Before reaching for the compost caddy to dispose of your vege scraps, try growing more food. The Live For Less team look at how to take five humble vegetables and turn them into more food.

 

Next time you’re cooking up a feast in the kitchen, before throwing those offcuts into the compost caddy, have a look and see if you can use them to grow more food.

Vegetables such as spring onions, celery, bok choy, lemongrass and sweet potato can all be used to grow more vegetables. Yes, that’s right – free food!

In this article, we’re going to look at how to take five vegetable and fruit scraps and turn them into more food.

Garlic shoots

If you have any old and forgotten garlic shoots in your cupboard that are starting to sprout – don’t dismay, with a little effort you can grow your own supply of garlic shoots.

  1. Peel outer skin of garlic cloves and position in a small jam jar.
  2. Add fresh, cool water to a depth of 1cm
  3. Place jar in sunny windowsill.
  4. Replace water every day.
  5. When the shoots are 10cm tall, you can harvest your garlic greens. If you only snip off what you need, it will continue to grow.

Note: the taste is milder than garlic.

Spring Onions

This is so simple – if you remember to change water regularly, you won’t need to buy spring onions again!

  1. Cut the spring onions, retaining the roots and two-thirds of the white part.
  2. Fill jam jar with enough fresh water to reach just above the roots of your cuttings.
  3. Place jar in a sunny environment, replacing water daily.
  4. Snip off as you need it, and the shoots will continue to grow – offering you a constant supply.

Celery

Next time you have a bunch of celery, don’t give the bottom part to the worms, instead use it to grow another bunch of celery.

  1. Slice the bottom from a bunch of celery, retaining an inch and a half.
  2. Place your cutting in a wide jar or small container.
  3. Fill with enough water to cover the base, but not more than 4cm (so it doesn’t cause rotting).
  4. Refresh water daily and clean off any slime-like stalks to keep the cutting fresh and healthy.
  5. When the celery starts growing roots, transfer to a medium-sized pot filled with potting compost.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a hardy plant that likes to clump and spread. One humble stalk can give you hundreds.

  1. Leave some stalk on the root end of your lemongrass.
  2. Place your cutting in a wide jar or small container.
  3. Fill with enough water to cover the base.
  4. Refresh water daily.
  5. Fresh growth will appear from the inside of the lemongrass stalk, and when roots appear, transfer to a medium-sized pot filled with potting compost.

Pineapple

All hail the king of the vegetables. Don’t throw away the crown – plant it and grow more! Brisbane’s climate is ideal for growing pineapples.

  1. When purchasing pineapple, select one with the crown intact.
  2. Cut the top of the pineapple and pull away all the pineapple flesh from the leaves, leaving behind a core. (Else wear gloves and twist off the crown.)
  3. Leave the pineapple crown to dry for a few days, so the core hardens.
  4. Plant directly in a medium-sized pot filled with potting compost and place in an area with full-sun.