Decreasing Food Waste: Making the Most of Kitchen Scraps
Green Onion Edition
If you are like me, you are aware of how much food Americans throw away every single year. Every time you throw something in your trash can, it ends up in a landfill. Wasted food takes up tons of our landfill space and contributes to the production of methane emissions.
As our populations continue to grow, people must be more cognizant of their ecological footprint. If we all began taking small steps to reduce our impact on the planet, the collective result would be amazingly large.
There are many types of small steps you can take to help reduce your impact on the environment. For example, you can compost your food waste and use it in your garden, instead of sending it to a landfill.
This post, however, is concerned specifically with how you can extend the life of your purchased produce to decrease food waste and get the most out of your money. The focus of today: green onions! One of my favorite ingredients in an omelet, burritos, tacos, baked potatoes, and even salad!
Step 1: Eat those green onions!
Step 2: Place in water.
Take the scraps – the bottom few inches of the green onions with roots attached – and place in 1 to 1.5 inches of water in a glass container. Place that container where it will get sunlight. Make sure to change the water every couple of days. Ensure that the roots are always submerged in water.
Step 3: Watch them regrow!
These photos show about 1.5 – 2 weeks of regrowth.
Once you want to harvest these, pull them out of the water and chop the green parts off again just as you did in Step 1. This time, also make sure to trim off the small dead ends at the tops of the green onions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long before I see my onions regrowing?
You should be able to see changes in growth overnight. The center of each green onion will be slightly taller than the rest of the green onion cross-section, and a little darker green. These regrow very quickly, so by Day 3 or 4 the regrowth will be unmistakable.
How many regrowths/harvests will I get?
You will definitely get at least one strong, tall regrowth. After cutting, the second regrowth tends to be weaker and they will probably not get as tall or as dark green as your first regrowth. If the water starts to smell funky, this is indication that the roots are rotting and it’s time to harvest what you have and decide what to do with your scraps (see next question).
What should I do with my green onion scraps afterwards?
I normally go one of two ways with this. I either put them in my backyard composter to make some nice food for my garden OR I plant them outside. Once they are established in the ground, green onions are pretty hardy and have had no issues tolerating our frost of winter. One thing to note is that green onions do love water! Make sure to keep them hydrated (but not overwatered or you will get root rot again).
If you have very hot summers, like we do in the high desert, avoid planting outside during this time. In my experience, green onions have a hard time establishing themselves in the soil in these very hot temperatures. The regrowth process will be slower outside, but if you have replanted several bunches, you will not be wanting for green onions! I have a few planted that I have harvested about three times now, but I hope to get about three more bunches planted when temperatures start to warm up a bit.
I hope that you found this helpful and interesting!
Until next time,