Grown Your Own


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Maybe the bottoms of your romaine go straight into the compost, or you toss the scraps from your carrots or green onions into the trash without giving them a second thought. But it turns out that produce is surprisingly resilient — and the parts you're discarding could be the beginnings of another salad or meal. All it takes is some water or soil. These scraps don't have to come from plants you picked from the garden or grabbed at a farmers market, either — grocery store purchases can yield a second harvest too.

Video: Rock & Carolyn: You Can Regrow Vegetables

Take a glance through the produce in your refrigerator and you'll likely see some worthy candidates. Have a bunch of celery? Cut off the base and plant in soil, and you'll have new celery in a few weeks. Planning to make a big salad? Take the bottom of a head of lettuce, stick it in water, and after a week you can plant it in soil.

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Those are far from the only plants you can regrow from scraps. Plant the ends of a green onion and harvest the shoots, or start in water, taking care to change the water daily. If you're a fan of potatoes, simply choose a potato that has already developed "eyes" or small stems, then bury them in dirt, "eyes" up, to produce more potatoes. Other produce you can plant can includes garlic, bok choy, and carrots. Be aware that the second time around, your "regrown" plants might have a different flavor, either milder or more bitter, than they did the first time. 

Even if your growing experiment doesn't work (lettuce takes only about half the time), remember — you've invested little more than some water, potting soil, and a few minutes of your time. Chances are good you'll get a return on your limited investment. 

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