Monday, March 26, 2012

An Onion Tale

Since I read a lot of DIY blogs, I can't help but notice that my little corner of the blogosphere is full of bloggers reporting on Pinterest-inspired projects.  I'm not immune to the lure of the pinning community, and one of the most recent ones that caught my eye was the idea of regrowing green onions from roots placed in water.

It seemed like a reasonable idea to me, but I tend to not like the idea of growing plants in water.  First, if you forget to change the water often, you quickly wind up with a funky spoiled smell that is far too reminiscent of my elementary school experience growing potato vines.  But more important, I believe that much of the nutrition of a vegetable plant comes from the quality of the soil, and onions regrown in water will not have the benefit of all that good dirt.

So, when I was cleaning out the vegetable crisper and found some very weary-looking green onions I had purchased for a recipe (and used two of -- ugh!), I decided to cut off the tops and stick the roots in a pot of good, fresh humus.  As you can see, they have rooted and started growing at an amazing rate -- what you see in the photo is about a week's worth of growth, as compared to the little stumps you can see on the side that show where each plant started out.

I love that I was able to salvage these onions and turn them into a plant that I will use many more times in some of my favorite dishes.  Now, where did I put that pierogi lasagna recipe?

The Analysis

Fast:  Just trim off the wilted tops and put the roots of the onions in some freshly-sifted humus with just a bit of the green tips sticking out.  Water regularly but not excessively, and they will quickly grow tall enough to cut again.

Cheap:  Salvaging a wasted vegetable and turning it into a plant that will generate more food is very satisfying to me.

Good:  This is sustainability at its best.
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  1. jUst keep chopping them off at ground level and they'll keep growing back indefinitely. I have 3 year old leeks and spring onions by doing this.

  2. I found you at the Frugal Girls, and your picture of the onions caught my eye since I just grew some, too. I think it's fun to compare similar posts, so if you are interested: Sustainability is awesome! We are just beginning the journey.