Don't toss out that sprouting garlic! Certain kitchen scraps can be potted up and harvested over and over again.
Both thrifty and fun, starting a kitchen scrap garden is a unique, family-friendly project. Here are some of the best veggies and herbs that you can re-purpose.
Just think—the next bunch of scallions you buy could be the last one you need for the season! Just leave the last inch or so of the root end and put them in some loose soil in a pot. Keep it watered and trimmed for a bright green herb whenever you need it.
Keep the trimmings fresh in a plastic container in the fridge. Just make sure you line it with a paper towel first.
A sprouting potato is just waiting to be planted. The next time you see an older spud, simply cut it into chunks with two or three budding eyes in each piece. Dry them out for a couple of days and then plant them in a large container or straight into the ground.
You'll be amazed at the big green plant that emerges, but wait until it dies back before digging for your new potatoes. You won't believe how delicious home-grown baby potatoes are; you just need to boil them until tender and serve them with a tiny bit of butter and salt.
In addition to being a great salad green, watercress is a superfood that packs quite a punch. If you save the lower 2-3 inches of each stem, you can root them in a small jar of water. You'll see thin white roots in about a week and you can transfer them to a container filled with loose potting soil.
Keep it well-watered; it usually grows on the banks of streams and creeks, after all. Just snip what you need and it will keep you in greens all season long. Try it with a simple vinaigrette and some chopped sweet onion.
Once a head of garlic starts to sprout, you'll see a green spear coming through each individual clove. All you need to do is prepare a container with potting soil and poke the garlic cloves down into it, pointy side up.
The resulting tender greens can be clipped and are great in a stir-fry or used fresh in a salad. They've got a bit of a garlic bite to them and will keep growing for months if you continually trim them.
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Any time you have a hard squash like butternut, acorn, or calabaza, keep the seeds and let them dry out. They can be planted directly into the ground when the weather warms up.
Before you know it, you'll have a garden full of bright yellow squash blossoms for frying and your own squash patch to harvest. Hard winter squash takes a while to fully ripen, so be patient and enjoy watching them grow all summer.
*The photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly unless credited otherwise.
Do you have anything to add to our kitchen scrap garden? Let us know in the comments!