Save Money On Groceries By Re-Growing Food From Kitchen Scraps

A Fun Guest Post by Alex Goodwin

I have not tried all of Alex’s suggestions here, so I can’t vouch for them, but I certainly will try them. Ginger is the one I’ve done – what a beautiful edible plant. Also, when I was a kid we used to sprout avocado trees from the pits by hanging half of the pit in a cup of water by suspending it from a trio of toothpicks jammed into the sides of the pit. But avocado trees get enormous and you better live where it doesn’t freeze if you want to grow one. Here’s Alex Goodwin for y’all folks.

Save Money On Groceries By Re-Growing Food From Kitchen Scraps

If you’re anything like me and my wife when it comes to looking for ways to save money and lower our bills, you’ll be happy to discover that one of the easiest and really fun methods of doing this has been lurking in your very own kitchen!

After we purchase, prepare, and consume the food we buy, there are almost always little bits of food left that just get thrown away. Why do we do that? Some of these scraps of food can actually serve another function. They can be replanted and grown again.

While it isn’t possible to do it with everything we consume, most vegetables and some fruits do have the capacity to regrow themselves from replanted scraps. Let’s take a look at some of the common foods you might have in your home that you can start with now.

Onions

Onions are the easiest of vegetables to regrow because they have the highest success rate and only require a little bit of work to replant. First, cut off any part of the onion that remains about the roots except for maybe a half inch. Then, plant the roots in a sunny area in a raised bed garden so that they will have plenty of sunlight.

Pineapples

Pineapples are a fun food to grow because they are so delicious! You need to start by taking the green, leafy area that is located at the top of the pineapple. Make sure that all pieces of actual fruit have been removed. It’s necessary that all of the fruit is removed to keep it from rotting and killing your plant. This only leaves the part of the pineapple that nobody eats anyways.

When you first plant them in your garden, you should water them regularly. After a few weeks you can cut back to watering your pineapples just once a week. A few months later you will begin to see growth. It may take up to a couple years before you can actually eat the pineapples, but you will have a permanent plant that will continually bear fruit every season.

Garlic

Garlic is also another type of plant that can be easily regrown from scraps. This can be done by planting a single clove root-down into the soil. At first, it will grow new shoots, which you will want to cut off. After they have been cut, the garlic will put all its energy into producing a new bulb, recreating the original garlic plant that was consumed.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are capable of re-growing their eye-shoots, which allow for more potatoes to grow off of them. This can be done by planting either a whole, or even just a little piece, of a  sweet potato in a jar of water. After a week, new shoots should have sprouted out by now. Remove the side sprouts and leave the shoots forming near the top of the potato.

Ginger

Ginger isn’t as commonly used, but it can also be regrow from just a food scrap. Take a piece of ginger rhizome — the part of the plant you cook with — and have the newly sprouted bud areas facing towards the surface. Ginger likes stay out of direct contact with sunlight but still be able to reach it. You should also keep the area around your ginger moist. The plant will sprout a whole new set of roots and shoots, which then will begin growing duplicates of the plant. When harvesting, pull the whole plant out of the ground and cut off more pieces of rhizome. Use what you need and then place the rest back into the ground so that you can repeat the process.

Other tips and considerations

Many of the food you can re-grow from kitchens scraps do not require a lot of space and can be grown indoors with mason jars if you don’t have the space for a traditional garden. Large planting pots are good for high-rise balconies because they are less likely to blow over and they require less water. To add style and an extra touch of sustainability, you can try using bio-degradable planting pots that are been constructed from renewable plant by-products.

About the author:

Alex is a blogger, husband, father and aspiring slipstream fantasy novelist. When he isn’t writing for HomeDaddys or completing chores from his “honey- do” list, he’s most likely spending quality time with his wife and kids or working on his novel.

 

10 Day no cell phone check update

Day 1

Well, I made the apparent mistake of emailing my local homeschool yahoo groups and my neighbors the night before Day 1, offering them a piece of my sourdough starter. I had only expected 4 or 5 responses, but the emails started pouring in instantly, requesting the starter – 33 in all. So day 1 got kind of goofed up. I had to respond to them and let them know that it will take months for me to give them all a piece. So even though I had a little date with my email on Day 1, I managed to not check www.drudgereport.com for news. Not even once. The urge to pick up my phone was enormous all day, however. Here’s hoping I can actually go tomorrow without any email.

Day 2

Much better today. I figured out I could check emails while taking care of my, ahem, business, so I got a check in during the a.m. Otherwise, who needs a stinkin’ cell phone? I LOVE not checking Drudge report every 2 hours, but I fear becoming a low-information voter, one of the ostrich masses with my head in the dirt, blissfully singing preschool songs and making art, all while our guns are being confiscated and our country run by the UN. I guess in the end I’ll still know well enough to vote Libertarian, so no loss. I did find that I had 50 emails awaiting me after the kids went to bed, so here I am. I just checked them, I’m writing this, and I do not have the energy to read any of the links or to respond. Hmmm.

Days 3-10

A royal failure. What really did me in was needing to check email to communicate with people coming over to pick up sourdough starter. I had to stay by my phone all day every day. I did become much more sensitive to not “missing my childrens’ childhoods.” Just that little bit of consciousness sure goes a long way. I’m taking a much needed break from current events and it’s lovely.

Also, my friends apparently had read my post and figured that I wouldn’t be checking my phone, so they started texting my husband telling him to tell me things. Pretty funny.

As soon as this sourdough craziness is over, I’m going to make another 10 day gallant attempt to check my cellphone once a day before bed. Honestly though, you can have more communication than that and not sacrifice any childhoods. Even Rachel agrees. Right now the neighbor kids are over, so my kids are totally engaged and I have a minute to get my “screen time” in. Trying to break the addiction does prove to be a doozy. I highly recommend it.

Teach Your Kids History, Say “no” to screens, and voila…

I am amazed every time I say “no” to screens. The kids come up with something to do. They get an hour of screen time every day. And even that almost sickens me when I do the math. If they spent 365 hours a year doing anything skill building, they’d almost be a master. Screens have nothing to show for the time spent.

Anyway, earlier today when I said “no – you’ve had your screen  time,” the boys proceeded to find a plastic pipe about 12 feet long and drop all kinds of things through it. It’s physics, it’s psychology, it’s cause and effect.

The Battle of the Crater

Battle of the Crater

Battle of the Crater

A couple of months ago, my mother and I taught my seven year old about the Battle of the Crater. It was a Civil War battle that was fought on my ancestors’ land in Virginia. It’s a great story. My great great grandfather, Jesse Bignal Payne, was only 11 years old when General Beauregard’s men came and told the family they had to leave because a battle was about to ensue on their property. The family took sacks of peas and headed to Colorado. The tactic of blowing a huge crater backfired on the Union and they lost the battle miserably. You can still see the crater today.

I was just washing dishes after having told the boys “no” to screens. It takes will power, you know? They got out their beyblades, which are basically tops on speed that battle one another. From the other room I hear the yelling – “Battle of the Crater! Battle of the Crater!” They were battling the tops in a trash can lid.

Happy happy moments of homeschool mothering. I know I’ve done something right, wait, several things right, when my children are playing Battle of the Crater.

As an aside, one of my Waldorf method homeschool friend moms told me recently that about a year ago she nixed screens altogether. In about a week she never heard the “may I play or watch” this or that again. Kids will find something to do. And if it doesn’t involve a screen, it most likely is enriching their lives.

Cleaning with Kombucha Vinegar

The cleanest my floors have ever been

Tea Tree Oil and Kombucha Vinegar

Tea Tree Oil and Kombucha Vinegar

They feel totally different under my bare feet. Squeaky squeaky clean. Wow. 48 hours later, wow.

I was ready to mop and didn’t realize that I’d run out of vinegar. I had heard that if your kombucha had ever gotten too ripe and had turned to vinegar, that you could use it to clean your house or anything else you would clean with vinegar. So months ago, when a batch had gotten too far gone, I put it away and kept it. Day before yesterday I bravely gave it a try – about two dark brown cups of super old, scary kombucha to half a bucket of water. I also added 20 drops of tea tree oil, one of my favorite essential oils, to help disinfect and add fragrance.

The results are unbelievable.

This makes me want my kombucha to get a little too ripe. I’m excited. Wow is all I have to say.

Funny thing is, 30 minutes later I found my gallon of commercial white vinegar. It had gotten put away in the wrong place. I am so grateful for these serendipitous times in life. Wow. I won’t be going back.