can grow carrots from carrot tops! Keep the tops of root veggies, like carrots or turnips, and place in a shallow dish of water. If you purchase veggies that do not have the plant section intact, you are not going to see new growth. You need the plant intact. New growth should start shooting up in a few days. Roots should show up in a few more days. Replant the new rooting veggies into soil with organic fertiliser and water often. You can harvest the green shoots as they grow, carrot greens can be quite tasty. Or wait for the carrot-shaped prize.

Avocado

Yes, you can grow avocado plants from an avocado seed. However, it will be some time before it bears fruit. Until then, it will be a free plant in your home. Carefully halve your organically grown avocado and remove the pit/seed. Wash off any of the avocado flesh and allow to dry. Peel off the brown skin on the pit. Push three or four toothpicks into the pit evenly spaced out. Balance the pit in a glass of water, with the water covering about half of the pit, making sure that the pit is pointy side up and rounded side down. Change the water daily and leave in a sunny place. In 3-6 weeks the pit should split revealing the roots breaking out. The new stem and leaves will arrive weeks after that. Once it’s established, about 7 inches tall, plant in a pot with good drainage using good quality soil and compost. Water regularly and in 5 years, your sapling will have grown into an avocado tree! It’s a labour of love.

Lettuce and Leafy Greens

We are always being told to eat more greens. Now you can grow your own. Many of these leafy greens can be continuously harvested as new leaves continue to grow. Keep the root section of your leafy green of choice, place in water and wait. Easy as. Once new leaves have grown you can harvest or plant in soil for more substantial growth. Keep moist and in a well-lit area and enjoy your greens! You can also try regrowing from individual leaves, but the root method is a lot more consistent.

Back to Mindful Living