Have you ever run out of cabbage or bok choy, spring onions, chilli, ginger or lemon grass and could not get these hot items at the supermarkets? How nice would it be if you could get these fresh produce plucked fresh from your herb garden? All you need is kitchen scraps, sun, water, container with drainage holes and some soil.
Let’s start growing some of these below, be self sufficient and self sustainable during this pandemic. These are the freshest ingredients and eat them with peace of mind. To get organic produce, you will have to buy the organic ones. To regrow the kitchen scraps, both organic and non organic greens work equally well.
The bottom scrap piece of onions or whole onions can be regrown into spring onions to season your dishes from the comfort of your own home. Create your own regrow vegetable garden, all you need is a sunny spot in your house. You can either put these onions on a set of water soaked egg crates or directly in soil. It takes around 3-4 days to root as shown on the picture. Keep the onions hydrated for best results.
After a week, you will usually see green onions sprouting from the top of the onions. Get unlimited amount of spring onions from this method, until the bulb of onion shrivels and dry up. The total time from sow to harvest is around under 2 weeks.
Chilli padi can be regrown from seeds that we usually throw away. Just sown the seeds in a tray of soil with drainage. Cover the top of the cling wrap to accelerate the germination of the seedlings. After 7 to 10 days, you should spot some twin young leaves sprouting out from the soil as shown on the picture above. As with all peppers, a sunny spot is needed for the growth of chilli.
This chilli plant usually can be harvested in 60 to 120 days for its chilli padi. They enjoy a good amount of watering, followed by a period of dry spell and repeat the watering process again. You can get unlimited supply of chilli padi this way without having to run to the store ever again.
Avocado seed can be used to grow into a home plant and gradually a tree. To harvest the fruit takes up to 10 years by conventional growing methods. Wash the pit of the avocado and peel off the skin on the pit. Insert 3 toothpicks into the pit to hold the bottom of the pit just above a jar of water. Place it under a semi-shade area and wait for the seed to sprout. Change water when it becomes cloudy or add more if the water runs lower than the bottom of the seed. The seed should be half-submerged in the water for best results. In 2-6 weeks time, the seed should crack apart with roots and a young stem. Transplant the seeds with half the seed above soil into a soil mixture and water 2-3 times weekly in a sunny spot.
Two weeks later, you should get a healthy looking young shrub of the avocado plant. Continue watering and fertilising it, you will get a tree in the years to come.
Celery can be regrown in water under semi-shade conditions. Cut 2 inches from the root end of a store bought celery and immerse it in water using a shallow saucer. After 3 days, you should see leaves sprouting from the center of the celery root end.
Transplant this to soil for it to harvest bigger stems.
Bok choy or xiao bai cai cut 1 to 2 inch from the crown of the bok choy and immerse in shallow saucer of water.
After 3-7 days, you will notice young leaves spouting from the center of the root end crown. You may harvest some of the young leaves after 2 months and continue to grown your supply of bok choy.
Grow pea shoot microgreens using the seeds of your store bought sweet peas. Microgreens are full of health benefits such as a good source of anti-oxidants and rich with nutrients.
These are store bought peas, you may use the seeds to try to germinate the pea shoot microgreens.
Fully lay a bed of soil with peas and cover with a thin layer of soil. Water the soil to make it moist. Keep the soil cover with a tray in semi-shade conditions. You may remove the tray when the peas begin to sprout. Keep the soil moist throughout the growth of the pea shoot microgreens.
In 10 to 15 days, the microgreens are ready for harvest. The shoot is around 10 to 15 cm tall, any taller the shoots might be a little tough to chew. After which continue to keep the soil moist and harvest a second time. Usually a set of seeds are good for 2 harvests.
Iceberg cabbage can be regrow by simply chopping of 3 cm worth of core and immerse it in a shallow saucer pool of water in a sunny spot. After a 5 to 9 days, the cabbage will have some leave protruding from the core of it. Change the water every 2 days or when it becomes cloudy. Transplant to soil, keep growing the cabbage and wait for leafy cabbage to form again.
Cut one inch from the bulb and immerse the bulb into a jar of water. Change the water 2-3 times weekly and roots will starts to form from the base. Needs a deep pot as the roots grow deep and strong. You may begin to harvest when the lemon grass start propagating. This lemon grass stalks loves water and lots of fertilisers to keep growing.
Select ginger root with eye buds. Soaked the ginger in warm water overnight and plant the ginger with eye bud facing up in soil. Use a wide base planter instead of a deep pot as these ginger roots will progagate sideways inside of deep down into the pot. These ginger are ready to be harvested when the green leaves sprouting from the root are dried and yellowed with leggy stems. Usually take about 10 months for full harvest.
Grow carrot leaves from carrot tops to be use as garnish or spice up a soup. the carrot top leaves taste similar to celery with a herb taste and sweet undertone. Cut the top of the carrot about 2 cm and submerge into a bowl of water about 1cm deep. Change the water daily and transfer to soil when you see the leaves popping up from the carrot top. These leaves could be grown for continuous harvest for up to 3 months.
Tomatoes are one of the no fuss plants to grow. Plant slices of tomato tops with seeds intact and cover with 1-2 cm of soil. Water it thoroughly and wait for the seeds to sprout from the surface of the soil.
It will take a few months for the tomato plant to bear fruits when the conditions are right.
With all these methods to regrow kitchen scraps and store bought greens, you will lessen your trips to the supermarkets, save some money and emerge healthier during this period with home grown food.