Regrowing Store-Bought Food

As we approach a time predicted by some to be worse than the Great Depression, you may want to consider growing some of your own food. Even if you live in the city, you could buy pre-started plants, or seed packets, but this article is about another way to go about it. Sometimes you can grow parts of store bought herbs, roots and vegetables, things you already know you like, into new free food.

Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map and figure out your zone before you get started. This will allow you to look up what plants grow well in your area and when to plant. Also, ask your neighbors with gardens what success they have had, and what didn’t grow well.

Regrowing Store-Bought Foods

Use only non-GMO and only organic items for best success. Genetically Modified plants are generally modified to be able to grow in the presence of pesticides. RoundUp is a commonly used pesticide and a main ingredient of RoundUp is glyphosate, a potent mineral chelator. RoundUp grabs and holds minerals that plant immune systems need to fight off ordinary microorganisms in the soil that are normally not harmful to them. This is what kills the weeds. If you understand this, you will understand why weeds in sterile soil sprayed with RoundUp will not die. Pesticide residues are furthermore damaging to earthworms and beneficial microorganisms in the soil, so go with organic and non-GMO plants for this experiment. You may have to venture into a different kind of store if you are unfamiliar with purchasing organic foods. You will also want to use items grown in the USA or in your local country because you need things that are not irradiated. Some food plants, those entering the USA from Mexico, for example, are irradiated with UV-C light to kill germs, but this also deactivates the seeds so they can’t germinate.

Finally, clean and save glass jars from apple sauce and other items as these are great for window sill spouting.


Remove all lower leaves and put stem in water until roots spout, then plant in soil.


Start beans in damp soil in a window sill. Transplant when they have good leaves. Give them a physical support like bamboo poles if they are the pole type of beans.

Bulb Onions

For bulb onions, cut the last 1/3rd with the roots off and put the roots down in a small container of water. When shoots start to grow, you can transplant to soil.


Plant flat end down in soil and water. It will start to regrow after 2 weeks.


Select large cloves and start them in soil in a warm window sill and water daily, transplant into a larger area of soil about 1 thumb’s length deep and plant about 1 hand’s width apart when they are spouting well with green shoots.


Select fat ginger, plant about 1 inch deep in soil and water.

Green onions

If you have the long green onions with roots, just put the roots some in soil in the sun during the growing season and water them. If you like, you can keep just the last inch above the roots and plant that. You can keep yourself in free green onions for years this way.


Get leeks with healthy roots and plant in soil and water. If you get a leek with damaged or almost absent roots, try putting the last inch or two with the bottom touching the water in a jar of water in the window sill to see if you can get roots to start.


Plant flat end down in soil and water. It will start to regrow after 2 weeks.


Remove lower leaves, put in water, wait for roots, then plant.


Remove lower leaves, only 2 to 3 sets left, cut bottom part of stem at 45 degree angle, with 3 to 4 weeks for roots, then plant.


Place the seeds on a paper towel, spaced out from each other at least 1/2 inch. Wet the paper towel and put it in a plastic baggie. Put a cloth over the baggie and put it where there is warm sun. Check it once every few days to make sure the paper towel is still wet. Add water as needed. Transplant to soil once the seeds are spouting.


Find the potatoes that are already sprouting from the eyes in the supermarket. Cut larger potatoes in sections so you have one or two eyes per segment. They use the energy in the tuber to grow, so make sure they have enough of it. After cutting them, let them dry for a day or so. The cut must be healed before planting to avoid rot. Plant with eyes facing up in loose soil and soak once a day. Note the day of planting and the variety if you know it. They can take 90 to 110 days to grow and mature.  


Rosemary will grow from a non-wordy cutting.


Remove lower leaves. Cut base of lower stem at a 45 degree angle. It takes about 1 month to grow roots.


Remove lower leaves. Cut base of lower stem at a 45 degree angle, removing the brown part of stem. Place in soil once roots appear.


YouTube Videos on Regrowing Food from Stores

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