Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Join the Northern Beaches’ battle against waste

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your waste in the kitchen, look no further than your own veggie scraps.

We spoke to Mel Cooper from Sustainable Education Australia who shared her favourite vegetables to grow from the scraps you would normally throw straight into the compost.

Mel says, “Growing tasty, healthy produce from clean kitchen scraps isn't garbage gardening. It can teach valuable lessons about nature and sustainability. From celery and onions to beets and ginger root, scraps often have plenty of life left.”

“By preparing and caring for these plants, the whole family can learn how plants grow and what they need to prosper.”

1. Carrots

Pop the carrot top into a shallow bowl of water, approximately one inch.  You can’t regrow a carrot from a carrot top but it will make a great house plant and you can use the leaves in your cooking.

2. Celery

Celery can be grown from the discarded bottom of the bunch. Same as the carrot, just pop the celery bottom in a shallow bowl of water, approximately one inch, and once you see some growth it can be transferred to your garden.

3. Potato

Potatoes are very easy to replant – many of you will have noticed the humble spud can sprout effortlessly in your pantry.

If you find a sprouting potato, cut out the ‘eye’ containing the sprout and take a one inch wedge of the potato with it. Let this dry for one to two days and then plant it in a large deep pot with good soil.

4. Sweet potato

Sweet potato too can be encouraged to sprout but it needs a little extra help. Gently wash your sweet potato in clean water and firmly insert three toothpicks around the centre of the sweet potato.

Place the bottom of the sweet potato into a jar filled with water with the toothpicks resting on the top of the jar (see picture). Keep the water level at the top and place next to a bright sunlit window.

Over time the sprouts and roots will develop to the point you can replant in your garden.

Have fun with regrowing your food. Remember, by growing food from kitchen scraps, you are connecting with nature, reducing your food waste and helping to minimise your environmental footprint.

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