Looking for an isolation project? Here's are some fun but easy methods to regrow your vegetables from scratch. This is a great activity to do with kids!
Lettuce, bok choy and cabbage
These three vegetables can be regrown from scraps in the same way. To regrow, save the end from a head of lettuce, bok choy or cabbage. To do this, cut the rooty end from the leaves about 1 inch from the bottom.
In a shallow dish, add ½ water and lay the head in it. Put the dish on a sunny window sill or under grow lights (if you have them).
Change the water everyday and after 2-3 days, you should start to see roots and small leaves begin to grow at the bottom of the cutting. It will take about 10-12 days for the leaves to grow to a suitable size for an 'itsy bitsy' salad. Snip the leaves off when you want to eat them!
Different lettuce varieties grow better this way, so it might take a few tries to grow them properly. Romaine lettuce is a good one to try to begin with.
Regrowing celery is similar to lettuce. Cut off 2 inches of the root end of a bunch of celery. Then, insert 4 toothpicks evenly spaced around the celery root, about 1½ inches from the bottom. Place the celery root in the water, making sure it's propped up by the toothpicks to prevent the root from touching the bottom.
Place on a sunny windowsill - after a few days you should start to see roots. Then some small leaves will start to form. When the new roots are roughly an inch long, replant the celery head in potting soil or into your vegetable patch.
N.B. Don't worry if the old celery sticks go brown in the water, this is normal! If they start to turn before the roots are ready for repotting cut them as short as possible.
Once you've repotted it, make sure the plant isn't in too much sunlight as celery plants thrive in cool climates.
If you have some sweet potatoes past their prime, this is a great tip to get some use from them rather than throwing them out. Cut the potatoes in half, then poke toothpicks about half way down the halves. Place them in a shallow container, so the potatoes are suspended in the water. The cut end should be at the bottom. Place the container by a sunny window.
Roots should start to grow from the bottom within a few days and stems should start growing out of the top. Once the roots are about 4-5 inches long, twist them off and lay them in another shallow container. Shoots will start growing from the roots - when they're an inch long, plant them in soil.
It's hard to grow garlic bulbs from scraps, however, you can grow garlic sprouts from a clove or bulb. Garlic sprouts can be used to flavour food as you would with a garlic clove, or you can use it at you would use spring onions.
Place a budding clove in a small bowl or jar. Add water until it covers the bottom of the container and touches the bottom of the cloves. Don't fill it with water too much, or your clove could rot.
Change the water everyday and place by a sunny window.
After 3-4 days the clove will start to grow roots. When the sprouts are about 3 inches tall, snip them off, but make sure you don't remove more than one-third of the sprout at one time to allow it to grow again.
Beets, turnips, parsnips & carrots
Root vegetables are one of the easiest veggies to regrow from scraps. The method is simple: keep the tops of your beets/turnips/parnsips (...you get the idea...) and place in a jar of water. If you have toothpicks you can put them about halfway down the vegetable and suspend the veg so the greens are out of the water.
Once new green tops start to grow, plant the vegetable in soil.