Like a phoenix, they rise again!

Why buy fruits and vegetables that you can grow yourself? Growing new produce from kitchen waste saves money, and can be a fun activity for children as well. Often, you’ll just need some glasses, water and an herb, vegetable or fruit of your choice–but some produce requires planting in soil as well. Check out our tutorial below for making smart use of your kitchen waste!


Scallions are really easy to grow from waste. Just save the ends–you’ll want a good inch in length–and place them in a glass of water. Keep them well-lit, and in just a few days you’ll have new and ready-to-use scallions.


Basil is another easy herb to regrow, although you’ll need about 4 inches of stem as opposed to scallions’ one inch. Like scallions, put them in glasses of water and in direct sunlight, and watch as new roots grow! Once roots are at 2 inches in length, plant your basil.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine is simple, but takes a bit of time. Take the stumpy end from a head and place it in a bowl of about a half inch. Let it sit in the sun, and you’ll see new leaves sprouting in a couple weeks. Two weeks after that and your head will be grown.

This method–taking a stump in a bowl of water–works for bok choy and celery as well.

Onions and Ginger

This one’s a little different; instead of water, place the ends of onions or ginger in soil. Note that ginger can take months before sprouting, and won’t be ready to harvest for about 10 months.


A potato with eyes is pretty much ready to be used to grow new ones. First, cut it into 2-inch pieces and let them sit overnight. When you come back, they should have dried out–if they haven’t, let them sit another day. Once dry, you can plant your pieces (eye facing up) and fill the hole back up half-way. Add more soil once roots appear.


All you’ll need to grow an avocado is a pit and some water. Rinse and dry your seed, and push toothpicks in. These toothpicks will keep your avocado suspended over a glass of water, so make sure they are spaced out appropriately. Fill a glass with water, add your avocado, and let it sit while maintaining the water level.


After chopping up a pineapple, save the crown and ensure no fruit is left on it. Begin slicing some horizontal sections off the bottom of the crown until you can see the root buds. Remove the bottom leaves so you have about a leafless inch at the base of the stalk. Plant your pineapple someplace warm, and water regularly. Once the plant has established itself in your garden, switch to watering only weekly.


Remember that scraps can be used to make compost, which will bring more nutrients to all of your plants. Composting is a whole other topic, so if you’re interested in learning how to build a compost bin on a tight budget, check out our directions here.