It’s something of a trend that a lot of people are trying to become more sustainable. Doing this saves money by using less energy, buying more what we really need, and less what we don ‘t need. We can do the same with vegetables bought at the store or market by growing them further at home.
Growing Vegetables at home requires some soil and a place where natural light comes in. You can grow indoor or outdoor. For my examples, I am going to use a variety of (Indonesian) Spinach to grow in just 4 steps.
I bought these vegetables at the local market but you can do it also with those you buy in the store.
Choosing the vegetables
The vegetables should be as fresh as possible. The leaves should still be vibrant and strong. If the branches and leaves are hanging very weak from the main branch, then these are not suitable for replanting.
These types of plants lost all their water and partially vitamins and minerals as well. So avoid buying these.
Dark green, strong, and a bonus would be some roots on the vegetables. Sometimes the stores do not sell them with roots. Then from the stem roots can grow if you replant them. Currently, I am still experimenting when roots come out by just putting it in soil and watering it every day until new leaves show up.
Take what you need for cooking
So we covered choosing the vegetables. Now we just need to cut what we will use for cooking, and the leftover should be for planting.
Cut so that circa 15 centimeters of the main stem remains. You can cut off most parts of the branches. If any weak branch and leaves remain, remove this as well. This way you end up with only a green stem very small leaves. the side branches or twigs should be cut off.
Replant the vegetables
This is easy. Just dig some holes in the ground and make sure you give each plant some space to grow. Don’t put everything in a tiny hole, the plants will fight for (sun)light and the result will be that only 1 big plant will emerge from that tiny hole where everything is planted.
So instead just spread the plants around 5-10cm from each other. It depends on how big they become and how they expand in width and height. Water immediately after replanting. If you live in a cold country, wait until the water reaches room temperature.
Harvest again a few weeks later
as soon as the first green leaves start growing, the plant will recover exponentially fast. Give it enough water and make sure the position receives also some natural light or artificial light.
Within a few weeks you can harvest some vegetables you grew yourself. This time you just take the leaves and side branches and you can leave the rest. This way you can harvest every few weeks some fresh vegetables.
You can also replant some of the branches, expanding your vegetable yield. Try to diversify this with many different types of plants.
You can start harvesting your vegetables when they have a similar yield as when you bought them at the store.
Other advantages of regrowing your own store-bought vegetables
Besides saving some money on vegetables. You are most likely growing it without pesticide so it’s healthier. The plant itself functions as an air filter converting carbon-dioxide into oxygen. Cleaner air with just a few vegetable plants. If the area you live in has a lot of traffic or smog, growing vegetables could surely improve the air quality in your home.
So next time you buy some veggies, be sure to buy the good ones and try to replant them. if nothing comes out in a week, try another vegetable. In these times it is a good idea to become more sustainable. Less goes to waste, more comes out of the value! The first harvest will be delicious! I hope you will enjoy it.