Have you ever thought about sustainability? Thought it an attractive idea? 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 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 five basic “food groups” if you will.
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. For a more in-depth discussion on how to re-grow familiar varieties, click here.
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.
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!
Regrowing From Seed
Harvesting seeds from a season’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. Walking at a brisk pace, you can now try your hand at this yourself!
Jogging at a healthy pace, you can expand your horizons by going BIGGER, with fruit trees! From seed! Naturally, this takes a little more time and patience, but oh, the rewards!
Now, you’re really running, you go, my friend! Nut trees are as old as the hills. But look how healthy and vibrant you 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!
Even in this trying time we find ourselves in, there are always a few feel-good moments to be found. Here’s hoping that adding this activity to your sustainable living practices will be one of them. Be sure to let me know how it goes. I always love hearing from my readers!