Cover Image: Regrow Your Veggies

Regrow Your Veggies

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Homegrown Sustainability
Turn kitchen scraps into regrown vegetables
Michele Harris

In the spring of 2020, Americans embraced gardening like never before. It became such a popular pursuit, suppliers quickly sold out of their best varieties of tomatoes, zinnias and herbs. 

There’s something therapeutic about working the earth, nurturing emerging seedlings, and enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor.

Now, as cold weather moves across most of the country, gardeners will have to satisfy their green thumbs by scouring seed catalogs to plan out next year’s garden. 

However, you don’t have to abandon your urge to grow things entirely. You can grow…or rather regrow…vegetables on your kitchen counter.  

Regrow your veggies

Melissa Raupach is co-founder of Plantura, an eco-friendly garden company in Germany. She also co-wrote (with Felix Lill) Regrow Your Veggies: Growing Vegetables from Roots, Cuttings, and Scraps (Fox Chapel Publishing). She says regrowing is a perfect project for grandparents and their grandchildren. 

“Regrowing is perfect for all generations,” she says. “Veggies like lettuce, spring onions and leeks are very simple and grow fast. You don’t need any special tools: just a knife, a glass of water and, later on, a pot with a bit of soil.”

Not only is regrowing vegetables a great way to share a passion for gardening with grandchildren, but it’s also something you can do remotely with video chat technology like Zoom or Facetime. 

“It is important to say that regrowing is not the same as growing food in your garden,” says Raupach. “The quantity of the harvests will be small, but this is not what regrowing is about. For me, regrowing gives everyone a chance to have a little plant project—no need to invest a lot of space, money or time.” 


Romaine lettuce is a good first project. It’s fast, easy and virtually foolproof.

Start with a head of regular romaine lettuce you buy at the food store. Take the knobby core (the part you would typically discard) and set it in a small jar or cup of water. There should be just enough water to cover the bottom inch or so of the lettuce core. 

Keep that jar in a bright spot in your kitchen, but not in direct sunlight. In most cases, new lettuce leaves “magically” start to emerge within a day or two. 

The only thing you need to do is freshen the water every day or your re-grow project will start to rot.

Once you have new leaves (and if you look closely, roots growing from the bottom of the core) you can plant your romaine in a pot of soil. And don’t be shy about cutting off those leaves to use in a salad. New leaves will soon take the place of the old ones. 

If you’ve tried romaine and want to change things up, use the same technique to regrow cabbage or bok choy. 


Another easy and fast regrow project is scallions. Snip the bottoms off a bunch of scallions—about 2 inches. Place them in a glass of water. 

Scallions take a bit longer than romaine but before long, you will see roots emerge from the bottom of the onion and the green part will start to grow above your cut point.

You can plant the scallions in a pot of soil and just snip off pieces as you need them for cooking.  

Try the same thing with leeks, lemongrass and green onions.


Pack some garlic cloves into a glass so they all stand up straight. Add a bit of water, place in a bright spot and bright green sprouts will emerge within days. 

The sprouts can be used in cooking. They are a great addition to recipes but don’t substitute them for garlic cloves because their flavor is much milder. Think of them as “garlic chives.” 

If you have the time and patience, you can also plant garlic cloves in soil. In a few months you will have an entirely new head. 

Don’t underestimate the impact of sharing a passion for gardening with your grandchild. “My grandmother always had a garden and even grew some of our food there,” says Raupach. “In summer, we had delicious tomatoes and plums and fresh salads coming from our garden. It was very nice for me as a child to see how you can grow your own food.”
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This is a really interesting book, I had no idea that you could do this and I'm so impressed.  I'm going to have to try doing this now.  It amazed me how ingenious this and I can't wait to start doing this.

I'm not sure how well I will do this now since it is fall, but I'm going to try doing this in my kitchen, it gets good light and so I should be able to get somethings to work.  

Very helpful and inciteful.
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A digital copy of this book was provided by NetGalley

So, this year I started the labor of doing an urban garden. This book help me to some things, not everything 'cause I was able to talk about it with some people wihich job actually is make veggies grow, but this was good to understand some stuffs
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I so so enjoyed this book! I had a couple of failed attempts at regrowing celery a few years ago and was so discouraged I haven't tried again despite how easy the video online makes it look. 
This is the perfect book to guide you on how to get the very most out of your fresh goods!  I was surprised at just how easy it really is and what was holding me back before. I'm happy to say I have celery now!
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This is a great book with an awesome idea for regrowing food. This would be fun to go through with a child and experiment with to see what foods can regrow best.
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The topic of regrowing vegetables is popular and it's nice to see a book that details how to do it for a large number of types of vegetables.  I love the design of this book.  The vegetable profile sections are attractively labeled and illustrated, and each plant type ifs highlighted with a little history and a little "notebook" icon that shows the importance of light, warmth, humidity and degree of difficulty.   There's also a good section that deals with problems that can occur when trying to regrow vegetables.  This might be a good investment for someone who doesn't know a lot about gardening but wants to try this technique.
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Loved this book, it was clean, concise and really easy to follow. Even gifted a copy to my husband. Highly recommend. 

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The first part of this book: Regrow Your Veggies is all about sustainability. I really like the authors voice in this book and I enjoyed how she intertwined personal stories and facts about regrowing your veggies. 

I love the idea of growing my own veggies and the idea of a big garden is definitely overwhelming. This book is a great start for someone who wants to start gardening. This is a way to take it slow and learn about plants about the same time. 

The author gives straightforward facts about each vegetable, some history and how easy it is to re-grow. 

I will definitely be using this book for years to come.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I had no.idea you could regrow so many vegetable! This book was fun and informative. Great pictures and graphic. I also appreciated the end where it tells you how to troubleshoot if your regrown veggies aren't shaping up.
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This book should be the ultimate go to if you plan on regrowing veggies, fruits and herbs from store-bought or homegrown. Melissa goes into just the right amount of detail and provides photos and a step by step guide for each item she talks about.  And just in case things go wrong, she discusses that and what you could possibly do differently.  I definitely recommend this book and its a short read and a good book to refer back to!
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Container and small gardening are riding a wave of popularity, and many people who’ve never attempted so much as a succulent on their office desk. I’m one of those people, and this book gave me the confidence to try my hand at growing several types of vegetables in my window sill. And I know it will appeal to those who are both looking to be more frugal while also staying home.
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Sustainability and recycling are resonating especially during this stay at home time and Regrow Your Veggies is timely and helpful especially for novice gardeners. The graphics and step by step directions are detailed and plentiful. I found the regrow checklist particularly important. The narrative is a bit repetitive but may be helpful in retaining the information.
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I knew that you could cut up a potato, plant it and grow more potatoes.  I keep green onion bottoms in water on my kitchen windowsill to regrow the greens.  I had no idea that you could do this with lemongrass, ginger, beets...  This book was very informative with tons of illustrations and detailed, straight forward directions .
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Regrow your Veggies is a DIY/gardening/plant recycling manual by Melissa Raupach and Felix Lill. Originally released in 2018 in German, this English translation edition from Fox Chapel is 144 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

There have been a number of videos and posts on youtube, instagram, and the like on this subject but they're generally either sensationalized or vague/incomplete (or both). This book takes a logical and thorough look at the methods of regenerative and vegetative propagation for different specific vegetables and herbs and also gives a good overview over common problems and how to troubleshoot less than desirable results.

It is undeniably a cool exercise to grow an avocado tree from a pit, or regrow spring onions from the bulb roots. These would make superlative home activities for young kids to do with the family and they are both interesting and educational. I would caution readers from thinking that they can make a significant contribution to their food needs, especially with growing restricted to indoor windowsills. This is more of a philosophical process than a practical one. There are some exceptions of course, it's perfectly feasible to keep many herbs growing indoors and move them outdoors when weather permits.

The introduction includes a good overview over vegetative propagation and plant culture requirements. The second part of the book contains a primer with entries for 21 different vegetables and herbs; from scallions and leeks, to ginger and coriander. There's a good troubleshooting guide with what happens when things go bad (which was my personal experience, whether fungus gnats, aphids, or fusarium wilt (my basil has -never- done extremely well in my cool wet climate). The authors also include a useful bibliography, short index, and online links list for further reading,

This is an interesting and fun guide to regrow some vegetables. Limited practicality in my experience, however.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I found this book to be really helpful. I have started a vegetable patch during lockdown (like a lot of people by the sound of it) and found it really useful. It was really clear and concise and a valuable addition to any budding gardeners library,
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This book is excellent for people who want to grow veggies from their waste.  I love growing veggies from scraps that I normally would throw out.  It reduces waste, reduces our carbon footprint, and saves me money.  I just started regrowing our veggies a couple of weeks ago.  I started with lettuce, because it's easy to do.  The author has several tips and suggestions that I never thought of.  She suggests repurposing containers such as using clean tin cans to pot plants.  Each veggie has a history of the plant, a description, and how to use it.  The book has very nice pictures of each step.  I highly recommend this book for everyone.  Anyone can regrow veggies, and put potted plants on a window sill for light.  This allows for growing veggies all year round.
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As an eco-friendly vegetarian I'm always looking for ways to 1. cheapen my grocery bill 2. obtain natural/organic/fresh produce 3. reduce my waste & be more sustainable so this seemed like a fitting read for me. I currently grow my own herbs (sometimes) and green onion (always!), I was hoping all the advice in here would be for veggies et al. as simple as the green onion BUT they're not. Some of them are (leeks) but some are slower and use a bit more brain power (horseradish). Once the summer heat decreases a bit I'll definitely be trying a few of these other veggies out in my garden like lemongrass. I'm not however, going to be regrowing a pineapple or avocado because I don't have years to wait. 

For me this felt like it should be a blog post or an influencer "e-book" guide rather than a full on print book.  

Overall, I'd use this as a reference guide - you certainly won't be able to read it once and retain everything you need to know about growing these veggies. There was a great variety of veggies and a good variety of levels of patience to have with growing these. It's a good, helpful read EXCEPT I'm now confused about coriander vs. cilantro (are they the same?!). 

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
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I found this book fascinating. How to make plants grow and regrow them from roots and cuttings is a topic that interests me a lot at the moment. The book contains simple step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and some useful information about how much light and warmth each plant needs. The book also includes information about the difficulty. Suitable for beginners. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this! All opinions are my own.
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Highly recommend for not just the sustainable types, but the extremely sustainable types. Seriously, regrowing veggies that you buy at the supermarket? I mean, alright? Maybe if the apocalypse occurs between when you go to the grocery store and when you get home… Ha, I kid, if you really want to regrow your vegetables to start your own veggie garden, then this is a great resource.
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This book is amazing and I didn't know I needed it until it came into my life.

Ok, recently I discovered my love for plants of all kinds and it was only time for me to reach the world of vegetables. And you have no idea how proud I felt when I planted tomato seeds for the first time and sprouts came out. Are you saying that I can have free vegetables? oh yeah!

So here I am with this book.... dying of happiness because it's great. This book explain each step accurately and easily and also has tips in case something goes wrong, it's just perfect. Totally recommended for those who love this kind of thing and for those who are curious, seriously ... it is very easy. If I could do it, everyone can (I was one of those people who killed plants just by looking at them and now I'm a proud plant mom). Now excuse me because I'm going to plant my perfect vegetable garden.
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