Monday, June 17, 2013

Growing a Garden From Food Waste - Article 1

Here in Louisiana, in the middle of Cajun Country, every meal begins with a diced onion or two.  Did you know that you can regrow the onions you use in your gumbo and etouffee?  Ive been doing this for a while with really great results.  We haven't purchased onions in about 6 months (well, except a few spring onions from the farmers market a few weeks ago, that I just could not resist) because of this technique.

With food prices soaring, gardening as a hobby and method of saving in the kitchen is becoming quite popular.  Not only are rural residents growing some of their family's food, but suburbanites and even city dwellers are growing some of their groceries!  So, if you don't have a large plot of land in which to garden, do not give up.  You can still garden in small spaces and containers - and onions lend themselves nicely to this, being small plants.

This is how you regrow an onion:

1.When you begin your dice, and you cut off both ends of the onion, put aside the end that has what looks like small, dried out roots - thats exactly what they are.  you can regrow them in a few different ways.

2. If you have a small growing space, you can grow them by putting just the roots in a glass of water (suspend the onion piece with toothpicks or even pebbles in the glass).  It will regrow in the glass, and within a week or so, you will be able to use the green parts as green onions.  Make sure you change the water every few days.

3. You can also put the cut root part, root side down, directly into a container of potting soil or into the soil in the garden (this is how I grow them).  With patience, in a few months, you will have another bulb onion!!  in the mean time, you can enjoy some of the green parts in your meals.  Be sure to water them often at first, to help the plant get established. 

At The City Girl's Market Garden, we garden mostly in containers and raised beds.  We have spot reserved for regrowing onions in one of the raised beds (4 feet by 4 feet) and so we almost always have an onion or two ready to use.  You won't grow rich on the grocery savings from your onion project, but you will save a little that you can put towards something else, and the satisfaction of being self sufficient in this area is priceless,

My plan is to have a weekly article on Growing a Garden from Food Waste, so follow me on Facebook and subscribe to the blog so you don't miss anything!

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I did this in my college years taking horticulture classes, and forgot about it...thank you for the reminder. It would be so awesome to be able to replant our garden from scraps. Can't wait to see the next article.