Celebrate Earth Day in your kitchen- Grow your produce waste

 

Today is Earth Day and what better time to turn your kitchen into a garden. Kitchens have become the hub once again as many are furiously cooking and baking. Why not add some gardening to the mix and at the same time, decrease food waste?

With grocery store visits being infrequent or not at all if you’re using a delivery service, many items may be in short supply in your kitchen. And fresh vegetables and herbs are likely up near the top of that list. (But don’t discount the nutrition and convenience of frozen, though!)

While it’s a perfect time to get kids into the kitchen to learn how to cook, it’s also wonderful to get them involved with gardening. Growing vegetables can be as easy as sticking the base of your romaine lettuce into a dish of water. It’s amazing to see that within a day or two, the lettuce will start to grow from the base. Whether you are young or old, but especially if you’re young, it’s really exciting to watch how fast it grows. Each day brings a new leaf!

Check out our lettuces that are just over a week old. There’s also some celery sprouting away as well. As you can see, the bases aren’t great looking but they work!

 

I started using some of my vegetable trimmings last year when I had read about re-growing green onions. I cut off the white parts and put them in water. Within a couple of days, there were green sprouts coming out and after a week, I started cutting it. As the weather warmed up outside, I planted the onions in my garden.

When you’re using these foods to regrow produce, you are indeed cutting down on food waste. So if you’ve never done it before, Earth Day is a great time to start.

In addition, why not get some seeds and start planting for both right now and for summer? I’ve been finding it difficult to keep a supply of fresh herbs, such as basil and cilantro, on hand and while I usually wait until summer to plant them outside, I’m starting now in my kitchen.

To be honest, I do have a head start as I always grow my tomatoes from seeds so I already have my supply for my outdoor plants. I will just be starting earlier.

Here are some of my seedlings. I’m a proud momma (but they are a little leggy!)

Here’s a shot of some of the tomatoes from past gardens.

Check online for sources for seeds that can be mailed out to you. Getting kids to choose some options and then having them take care of them is a super way to introduce new flavours to them.

Be adventurous as well. Even if you don’t have a yard, small planters on a balcony will suffice.

Enjoy your pickins!

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Food Security, Food Trends

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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One Comment on “Celebrate Earth Day in your kitchen- Grow your produce waste”

  1. April 22, 2020 at 1:19 pm #

    I’ve planted 2 avocado pips, some lemon pips and some red and yellow pepper seeds – all taken from the bits you cut out of food! I also planted them into the soil from some herbs that I’d bought in a pot in the supermarket. It’s difficult to go buy stuff like compost at the moment and it seemed like a good recycling idea.

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