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Food waste is the largest single source of waste in the United States making up 20 percent of our landfills. You can reduce your own food waste at home by eating or freezing leftovers, meal planning to use up everything you buy and composting. My favorite way to reduce food waste is by scrap gardening. Instead of throwing away scraps, you can re-grow food from many of your favorite fruits and vegetables. This is a great activity for all ages!

Romain Lettuce

Romain Lettuce is one of the easiest foods to regrow. Once you have cut the lettuce, simply put the bottom of the stalk in an inch of water. Put in a sunny window and change the water daily. In just 1-2 days you will see new leaves growing in the center of the stalk. You can continue to grow the lettuce in the water or transplant it into a pot of dirt. Cut the lettuce when it is 2-3” tall and add it to your salad!

Celery Stalks

Another easy one! Leave 2-3” of the stalk when cutting your vegetable. Put the bottom of the stalk in 1 inch of water. Change the water daily to avoid mold. Within a few days, new stalks will begin growing up the center of the stalk. In a few weeks you can move to soil and they will grow wild!


The bottom of the onion that has the roots (stringy things) coming from it, can be placed in 1 inch of water to regenerate the roots. Change the water daily. In just a week, new roots will appear. Transplant to soil and within a week you can have green sprouts popping up. My onions have been growing for 1-2 months outside in a flowerpot. The top of the onion is bulging out and appears to be 3-4 inches in size.

Avocado Seeds

Once you have eaten your avocado let the seed dry out for 1-3 days. Gently peel the outer paper shell away. Gently place 3 toothpicks around the circumference of the seed. Set the bottom side of the seed (typically has a round center from the stem) into a glass of water. The pointy top needs to remain dry. Slowly, the seed will split in half and a root will grow down into the water. Change the water every 2 days to keep the root healthy. After a few months, the seed will begin to sprout a stem. Once the stem has grown to 6-7 inches it is time to transplant to soil. It can take many years for your avocado tree to grow fruit. Patience and love to you and your tree!

Pineapple Stalk

The spikey top from the pineapple that you normally toss in the trash can be regrown into your very own pineapple tree! Cut away all the fruit to leave only the stalk. Peel back 1/3 of the leaves to expose the white root system. Then let the stalk dry out on your counter for a few days. Place the stalk in water up to the leaves. Replace the water every few days. Within a few weeks, you will see additional roots growing. At this point, you can place it in soil or let it continue to grow in water. We currently have a pineapple plant that has been growing in water for 3 months. We have 2 more that are growing in soil. Both are doing great! I will move the plant inside for the winter. It can take 2-3 years for the plant to produce fruit and some will never produce fruit. I am hopeful! They are fun to take care of and easy to grow!

Send us pictures of your scrap garden to We will share them on our blog and facebook page. Happy Gardening!

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