I love being thrifty with household goods, especially in the kitchen. Since I don’t have my own compost, I try to reduce food waste in creative ways. I use herb stems in stews and vegetable scraps to make stock. One hack I haven’t tried since elementary school is regrowing produce. It’s worth trying again, as more than just a science project.
I remember doing this project, maybe in fifth grade, and thought it seemed magical at the time. I love celery now as an adult more than I did then, so why not regrow some from the ends of my store-bought celery? Here’s how it works:
- Cut the bottom two inches (5 cm.) or so off the celery bunch.
- Stick four toothpicks into the sides of the celery bottom so that they are evenly spaced. They should be secure in the celery but also stick out a bit.
- Place the bottom of the celery in a dish of water. The toothpicks should rest on the sides of the dish to elevate the bottom of the celery. About an inch of it should be submerged in the water but not touching the bottom of the dish.
- In just a few days, you should see some leaves emerge, followed by stalks and roots.
- When the roots are about an inch (2.5 cm.) long, replant the celery in a container with soil. Trim off any of the old celery that has rotted.
As a fifth grader, I’m quite sure I didn’t get as far as replanting the celery. I just watched it grow from the old celery end and then lost interest. Now, I realize the value of getting a whole new plant out of what I would otherwise have thrown away.
Other Vegetables to Try Regrowing
Celery takes very well to this process. You almost can’t go wrong with it. Other vegetables that are easy to regrow from your grocery store produce hall include:
The above is easy to regrow the same way you would celery. Root vegetables are a little different. To grow carrot tops for salads and pesto, submerge the top part of the carrot in water with the greens pointing up. For potatoes, submerge the spud so that eyes are under water. This is where the roots will sprout.
This is a fun project for kids but it’s also practical. Try sprouting some of your kitchen scraps. If it doesn’t work, you’ve lost nothing.