Lake Tahoe Home: Sustainable gardening tips to grow new food from scraps |

Lake Tahoe Home: Sustainable gardening tips to grow new food from scraps

Cynthia Wigart
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
In just 10 days time, you can grow something new out of something old, like these green onions.
Courtes photo |

Many options

Below is a list of foods that you can grow from scraps:






Bok Choy*






Celery, Romaine Lettuce, and Cabbage*


Carrot Tops

Green Onions/Leeks*

Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes



*These foods can be grown in a window with only water.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Agriculture production is a huge contributor to the eco-catastrophe that is happening on the planet. We all need to eat, so I set on a path to try many different vegetables that could be started and grown at Lake Tahoe.

I started trying some new ideas and I realize I had found some valuable information for anyone to use, and it is a fail-proof, guaranteed yield! I have been interested in finding new and easy ways to grow foods, and so after some research, I started my recycled garden, and my first attempt was green onions.

I had no idea how easy starting a garden from the pieces of food we normally throw away could be. There’s nothing like eating your own home-grown food. I was surprised there are many different foods that will re-grow from the scrap pieces that are usually thrown away.

It’s fun and very simple. Just remember … the quality of the “parent” vegetable scrap will help to determine the quality of the regrowth. So, wherever possible, I recommend buying local organic produce. I would like to add that you will get better growth from organic produce, as GMO produce in general does not reproduce.

The most fail-proof regrowth has been with green onions or chives. You can regrow from the root stock, and in just ten days, a brand new plant grows back and is ready to eat.

Here’s what to do:

1. After you cut the green onions for whatever you are making, save the root stock and place in a small bowl of water up to the white, but not into the green.

2. Within 3-5 days you will see the tops growing quickly and the roots. Just keep water clear and clean. I suggest changing water every 2-3 days.

3. The best part is this is all you have to do. Keep water clear and let it grow. Within 24 hours, you should see some growth. My green onions grew back to purchase size in ten days! I have reused trimmings off of this one plant five times.

I have my test garden growing in water and I am going to transfer them into the garden soon. I am excited to see further results with the new varieties I have been researching.

Growing food does not need to be difficult. I am inspired to try all the foods on the list and see how it does in our mountain region. I suggest you try the green onions because it is amazingly easy and you get a yield in a short time.

I am excited for sustainable, recyclable gardening and the ability to use what we call trash and grow new food.

Cynthia Wigart is owner of Element Innovations, a home staging and redesign company based in South Lake Tahoe. Visit to learn more.

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