If you’re like me and you prefer to eat green, you know that we are often left with tons of scraps.

According to The Food Loss and Waste: Facts and Futures Report by the WWF 10 million tonnes of food go to waste in South Africa every year.

Fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of the wastage and loss. While most of the food wastage comes from the food supply chain, we can do our bit to not contribute to the wastage from our home kitchens too.

Instead of simply tossing scraps in the trash, perhaps you could start your own veggie garden with them.

Here are 3 foods you can grow entirely new plants from using the scraps you were going to throw away anyway.

Spring onions

Spring onions are one of the easiest foods to grow from scraps. All you need to do is cut off the top of the spring onion and keep about 3-5cm of the white root base. Place it in a shallow jar with water. Keep it exposed to the sun and change the water every second day and harvest your spring onions when they are ready.


Usually, we consume lettuce leaves around the root, but instead of tossing the root this time submerge it in water and keep it in the sun. After just 2 weeks you should see your lettuce sprouting new leaves. At this point, you can transfer your lettuce to the ground and once it grows to about 10cm, you can harvest your very own lettuce.


Have some leftover garlic cloves n your fridge that you forgot about? Now that they’re all dried up, your first instinct might be to toss it. In this instance, you can actually propagate more garlic. Simply place the garlic cloves upright in a shallow bowl, with some water that covers the bottom of the garlic. Place it in a sunny spot and replace the water every second day. Once they start sprouting, place them into a deep pot of soil, using one clove per pot. When at least half the leaves are yellow, it is ready to harvest. It takes about 9 months for a full bulb to develop, so be patient with this one.

Pro tip: fresh garlic cloves grow faster than dried ones.


Growing micro-greens you can harvest in a month

Featured image: Unsplash