Grow Food from Kitchen Scraps

By contributing writer Dawn

There are many foods that can be re-grown from the pieces we often throw away. When you grow food from kitchen scraps, your family can save money and have a little fun.

The process of regrowing food from scraps is basically the same for each food. Put the base in fresh water or good potting soil and place in a sunny window. It is fun to watch and my kids get a kick out of growing the scraps and checking them daily.

Grow Food from Kitchen Scraps | The Happy Housewife


There are always herbs growing on my deck. Once the frost hits in the fall though, I am always sad to see my basil die. Last year, after talking to my father-in-law, who roots almost any plant he can get his hands on, I decided to try rooting some basil from the produce section in the grocery store. I could not believe it worked, but it did. In fact, my little plant thrived. I transplanted it outside in the spring and it grew all summer.

Rooting is easier with a soft stemmed plant rather than one that is woody like rosemary. Place the herb stems in water and place in a sunny window. Change the water frequently and watch for root hairs to develop. Once the roots have grown several inches, replant in a pot. Once it has established in the pot, you can begin harvesting.


When garlic starts sprouting, just put the cloves in some dirt. A head of garlic can yield many new heads of garlic just by planting them in small pots and placing them in a sunny window.

Spring Onions

Regrow spring onions (also called green onions) by placing the bottoms in a glass with some water. Place the glass in a sunny location and change the water daily.


Celery can be regrown in water on a window sill. Once a few leaves have grown, replant in a pot with potting soil. This is probably my children’s favorite to regrow. It was our first plant to regrow and it was really cool to watch.


Any head of lettuce can also be regrown in a sunny window sill. Plant the base in some good potting soil and watch it grow. Lettuces usually end up with baby leaves but makes a fun side salad.


Sprouts aren’t really a food to regrow, but they are very nutritious and easy to grow. They also provide great fun and are so much cheaper to grow than to purchase in a grocery store. You do not need a sprouting kit. I use a mason jar and a piece of plastic canvas in place of the jar lid. The plastic canvas lid allows fresh air but also acts as a screen to rinse the sprouts, which must be done twice daily.

Obtain sprouting seeds (alfalfa is a good starter sprout), soak them for 24 hours, and then drain the water. Place in your mason jar and put in a dark cupboard. I rinse them every 12 hours being careful to pour off all the water in the container. After tails form, place the sprouts in a sunny windowsill to green up. Enjoy them on a salad, sandwich or in a stir-fry!

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Photo by Till Westermayer , creative commons license, text added

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  1. When to start planting these veggies?
    when cold? or Spring?

  2. Great ideas! I’ve never tried growing celery before. How long will the celery last in water? Or will it just keep growing?

  3. We harvested 7 small onions last night for our risotto, I had forgotten to buy onions and just my one onion root became 7 new onions, for FREE!

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