We all know how important it is to buy local. Besides helping support the businesses that keep your neighbourhood thriving (something that’s more important now than ever!), the benefits of being a locavore go well beyond your postal code. Buying local goods or eating local foods helps shrink your carbon footprint by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are released as products make their way to you. Fewer greenhouse gas emissions means reducing your contribution to climate change, and any animal lover knows this has a huge positive impact on our fave furry friends! This Earth Week, help do your part with these tips and tricks to help you go as local as possible with 5 foods you can grow right in your own backyard, all from scraps and leftovers!
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Have you ever thrown out a potato or sweet potato because it’s started growing what looks like octopus tentacles? Those are actually new plant shoots, and they’re ready to grow! These shoots grow out of a potato’s eyes (small indentations on the skin), so if you’ve got potato scraps laying around, simply dry out pieces with eyes overnight, then place them in soil with their eyes facing up. Or stick a whole potato in soil with its eyes facing upward and watch the magic happen!
Depending on where you live you might not be able to grow an avocado outside, but a new plant will sprout up from an old pit in no time, where it can live in a container for years! Simply take your avocado pit, poke it with 3 toothpicks to help it stay afloat, then place it in a glass of water. The water should cover about half the pit, and you’ll see roots emerge in no time!
Garlic and onions
We don’t often use the roots of an onion or a clove of garlic when we cook, but these discarded scraps are just what we need to sprout new plants! Find the piece of the base/stem that has roots already attached and place it in a shallow dish of water, then watch as it grows roots in a couple of days.
To regrow lettuce, all you need is the leftover base from the head of whatever lettuce is popular in your kitchen! Place it in a glass container and fill it with enough water to cover the bottom half of the base, then stick it on a windowsill and you should see new growth from the top of the base in no time.
Carrots and other root veggies
Keeping the tops (where the leaves and stems attach to the root, or vegetable) of carrots, beets, turnips, and other root vegetables will let you easily regrow new ones. Just place the tops in a container and cover them with water and new green tops should grow within a couple of days!
Want more tips to help you become a locavore? Accept the Live Love Local Mission in the Earth Rangers App today!