Did you know that you can grow more ginger from a piece of ginger? Or that mushroom stems can grow new mushrooms?

And that romaine lettuce sprouts from the end piece we normally cut off and toss in the trash? Here are three veggies that can be grown from scraps.


If you happen to have an extra piece of ginger with lots of knobs (store-bought works fine), you have a good contender to grow your own. The edible part of the ginger is not the root but a rhizome, or subterranean plant stem.

Soak the ginger in water overnight and plant in good soil, either potted or straight in the ground, the next day. One thing to keep in mind for growing in our waterwise climate is that ginger likes moisture-rich soil.

The best planting time is late winter or early spring, so get to it and be ready to harvest in eight to 10 months.


Remove the mushroom caps and reserve them for eating. Cut stems to quarter-inch pieces and plant in a container as simple as a cardboard box by layering with a suitable medium like grain, straw, or sawdust (this is also a good way to use up your spent coffee grounds). Your box will need to be covered, but make sure there are holes for airflow and keep moist with daily misting.

You’ll have a crop of mushrooms to harvest in five to six weeks.

Romaine Lettuce

Place the leftover bottom of a romaine lettuce stalk in a shallow bowl with half an inch of water, taking care not to cover the top. Keep in a brightly sunlit area and refresh the water daily.

You can transfer the plant to soil once you see new lettuce sprouts about one to two inches long.  

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