Regrowing Food From Scraps: 39 easily sustainable foods

Why is it important to know how to regrow food from scraps?

Understanding which plants you can regrow from scraps can be extremely helpful when planning a garden for a long-term collapse or SHTF event. Having a nearly endless supply of sustainable foods really doesn’t have any downsides. Even if you aren’t into prepping, there is plenty of useful information in this article for you.

This list represents most of the food that you can regrow from scraps.

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Pomegranates
  • Chestnuts
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Peaches
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pineapple
  • Yams
  • Carrot Greens
  • Leeks, Scallions, Spring Onions, and Fennel
  • Celery, Bok Choy, Romaine Lettuce, and Cabbage
  • Ginger, and Turmeric
  • Lemongrass
  • Potatoe
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Basil, Cilantro, Mint, Lemon Balm, and Rosemary
  • Beets, Parsnips, and Turnips
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes


When planting a tree, you should understand that it will be several years before they will produce any food for you and your family. These are long-term sources of food.


To grow an apple tree you should rinse the seeds and allow them to dry for a few days. You can start an apple tree indoors then transplant it outside or simply start it outside. Place 2 or 3 seeds about an inch below the ground. Planting indoors first allows for a better chance of the tree taking root. Apple trees are best suited for places with fertile soil.

If you begin the tree inside, be sure to soak the roots for about two hours before transplanting it outside.

One of the best ways to get up and running again after a disaster is by storing seeds. This survival seed vault is a great place to start.


Begin your avocado tree by rinsing an avocado pit and sticking 4 toothpicks in it at even intervals. Then place it in a glass of water with the bottom side of the pit water with the pointed side up. Place the glass in a sunny area and change the water daily.

After 3 – 6 weeks you should start seeing a split in the bottom of the pit. After several more weeks, a stem and roots will begin to grow. When a couple more weeks have passed you should start seeing leaves. Once the tree reaches a height of 8 inches, it’s time to plant it into a pot. When transplanting the sapling into the pot, make sure the top half of the pit remains above the soil.

Citrus Fruit

If you live in a warm climate, then citrus fruit trees are a good option for you. You can begin the seeds by rinsing them off, allowing them to dry, and planting them about 1/2 an inch below the surface of the potting soil. Cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap and keep the water moist. Place the pot in a sunny area for several weeks until your tree begins to grow.

You should keep the plants above 60 degrees and make sure the soil doesn’t dry out while the seeds are germinating. If the soil dries out it will stunt the growth of the seedling or kill it completely.


Growing pomegranate from seeds is relatively easy. Strip the flesh off the outside of the seeds and plant them about a half-inch below the surface. You can do this inside or outside.

If you grow them inside you can decrease the time needed for germination by keeping the soil slightly above room temperature.

Pomegranate trees usually begin producing fruit in 1 – 3 years.


Chestnuts are another food source that can be grown indefinitely. I don’t recommend trying them as they have a low rate of germination, low success when being transplanted and don’t consistently produce from year to year. If you’re interested in learning how to grow chestnuts then check out this article from the Washington Chestnut Company.


Growing cherries from pits requires a little bit of work. First, soak the pits for 5 minutes in water, remove any remaining fruit and then dry them in a warm area for about 5 days. Then place them in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator for 10 weeks. This simulates the normal passing of winter and will trigger the pits to begin growing.

Plant 2-3 pits in a container water regularly until they are about 2 inches tall. At this point, you can remove the strongest seedling and plant it outside once there is no longer a danger of a frost. Plant multiple trees at least 20 feet apart.

You can also do this naturally by planting several pits in a hole in the fall. Once the spring begins, they will begin to grow.



Growing peaches from pits is similar to growing cherries. They can either be grown in the ground by placing 2-3 pits in a hole 3-4 inches below the ground in the fall or you can simulate this by placing the pits in the soil inside a plastic container and keeping it refrigerated for several weeks to months. Once they begin to germinate, you can plant them outside after the last frost.


Hazelnut trees are the easiest nuts to grow. They prefer low nutrient areas but can be grown in higher nutrient soil at the cost of lower nut production.

Starting a tree indoors will give you the best results but you can also simply plant the nuts straight into the soil outside. You can aid the germination process by using a file to gently pierce the outer husk of the nut. This can give more consistent results during germination.

If you start a tree inside, you should let it grow until it’s about 12 inches tall before transplanting it.


Plants have several advantages over trees. They normally take up less room, and produce food faster than trees. This makes them ideal for food production if an SHTF event happens to strike.


Growing pineapples from the gree tops of pineapple fruit are one of the best ways to begin a new pineapple plant.

Let the top dry for about 7 days before planting it. Then, plant it in soil with the green leafy portion sticking out. This can be done inside or outside. Plants should be 4 to 5 feet away from each other to allow them room to grow.

One of the best ways to grow pineapple plants is to keep them potted and leave them outside while the weather is warm. After it gets cold you can move them inside or into your greenhouse.

It takes several years for the plants to fully mature and begin producing fruit.


Yams can be planted after they are allowed to rest for 3-4 months. Any yams that don’t show any signs of disease can then be planted. This has to happen before they begin to sprout.

Cut each yam into three pieces and allow them to lay out for one week. They can then be planted. Yams prefer loose clay soil with good drainage.

A month after the vines emerge you should place a stake at an angle to meet the stake from the next plant. This should form a basic “A” shape allowing for the highest yields.

Carrot Greens

A lot of people believe that they can regrow carrots from the tops. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Carrots need to be planted from seeds in order to grow. The good thing is that carrot tops don’t need to go to waste.

You can regrow the greens by placing the carrot tops on a plate with a little water. After a few days, the carrot will grow roots. These can be planted outside.

If you’re interested in growing carrots, there’s a lot of good information here.

Leeks, Scallions, Spring Onions, and Fennel

Leeks, scallions, spring onions, and fennel are really easy to regrow. Simply put the bulbs in a glass and fill it with enough water to cover the bulb. Place the glass in a window that has plenty of sunlight and they’ll start growing in a few days.

Make sure that you change the water every few days.

Celery, Bok Choy, Romaine Lettuce, and Cabbage

Celery, bok choy, romaine lettuce, and cabbage can all be regrown from the root end of the plant. Place the root end into 1/2 inch of water and then put it in the sun. Make sure you mist the top in order to keep it moist.

After a week or so you can plant it into a pot or directly into the ground. Make sure the soil stays moist until the plant fully takes root. After several weeks, the plant will be ready to harvest.

Ginger, and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric can be regrown as long as the rhizomes have living “eyes” on them. These eyes are the growth buds that will become new green shoots.

Place the ginger or turmeric on top of the soil then lightly cover it with more soil. Water and place in a sunny window. Once it begins to take root, you can plant it outside.


Place the roots of the lemongrass in a little water and then put them in a sunny place. After a few days, the roots will start growing. You can then put them in a pot with some soil.

Once the lemongrass is about a foot tall, it’s ready to be harvested. Leave the roots planted since they’ll keep growing.


Potatoes can be regrown by using seed potatoes (pieces of potatoes with 2 or more eyes each) or small whole potatoes. Cut seed potatoes about 2 days before you plan on planting them. This allows them to form a protective layer on the cut area.

Plant them about 4 inches in the ground and a foot apart. They will do the best in loose soil and in cooler environments. 60-70 degree soil is the best. Once the soil reaches temperatures of 80 degrees or more they will stop growing completely.


Garlic can be regrown from individual cloves. Bury them about 2 inches in the ground and 4 to 6 inches apart with the pointed side up.

Keep the soil moist.


Regrowing onions is easier than most other vegetables. Cut the root end of the onion off, leaving 1-2 inches of onion. Plant the onion with the root end down and cover it in soil. Be sure to keep the soil moist.

You can continue to replant the onion this way over and over.

Sweet Potatoes

To regrow sweet potatoes, you will need sweet potatoes with well-formed eyes. You can prepare your sweet potatoes for planting in the same way that you would normal potatoes.

Bury the entire potato or seed potatoes under a thin layer of topsoil. Keep the soil moist and in an area that has a lot of sunlight. When the shoots begin to reach a height of four inches replant the sweet potatoes outside. Plant them 4 inches in the ground with about a foot in between one another. Expect it to take 4-6 months for your potatoes to grow.


Mushrooms can also be regrown. Remove the cap, bury it in moist soil all the way to the top leaving the very top exposed.

Basil, Cilantro, Mint, Lemon Balm, and Rosemary

Basil, cilantro, lemon balm, and rosemary can all be regrown by placing clippings in a glass of water until they grow roots. Once they’ve regrown roots, you can transplant them into a pot or outside.

 Beets, Parsnips, and Turnips

Beets, parsnips, and turnips are very much like carrots when it comes to regrowing them. Placing the top of the beet, parsnip, or turnip on a plate or in a glass with the cut greens pointed up. These will end up growing more greens for several weeks.


Pepper Jo does a great job of explaining how to regrow peppers. Her site is a wealth of knowledge about peppers if it’s something that you’re interested in!


To regrow pumpkins, first, soak the seeds for 2 hours. Plant the seeds in raised beds or mounds about 10 feet apart. The soil should be at least 70 degrees in order for the pumpkins to properly germinate.

Vine type pumpkins need a lot of room so be sure they’re separated well.


Rinse the seed then allow them to completely dry. Plant them in a pot inside until they begin to sprout. Once the sprouts are a few inches tall, you can transplant them outside. Be sure to plant the tomatoes in a sunny area and water a few times a week.

When the plants get taller, be sure to use stakes to help support them.


If you haven’t already started a garden, I would highly suggest that you at least keep looking into it! A solid knowledge of gardening is something that we all should have for a long term SHTF event.