July 12, 2017 5 min read
Growing food from kitchen scraps is not only incredibly easy, but also offers you the opportunity to take control of your food, while helping to save the planet at the same time. Here are 5 foods you haven’t thought to grow from your kitchen pantry. Shallots (Spring Onions) Shallots would have to be one of the easiest, and hardiest kitchen plants you can grow at home and will do perfectly fine in almost any garden position. What’s more, once they grow, there is no need to dig them up, simply keep cutting the stalks off with scissors or a knife, and let the stub re-shoot. Its that simple. Use them as a replacement to onion, and you have started to replace part of your weekly shop, saving you money, and eliminating the carbon emissions from farming, transporting and storing. Steps
Potatoes If you’ve ever had a compost heap, you will know that potatoes seem to be able to spring up from literally the thin peels that we throw away from scraps. Potatoes sprout from “eyes”, which are small indentations on the surface of a mature potato tuber in which stems will grow, and of course are a staple of many meals, but with fresh home grown potatoes, those meals will be next level! So the next time your potatoes sprout from being left in the cupboard for just a little too long, don’t throw them out, plant them!. Steps
Ginger Ginger is a rhizome, but is commonly referred to as ginger root, or simply ginger and it gradually spreads under the soil as it grows. Thin leafy stems grow from the rhizome to approximately 1m tall from small growth buds on the root. Use ginger in your favourite Asian cuisine, make your own ginger beer, or make your own pickled ginger perfect for sushi, it is a staple of the kitchen and has numerous well known health benefits. Steps
Ginger grows over the warmer periods of the year, so planting is required at the start of spring. As winter approaches the leaves will die back and it is at this point you can harvest some ginger, or simply leave the rhizomes in the ground and let them re-shoot in the spring. Plant in a shady well drained rich soil, and water regularly. Chillies/ Peppers Chillies and peppers in general (including capsicum or bell pepper) like it hot and humid being native to the south Americas. Not only are peppers easy to grow, they have a lot going for them being low in calories, but high in vital nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fibre. The next time you cut a chilli, capsicum, or pepper , remove the seeds and consider planting them in your garden..
Garlic Garlic forms the base of so many of our recipes from hearty pasta dishes to delicious garlic bread, it is almost indespensible in the kitchen, and thankfully it is so easy to grow. Being a bulb, however means that you need to respect the planting times for your garlic to do well. Steps
Once you harvest your garlic, you can eat it immediately, or for long term storage allow the entire garlic plant to dry out in a protected dry location for a few weeks. Once the layers surrounding the bulb go papery, cut the stalk and roots off and store in a dark dry location in your pantry.
We have done such a good job of convincing ourselves that growing food is difficult, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. Next time you’re cooking up a stir fry or casserole, why not keep a couple of ingredients and use them to grow the food yourself, it’s so rewarding cooking a meal from your own produce and because it’s homegrown it’s even more delicious. Tell us what have you grown straight from your kitchen in the comments below!
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