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The veggie ends that I saved are growing nicely. The kitchen window sill is filled with lots of green things which is a welcome sight when you look out the window and realize that nothing green will be growing out there for quite a while yet.
Right now, I have about a dozen scallions in various stages of growth, a bunch of basil and a lovely bok choy. The other day, when I chopped up the last of a stalk of celery for some roasted cauliflower soup, I added that to the dish. I am anxious to see how that works.
While the leeks and scallions by far have the most roots, the bok choy, which has grown beautifully, is only just now starting to sprout a couple roots from its base. The basil is not showing any real root growth yet, but lots of leaves.
We try to compost our food scraps around here, although I will tell you that it’s a lot easier to get psyched about composting when it’s nice and sunny and warm out. When a trip to the compost pile is a welcome walk in the summer breeze, taking time to literally smell the flowers along the way. During winter and particularly of late, with our sub-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chill, composting is a whole lot less desirable. There is something about the thought of bundling yourself up and walking across the wind swept tundra that we call our yard to the compost pile that just doesn’t make it all that appealing.
So, what’s one supposed to do when you are saddled with the guilt of not composting and the real fear of freezing to death while doing it?
Recycle your food scraps! Okay, I know you are going to say that composting your food scraps is recycling and perhaps this woman’s brain has already been affected by those sub zero temperatures she was talking about just now. No really, there are different food scraps that you can recycle by re-growing them. Scallions, leeks, fennel, garlic (for scapes), lemongrass, bok choy, romaine lettuce, ginger, potatoes, onions and cabbage.
The last time I bought bok choy from the supermarket (for sadly the farmer’s market had none) I decided to take the bottom that I cut off and place it in a shallow container with a little water. I added to it two leek bottoms that I had used for potato leek soup later in the week.
The bok choy started to show green growth pretty much the next day which surprised me a little since it was from the grocery store and God only knows how old it was when I bought it. The leeks took longer, in fact, I was pretty sure that they were going to rot and was ready to remove them from the bowl when I noticed that one had a little green stalk poking up from the center. The second one has yet to show any green growth but it has roots that are now about 1/4 inch long almost all around the base.
They will remain in the water for a while longer and then when there are real roots, I will plant them in some soil and see what happens. In the dead of winter with frigid temperatures it is very nice to see some green growing around the house.
So, I thought that I would take a few pictures of the bok choy recycling project that we have underway. I have about a dozen different bok choy ends in saucer trays on the plant rack. A large percentage of them have sprouted and some have tiny little bok choy plants growing from them as these pictures show. The cut ends also are beginning to sprout roots, so some of the bigger ones should be able to go into dirt in another week or so maybe.
It is pretty darned amazing to watch since it literally happens almost overnight. Hope you enjoy the updated pictures. It is my understanding that you can do this with celery as well, although I have not tried that myself.
- Weekly Seasonal Recipes: Baby Bok Choy (slowfooduo.wordpress.com)
So, I have to admit that it feels pretty good to recycle, reuse or repurpose something or to compost our food debris. I must admit that I am not an ultra-super crazy person about it, but it feels much better at least to me, to put my veggie scraps into the compost than in the garbage. I know that they will go out into the compost pile, feed the chickens and do something good in the greater scheme of things. Imagine how much better I felt when I read a post over at 17 Apart about regrowing bok choy. Even better when my husband had just gotten me three bags of baby bok choy from Phat Thai. What timing! What karma!
So, when I chopped off the bases of the bok choy to do my stir fry, I followed their directions and placed my bok choy ends in a dish of water on my plant stand. That was Saturday night. This is today.
Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Yesterday, we picked up our second week of CSA from Evening Song Farm. My goodness, I am just amazed at how things are growing so close to our house and I have, with the exception of tomatoes, essentially just seedlings in the garden. Plus, it was nice to meet Kara’s mom – also a fellow New Jersey-ite – and chat over the farm, the old Jersey neighborhood (since I grew up in the town next door to where she lives) and Vermont. I also ran into another acquaintance while I was there and we had a nice chat about the yoga class in town, which I am now going to definitely give a try. I probably could have been there talking for at least another hour, happily chatting away, except Tim was with me and after he was chatting for a while, politely reminded me that he did have to study for exams. Not only do I get my veggies, but I also get to talk to a bunch of very interesting people. Oh well, off we went.
This week I chose a beautiful head of lettuce, baby bok choy, spinach, green garlic, scallions, arugula, and chard. The variety that you can choose from is widely assorted – there were also radishes, salad turnips, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, parsley and kale – although I am sure that I am missing a choice or two.
For dinner last night, we enjoyed the lettuce in a salad. Today, I am sure that I am going to make sauteed baby bok choy again. That was delicious.
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
1 bunch baby bok choy – with ends trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
Saute the garlic in the olive oil at medium heat. Add the bok choy and Sriracha sauce.
Saute, stirring constantly until bok choy is tender crisp.