Kitchen Scrap Gardening

If you’re finding yourself doing some accidental homesteading now that you’re Sheltering in Place, you’re not alone! Many of us are baking bread, getting out in the garden, and finding other ways to stay home and stay occupied in this unusual time.

Since we’re lucky to live in a climate when spring arrives early, you can be thinking about a kitchen garden right now. Our garden team at the Marin Art & Garden Center is making sure that the Edible Garden continues to get the attention it needs to keep the leafy greens growing; come take a look when you’re ready for a trip out of the house for some good inspiration. And if you don’t have seeds or seedlings yet, never fear. Did you know that many of your kitchen scraps can be used to regrow more pantry essentials? This is especially fun if you have children.

Beans are among the easiest projects; a handful of beans you bought to cook with will quickly reward you with little sprouts.  Just keep them moist (a soaked paper towel in a jar or bowl works fine) and in a matter of days you’ll likely see sprouts pushing through. Here are more detailed instructions.

You can also grow a variety of vegetables from the cut ends you’d otherwise discard (you’re composting, aren’t you?). Almost anything from the onion family can be regrown from the root base. Scallions/green onions are quick to sprout up from the white end as long as there are still some little root stubs attached; you can plant it in some potting soil straight from the chopping board. For those with more patience, full size onions can also grow this way, but you may want to first sprout the chunk of the root end in some water. Suspend it in a glass by sticking toothpicks into the root stub so that the root ends are submerged in water. Once you see some green shoots coming up, you can divide the onion bulb into pieces and plant each piece with a shoot separately. It will be autumn before you’ll have new onion bulbs to harvest, but worth the wait! Full details are here. Celery can also grow from the discarded base where the stalks connect. Sprout it over water, and leaves will quickly start to emerge from the center of the base. When these have reached half an inch or so in height, you can go ahead and plant it in soil.

If you have a large enough container, you can grow potatoes and sweet potatoes from the “eyes.” Find that one potato that rolled to the back of your cupboard and started to sprout; cut it into chunks with one or two sprouts per piece. You’ll want to give these sprouts a lot of space, like a trash can or even a sturdy bag full of potting soil. Bury the chunks so the sprouts are above ground, and with water and sun, you should see your plants grow. There are more instructions here.

]Avocados and even pineapple can be regrown, but don’t expect to get anything edible in the near future. They are still attractive plants and you can feel both accomplished and thrifty as you transform kitchen waste into growing goodness.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center