Indoor Garden From Leftovers
Leftover Groceries For Your Indoor Garden
One of the easiest way to start a garden indoors is to use what is leftover from food preparation. It goes by several names, garbage garden, grocery garden or scrap food garden. You can use the tops of root plants, grow in water, plant seeds or plant in dirt. These can make interesting long lived house plants and some are even edible.
Growing Plants With Kitchen Scraps
An Indoor kitchen Garden
I would recommend buying organic fruits and vegetables for obvious reasons like pesticides or buy from a local farm stand that you trust their growing methods. A lot of the vegetables with the greens still attached you find in the supermarket look inedible because of the careless treatment and age. Most of these greens taste better when they are less mature. They do sell them separate and they do look better.
Certain greens are not popular. One of the reasons is they don't travel well, so it's a marketing decision. If you grow them yourself or buy local that won't be a concern.
Grape seeds planted indoors can be grown into a vine. In cooking grape leaves are used as an edible wrapping, as in stuffed grape leaves.The seeds are used to make grape seed oil and also as an exfolient in skin care.
Coffee beans (Coffea Arabica) can be grown into a plant with dark green leathery leaves. It produces white fragrant flowers and red berries.
I am concentrating on growing plants with this lens but in reusing scraps you can use the seeds to make flour, beverages and cosmetics. Peels and rinds can be cooked in various ways, used also in cosmetics, arts and craft projects and even as potpourri.
Growing Citrus Trees From The Pips
A popular way of growing an indoor garden is to use the seeds of citrus fruits to grow plants. Seeds of citrus should not be sprouted as they produce toxins. Supermarket grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges can be planted in potted soil and produce plants or rather small trees. They can be pollinated with a small brush. There have been accounts of fruit being produced that are sometimes very bitter. The plant of course can be transplanted outdoors to have a better opportunity to grow to a full size tree. If you becomes inspired then you can buy the dwarf variety and attempt to grow a dwarf tree indoors which will produce better fruit.
The fresh leaves of your citrus tree can be steeped or boiled and made into a tea. The leaves can be dried and be mixed with other teas or used by itself. They also can be used to wrap meat, shrimp and cheese for grilling or cooking. Also used in soups and stews as a flavoring or as garnish. The dried fragrant leaves can be placed in bathwater, closets, potpourris or floral arrangements.
Books On Indoor Gardens
Using Citrus Leaves
- Mozzarella grilled between lemon leaves
"This is a delicious yet very simple dish that originates, l think, from the Amalfi Coast. "
- Grilled Shrimp in Lemon Leaves---Gamberoni Alle Foglie di Limone
Recipe from Mario Batali
- Pickles -- Veppilaikkatti (Spiced Citrus Leaf Mince)
The leaves used in this pickle are the tender leaves of lime or lemon trees, and citron (naarthangai) trees, along with a few curry leaves (kariveppilai) for added body and flavor.
- How To Make Orange Flower Water - Orange Flower Water Recipe
Orange Flower Water (also called Orange Blossom Water) is used in Moroccan cooking, particularly in desserts and sweets. Pure Orange Flower Water requires steam distillation, but this easier home method will still yield Orange Flower Blossom Water fr
Growing A Sweet Potato Vine Indoors
Edible sweet potato leaves
A favorite plant to grow indoors is the sweet potato. (Ipomoea batatas) People will notice that sprouts will grow from a sweet potato even if left on a shelf. You can twist them off and place in growing medium or potting soil. Another way is to take a whole sweet potato and place it in a jar of water with just the bottom of the potato in the water. It can be anchored by toothpicks if the jar mouth is wide. Sprouts will show and then leaves and vines which will continue to grow in your indoor garden. The leaves are eaten in many parts of the world. You can also buy sweet potato leaves in specialty markets. Many of them will be called "yam leaves", even though they are not from the true yam plants.
The regular white potato (Solanum tuberosum) is not in the same plant group as the sweet potato and the sprouts and leaves are not edible.
Some people call sweet potatoes yams (Dioscorea batatas) but they are a different plant. The yam is a tuber and the sweet potato is a storage root. In the U.S. we did not see true yams much in the store but its becoming more popular and hopefully they will be more clear on which one you are really getting.
Recipes For Sweet Potato Greens
- Stir Fried Sweet Potato leaf
Recipe: Stir-fried Yam Leaf (Sweet Potato Leaf) with Belacan (Shrimp Paste)
- Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Leaves
Stir-fried sweet potato leaves with garlic and ginger.
- Sweet Potato Leaves in Coconut Milk
Sweet potato leaves with prawn and coconut milk.
- Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens
Sweet potato greens sauteed in olive oil.
- African Stew with Sweet Potato Leaves
Sweet potato leaves with vegetables including tofu.
- Potato Greens Recipe
Liberian sweet potato greens recipe.
Growing An Avocado Plant
You can plant an avocado pit in potting soil or place it in water held up by toothpicks. To plant it the narrow part will be up above the soil and the majority of the pit will be below. If you use the water method, the plant can be potted when you see enough roots forming. It grows into a nice house plant.The leaves of the Mexican Avocado ((Persea dryminfolia) are the one used in Mexican cooking and are available at stores and online as hojas de aguacate. The leaves of the Guatemalan Avocado (Persea American) and the West Indian variety are considered toxic for people and animals. The popular Hass variety is from the Guatemalan avocado so the leaves are also not edible.
Scallions also known as green onions can be placed in water. They periodically can be snipped off then they will grow until spent. They have an onion flavor and can be used in many types of dishes.
Growing Carrot Tops
Carrots (Daucus carota) can be bought with the green leafy tops still attached. The carrot can be cut around one half inch from the top and placed in water. The greens will continue to grow. Carrots with the greens cut but the top of the vegetable intact will grow the fern like leaves. These are also edible and make nice micro greens.
Recipes for carrot greens
I grew this pepper plant on the windowsill from seeds of an organic sweet pepper I bought from the store. A nice plant for an indoor garden.
Growing Leftover Greenery
Do you have an outdoor garden
Recipes For Beet Greens
(Mexican) Avocado Leaves- Hojas de Aguacate
- Beef Casserole with Chile and Avocado Leaves
Texmole, from Coxcatlan, Puebla, is one of many varieties of mole de olla, a type of casserole with meat, chile, and vegetables simmered in broth. It is served in soup bowls as a main course. This adaptation of the traditional casserole is from Yaya
- Cheese Baked in Toasted Avocado Leaves: Queso Fresco al Horno
and delicious botana, or snack
- Refried Black Beans (Pasta de Frijoles Negros)
Seasoned with chiles, onions, and anise-scented dried avocado leaves, refried black beans help hold together a taquito’s disparate elements—meat, cheese, cactus paddles, guacamole, sautÃ©ed jalapeÃ±os and onions—in a luscious amalgam
Recipes For Onion Leaves
Kitchen Scrap Garden
Have you ever grown anything indoors from kitchen scraps?
Garden with Garbage
Sprouts, grasses and Microgreens
If you have leftover lentils, garbanzo beans or brown rice you can sprout them. You don't really need to buy special equipment just a jar or bowl and water. You can also grow grasses from leftover grains like wheat or rye. And of course microgreens are very young plants. Some people start plantings and pick some of the young ones and garnish foods with them.
Links on Sprouts, Grasses and Microgreens
Vast information and supplies on sprouting, grasses and microgreens.
- Growing Food on a Windowsill - Microgreens
Growing microgreens on the windowsill.
- Sprouts and microgreens: edible houseplants
Microgreens and sprouts, those immature vegetables short on size but large on taste, are making their way from trendy restaurants and stylish markets into family kitchens.
Other Uses For Leftovers
Minimize Your Waste
There are many other things you can do with leftovers. The peels and rinds of fruits and vegetables can be made into meals. The seeds can be eaten in various ways or used in craft projects. Onion skins, coffee grounds, beets and many other foods can be used to dye material. Natural beauty treatments can be made from many eatable items. Coconut hulls can be used to make charcoal. The fibers on the coconut are called coir and are used as a soil medium and to make useful items like floor mats and mattress stuffing. Most food leftovers can be used to make compost. Dried leaves, banana skins, corn kernels and cob can be used as a fuel source and burned. The ashes can be used as a cleaner of your silverware and other metals and can also go into the compost.