Enjoy this guest post written by Lori Starling from Stars and Moon Homestead!
“From Scraps to Sprouts: Give Your Children the Gift of Zero Waste Gardening Knowledge”
Trying to live as zero waste as possible is important to the Earth. What is almost just as important, (if not more important), is teaching your children ways to be kind to the planet through life skills that could possibly change the way they see the world.
When we think of recycling, we image separating plastic, cardboard, and cans, (depending on where you live), but what about food? Along with root and tuber vegetables, (such as potatoes), 45% of fruits and vegetables are wasted. This means almost half of all of the fruits and vegetables produced end up in landfills.
Boom. Let that sink in for a minute.
Now, what if we could do our parts to change that, even if it is only on a small scale in our homes or communities? There is good news: we CAN change it and it starts with education. There are two ways that we can do this. One: we can teach our children about composting, (or the magic of turning waste into super, nutrient charged soil for gardens). Two: we can teach our children how to regrow those vegetables that have the power to do so. Here is a list of some produce that actually has the power to regrow itself from its own scraps:
Potatoes, (any potato that has an eye)
Sprouts, (I.e. bean sprouts baby!)
Herbs, (lemongrass, basil, cilantro, etc.)
Why start this process with children, you ask? Education is the simplest way to change hearts and minds of those that have the power to make a difference. There is no better education than doing an activity that gets your hands dirty. When children grow food themselves, there is a certain magic that happens. Wonder. Amazement. Awe. They feel all the feels, if you know what I mean. They will not only be involved physically, but mentally and emotionally. I know from personal experience. My three-year-old son will go out to the garden daily to see the progress of the seeds or scraps that he planted.
Growing food from produce scraps isn’t only just about helping reduce waste. It’s about something much more than that. If you teach your children about food waste and ways to reduce it, they will not only learn how to tread lightly on the planet, but also how to live a self-sustainable lifestyle by producing some of their own food. This is knowledge that lasts a lifetime.
Enough of the heavy stuff. Let’s get dirty!
If you are wondering how to get started growing food from scraps, check this simple, three step guide on how to start with green onions! My three-year-old about died of happiness the day he woke up and little shoots of new onion were emerging from the old scraps! Magic, people. Pure MAGIC! You want to know the best part of this activity? It doesn’t even have to be done in dirt, (hey, apartment dwellers, you can do this too)!
Cut up your green onion or onions like you usually do, leaving the “butt” end, (as I like to call the root end), intact. Set the onion roots to the side and finish cutting up your edible part of the green onion that you are going to use.
Fill a glass of water and stick the root side down into the glass. Just let it be.
Every day, change out the water to make sure it is clean. In as little as a few days, more green onion will begin to grow out of the top of the old root!
It’s as simple as that, folks. Now get hooked! If you do this, you won’t have to buy green onions ever again. Talk about zero waste, self-sustainable, and just plain fun! Now grab the kiddos and grow with them!
For more awesome gardening, cooking, and zero-waste homesteading tips, tricks, and shenanigans, visit www.starsandmoonhomestead.com. Make sure to drop me a line and tell me how your green onions are doing!