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If you are a mother who periodically finds half a peanut butter sandwich, the bottom of a cupcake or a partially eaten cookie left by a child whose eyes were bigger than their stomach, there is a solution other than the "momism" about starving children in Africa (China, Bangladesh, Uganda ...). In a friend's house, the scraps are deposited in a large, covered, plastic container labeled, "good-will can". The children know that these leftovers will be put out daily for the birds, squirrels and other animals who share the world with us. We have attracted many varieties of birds and small animals that are fun to watch and and have taught the children that they can share with those less fortunate who are not human
If you know anyone that has chickens, save ALL your scraps, peelings, and fruit skins and give them to the chicken's owner. This keeps my garbage disposal and septic clean and the chickens have fruits and vegetables year round. Everyone is a winner!
By The Red Head from Bozeman, MT
I have regrown green onions and celery roots in my kitchen to provide extra seasonings. Simply put the cut off root in a shallow bowl of water (enough water to submerge the root area, but the top should be left out in the air) and set on the windowsill. Carrots will re-grow too but I have no use for extra carrot greens, so I haven't done that a lot.
Within a week there will be new growth - shoots coming up from the root stumps - that can be cut and used for seasoning. I will be replanting a celery root this spring to see if I can regrow the entire plant.
I can't recommend trying to grow store potatoes. I tried it one year and they did not grow. Many commercial spuds are treated with anti-sprouting chemicals. But my grandfather had luck with regrowing potato plants from thick peelings from his (untreated) potatoes. that way he got to eat the potatoes PLUS grow out new ones. That was the best use for potato peels I ever heard of!
If your dry beans are untreated, they can be used as seed (or to grow bean sprouts). It's obviously a lot cheaper to buy them from the bulk bin at the food store than in teensy seed packets!
Last but not least, those sweet potato vines we used to grow in second-grade science class are not only a pretty houseplant, but they are very tasty! In the Philippines, they are a popular vegetable, and I recommend them highly. They taste like a cross between snap peas and asparagus, so if you hate spinach, you might want to try sweet potato greens instead. Just cut off the shoots from the tips of the vine - about 6 inches - and you will not only prune your vine to maintain its shape, but you can eat the trimmings!
I do not like throwing away vegetables or fruit that is going to go bad before it gets eaten. Now I put it all into a container before it goes bad.
Making soup from leftover scraps can be surprisingly good. Use up your leftovers, and freeze your vegetable scraps to make a low cost nutritious soup.