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Evason Ana Mandara
Growing your own tasty and healthy fruit and veg from the ends you would otherwise throw away cuts down on food waste, saves money and promotes sustainability.
Of course it’s not going to substitute all of your food needs, but it’s a fun experiment and will make a tasty salad.
Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Take the base of a bunch of celery and place it in a small bowl, facing upright. Fill the container with warm water (not submerging the celery – just enough so that the celery remains facing upright). Place the bowl on a sunny windowsill. Change the water every other day. You’ll see small leaves appear around the center of the base, which will grow thicker.
After about a week, the leaves will have turned dark green and you can move the base to a larger planter pot, cover with potting soil and leave the leaf tips uncovered. Keep the plant watered and you’ll notice a few small stalks appear and then grow upwards over the next few weeks. Harvest when grown and repeat the process.
When you chop up a lettuce such as a romaine heart, leave a three-inch step at the bottom of the lettuce. Place it facing upwards in a bowl filled with an inch or two of water (so that it covers no more than two thirds of the stem) in on a sunny windowsill – next to the celery will do nicely. Change the water every day or when it gets a little cloudy.
The lettuce will start to sprout, at which point you can transfer it to a larger planter pot filled with potting soil. After two to three weeks, when the outer leaves grow to six to eight inches tall, you can pinch them off, ensuring you always leave a small inner core. You should be able to ‘cut and come again’ for several weeks.
Cut the bottoms off your scallions about an inch from the roots. Place them in a shallow glass of water leaving the tops exposed. Change the water every other day and watch green shoots continue to grow.
After a week or so you’ll be able to plant the base in a small pot filled with potting soil. Keep it on a sunny windowsill and keep the soil moist. Cut what you need and leave the roots in the damp soil – it will keep growing back!
You can also grow a number of plants from leftover seeds.
For example, collect the seeds from your habaneros, jalapenos or any other peppers that you have to hand. Plant them in potting soil and keep in a sunny spot. Peppers grow relatively fast and don’t require a lot of care. Once you get a new crop, just save some of the seeds for replanting again.
The same is true for tomatoes – you can save some of the seeds you may otherwise throw away. Rinse the seeds and allow them to dry. Plant in a pot and cover them with potting soil until you notice growth coming in. Just remember to keep them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and water a few times each week.
More tips will follow, but in the meantime, why not check out some natural pest deterrents and tag us in pictures of how you’re getting on using the #AtHomeWithSixSenses hashtag.
Remember a little dirt never hurt so keep calm and garden on (then wash your hands)!
As potent healing agents, plants are nature’s magic. From pickles to body scrubs, here’s how to use the abundance of homegrown, natural ingredients at Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal to heal you inside and out.