Up until about 100 years ago we all took responsibility for growing our own food, then we put the responsibility into the hands of others. Now we skip the growing part and head directly to eating, and we often do that on the run.

In the last few years there has been a renewed focus on how the food we consume is grown and where it is grown. More and more consumers are demanding pesticide-free, locally grown food.

Maybe you don’t have a large yard to convert to garden space or the time to cultivate one. You probably have a sunny windowsill or two and that’s all you need to start your own sustainable garden. Your starter plants can come from kitchen scraps that you would normally throw out. What could be easier?

Here’s six suggestions to get you started. It’s only a start as so many of our kitchen scraps can be reharvested.

BASIL
This is a kitchen staple for many. Whether you’re making pesto, a sauce or a salad, this is a great herb to have on hand. Just snip 4” inch stems off the next bunch of basil you buy and place in a glass of water. When the roots are 2” long transplant your cuttings into a pot and place in a sunny spot.

CILANTRO
We can’t get enough of this herb. Apply the same rooting and potting instructions as per basil above.

CELERY
Cut off the base of the celery, place it in a shallow bowl of water in the sun. When you see leaves growing from the centre of the plant, transfer it into soil.

ROMAINE LETTUCE
Chop romaine lettuce to about 3” above its base. Place the root end in 1” of water. Keep the water at this level until you see new roots and leaves and then transplant into soil.

TOMATO
When you slice into a beautiful tomato, save three slices and lay them on top of soil in a pot. Cover the tomato slices with soil and place in a warm, sunny location. When your plants are established transplant to a larger container and move outside.

GARLIC
When garlic cloves begin to sprout, place them in a glass with a little water and in no time you’ll have garlic greens to add to soups, salads and pastas. You can also separate garlic cloves and plant them directly into soil, root end down.

You can harvest your plants many times, which will make you a sustainable gardener. If you have young children this project provides a great learning opportunity for them. Try some of these ideas and enjoy the benefits. I’m off to plant my tomato slices now!