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Credit: Magda Ehlers

THE KITCHEN SCRAPS GARDEN

Have you ever thought about sustainability? Maybe starting with your kitchen scraps? But then, suddenly became overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude and weight of the social responsibility it carries to ward off the ever-looming, existential threat to all life on earth as we know it?

Stop. Back up…

Take a breath. Let’s try this again…

Ever thought about sustainability? It’s not AT ALL as complicated as all that drama. Starting on this healthier path is NOT about taking the weight of the universe on your own shoulders. We weren’t biologically built for that. Lol

Starting is basically four steps:

Simple, familiar ideas  >  Giving it a try  >  Baby Steps  >  Realizing just how easy and satisfying it all is

The following is a simple idea that Darren and I decided to give a try after we bought our first compost bin to reduce our waste. The black gold revealed inside, after a while, really provides great nutrients to our gardens and boosts our crop yield by growing healthier plants.

We expanded on that by discovering how we could take some of those recipe odds and ends we would normally put in the compost bin and re-grow them to use in recipes again. Simple, but brilliant!

One can find articles and videos about this all over the internet and we looked at a few of those to see how others were doing it. But what I observed was a bit of a disconnect between WHAT people were doing and WHY they were doing it.

The message was essentially “Look what you can do with your kitchen scraps! Isn’t that cool?” Yes, it’s absolutely cool. But, the point about why its cool is important to drive home, here.

Re-growing food from kitchen scraps cuts down on waste, which keeps our landfills to a minimum. It increases the value of the money we spent on the original produce (increasing value for every one of our hard-earned dollars is important to everyone!) AND we get the satisfaction of putting healthy food on the table for ourselves and our families…for free.

The point is, it’s sustainable.

Lots of different items we pick all up in the produce section (a familiar idea) can be applied here, and the effort is pretty minimal (worthy of a try).

Our curiosity about just how many things we can apply this idea to, has led us to four basic “food groups” if you will.

HERBS

We begin with the “baby steps” idea. Herbs are quite simple to re-grow as this can be done by either placing the rooted ends in water, like green onions or by taking cuttings from fresh herbs that you buy at the market.

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 1

Green Onions

Basil

Basil

Mint

Mint

Cilantro

Cilantro

Lemongrass

Lemongrass

LEAFY GREENS

How lovely it is to continuously grow these healthy leafy greens by the kitchen door in summer and pluck a few for quick lunch and dinner recipes. In winter, you can just bring them in and keep them growing by a warm kitchen window.

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 2

Bok Choy

Celery

Celery

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 3

Cabbage

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 4

Kale

Re-growing kitchen scraps

Lettuce

ROOT or TUBER VEGETABLES

Look at you go! As you lengthen your stride, growing and re-growing these beauties. They’ll keep for a long time in a cold place (we use our cellar pantry) and can be used in lots of soups and stews over those long winter months. Extra is usually made, then frozen, in our kitchen to be enjoyed several times over!

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 5

Carrots

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 6

Potatoes

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 7

Ginger

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 8

Beets

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 9

Parsnip

BULB VEGETABLES

Looking for ways to increase one’s yield has been a natural human activity from the dawn of civilization, and nothing has changed! It’s just as much of a logical, sustainable activity now as it was way back then. Jogging at a healthy pace, you can expand your horizons by trying this yourself!

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 10

Garlic

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 11

Onions

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 12

Fennel

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 13

Asparagus

The Kitchen Scraps Garden 14

Leeks

Now, you’re really running! You go, my friend!  Look how healthy and vibrant you’ll feel with all this sustainable activity you’ve got going on!

The list of foods that you can grow and re-grow is not limited to just this list. How far you go with your new-found skill is entirely up to you!

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