Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Kitchen Trash Gardening!

Dear Folks,

You all know I'm into recycling in its many forms: using leftovers in "made over" ways (like there left over sausage and roasted sweet potato in a stove top frittata for morning breakfast); using grocery produce containers for mini-greenhouses to start seedlings; and composting all veggie parings, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc.

Well here is another way you may not have tried.  Kitchen Trash Gardening. Many root type vegetables can be re-generated to produce more of the food, or at the very least letting it go to flower and catching the seed.  You can produce seed from carrot, radish or beet tops, for instance, by keeping about a 1/2 inch+ of the top and letting it sit in water for a couple of days, then plant.  They will grow and produce flowers and seeds.

Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are grown from the sprouting tubers.

Today I'm talking celery.

I grow celery in the garden.  For several years I've been growing RedVenture celery.  But I don't always have enough for a meal, particularly a big one like for Thanksgiving stuffing.

So I buy the regular bunches of celery (organic when I can).  I cut the root bottom off with about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of base, soak in water over night or for 2 days, and then plant flush with the soil level.  Voila celery leaves.

In the picture to the right you see, top to bottom, the celery base in water.  Overnight it already starts to sprout from the center.

Then I plant it out and in about a month you are getting fresh celery leaves for harvesting.

Currently I have about 5 heads growing, so I always have fresh leaves for salads, etc.

Near the time when we start galloping into the high summer heat I will harvest and dry the leaves and store for later use.

In theory you could get stalks, but I usually keep the leaves harvested so I've not had long stalks to harvest.

Give it a try, and look at other rooted vegetables you can turn from kitchen garden trash, to producing plants in your garden.

Some of the root based lettuces are possibilities like romaine.

Have a great time in your garden!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Some of my published materials.

2015 Wall Calendar for Desert Gardening - month-to-month planting info and tips

Wall Calendar

My Cookbook

My beginners Guide to gardening with edibles in the desert 

The books are also available in print on Amazon and as ebooks at both the publishers site and ibook store.