Wait! Before you compost those vegetable scraps, there just might be a bit more life in them.  Teen members of Wakeman Boys & Girls Club’s service group Keystone Club have taken a unique spin on their Earth Day service project this past month, focusing on personal projects: planting seeds from leftover fruit and vegetable, building bird houses and feeders, weeding our own gardens, using collected rain water to water indoor house plants, and planting seeds. Here are some of their ideas for growing fruits and vegetables from scraps or parts of other fruits and vegetables.


Remove roughly 2 inches from the base of a bunch of celery and place in a shallow bowl with water, spraying the top daily to keep it moist. Replace with fresh water every couple of days until a new root system emerges, then transplant into the ground.


Garlic is one of the easiest foods to grow from kitchen scraps-simply take cloves and place them pointy-side up in the ground, 4-6 inches apart. Plant them outside in fall before the first frost, and  enjoy fresh garlic the following year.


Soak the root in warm water overnight, then plant it sideways in a container, cover with soil and place in a sunny spot. Keep the soil consistently moist, and within several months you’ll have enough ginger to harvest.

Green Onions

Retain the white part with roots with a small amount of pale green and place it in water on a sunny windowsill. Refresh the water regularly and use green portions as they grow, or transplant into a pot with soil for more extended use.


If you typically throw out the base of a head of lettuce, cut it away from the leaves and place in a bowl of water. Replace the water every one to two days, and within two weeks you’ll have enough fresh new leaves for a sandwich or side salad. Note: This will not regenerate a new full head


Save the seeds from your next bell or hot pepper. Plant them directly into soil, and water them regularly. Once a new plant emerges, transplant it to a larger container or outdoors. You can even use a pepper to plant it in to make it easier to plant in soil later on.


You need peelings that have eyes on them. Cut those peelings into two inch pieces, ensuring that there are at least two or three eyes on each piece. Allow them to dry out overnight and then simply plant them about four inches deep in your soil. Make sure that the eyes are facing up when planting. It will take a few weeks before you see the potato plant begin to grow.


Carefully cut the outer skin (containing the seeds) off the berry, or extract seeds using tweezers. Place the skin or seeds in a container with soil, cover with soil, place in a sunny spot and water.


Simply plant the seeds from your tomato into a small pot, keep well-watered on a windowsill, and wait for a new plant to emerge.

Bean Sprouts

You just need to soak a tablespoon or so of the beans that you want to grow in a jar. Leave this overnight and in the morning, drain the water off and put the beans back in the container. Cover the container with a towel overnight and rinse them the next morning. Keep doing this until you notice the sprouts begin to appear and then until they reach the size that you want.


You just have to wash the seed and use toothpicks to suspend it over water in a bowl or jar. The water should come up enough to cover the bottom inch of the seed. Keep the container in a warm place but not in direct sunlight and remember to check the water every day.


You just cut the top off and insert a few toothpicks to hold it above a container filled with water. Keep the container in direct sunlight. If it is warm outside, sit it on the porch or deck during the day and bring it in at night. Remember to change the water every other day or so and keep the container filled so that it reaches just about the base. You will notice roots in about a week or so and once they are formed you can transplant into potting soil.


Just place the bottom of the stem in a glass of water and leave in a bright area, near a windowsill. When the roots grow a couple of inches long, you can transplant the cilantro into a pot and you will notice new sprigs in just a few weeks.


You just need to salvage the tops of the turnip and place in a container of water. You shouldnotice new green tops growing in just a few days after you begin. Just allow the root to continue growing until it’s ready to be transplanted in the ground. This works with many root vegetables such as beets, turnips and even parsnips.

They also suggest create a planting container out of recycled materials. Happy Gardening!

Keystone Club – with more than 100 teen participants – is one of many programs at Wakeman Boys & Girls Club that help kids and teens realize their potential to BE GREAT.  Keystone Club is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national movement for teens in service.  We are a service club designed to develop good character and leadership, and by helping our members become productive, responsible adults.  While the coronavirus pandemic has affected our teen’s ability to positively impact the local community, they continue to find ways to innovate and make a difference.