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  • Writer's pictureRichard Campbell

How to Cut Food Waste with Vegetable Cuttings



I’ve lived in flats for over two years now. And let me tell you, in Spring and Summer I miss having access to a garden, especially in the traffic laden inner-city. Not only do I miss having a glass of wine in a garden, I miss growing my own vegetables. It’s a hobby that ticks two boxes: it’s relaxing, and it is eco-friendly.


About a year and a half ago, I applied to be on the waiting list at my local allotment. I have still not heard anything back. So, a couple of months ago, I decided to see what I could grow in the confines of my flat.


Through experimentation and research, I have discovered that it’s actually really easy to do. And it’s great fun, cheap, and re-uses what I would usually throw away. I thought it would be useful to write a piece about how you can do it too.


I’m sure there are lots of other vegetables and fruits that you can grow indoors but here are some of the vegetables and fruits that I have been growing lately.


Spring onions


I tend to use spring onions in a lot of my dishes, and was delighted to find that they are so easy to grow.


Cut the stalks from the root, ensuring to leave about 1 and a half to 2 inches of stalk from the root. Then, put the roots in a glass of water on a window ledge. Make sure the roots are entirely in the water, but don’t submerge the whole off-cut.


Make sure that you change the water every day. You should find that growth happens quite quickly. Within two weeks, my first batches of spring onions were ready to eat.


Because they’re so easy to grow, I recommend growing spring onions first. They’re a great introduction to growing your own produce. They’re best grown from March through to September.


Celery (and leeks)


Like spring onions, celery is quite easy to grow. I also think it’s delicious, versatile and nutritious. So when I grew and ate my first celery stick, I was delighted and excited. Probably too excited.


It can be grown by cutting the stalks off so that there’s 1-2 inches left from the root. You then place the base down in a small bowl of water. Windowsills, or anywhere with direct sunlight, are the best place to grow celery, as it requires lots of sunlight.


New leaves usually start growing after a few days, and grow from the middle. Once they’ve grown a few millimetres more, all you need to do is move the burgeoning celery into a small pot of soil and water it well.


Ensure to change the water every couple of days. Continue to do this until it grows to the length you require.


You can also apply the same method to growing leeks. I’ve cheated a bit here, as I haven’t tried this myself. But it’s next on my list!


Tomatoes


Tomatoes can be grown from store bought seeds, but did you know that they can be grown from tomatoes in your own fridge? My mind was mildly blown when I discovered this.


If you have any overripe tomatoes lying about, they are perfect for growing your own. All you need to do is scoop out the inner part of the tomato, and mix it with a little water in a sealable jar.


You then seal the jar, and allow the seeds to ferment for a week. You do this to separate the seeds from the flesh in order to reduce the likelihood of disease.


After the week has passed, strain the seeds, rinse them, and allow them to dry out for another week. After this point, your seeds are ready for planting.


Use potting mix in seed trays, and plant the seeds. Water every few days, or when the soil starts to dry out. They’re best sown around April.


Garlic


Garlic that has started to grow roots is perfect for replanting. So, if you are passionate about reducing food waste, it’s a great thing to grow. Plus, it’s so delectable and healthy!


Put the cloves with the root pointing down into a small pot of potting soil. Make sure that you leave the pot in direct sunlight. Like the other items in this list, a windowsill is ideal.


All being well, the shoots will start to come through within a few days. Water every few days, and ensure the soil doesn’t dry out. Allow growth until the cloves are at a satisfactory size. Then eat!


By Richard Campbell ©

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