Food for Free

Grow Your own Bistro Salad for Free

Lettuce growing in a jam jar on a sunny windowsill

No such thing as a free lunch?

Think again! Well at least the salad bit!

With a window sill and a little patience you can regrow salad scraps. This means you can reuse the trimmings from your salad to grow a completely new salad, for free!

You can regrow cos and gem lettuce and beetroot leaves. A free bistro style salad that didn’t come in plastic packaging!

Try it for yourself! When you next make salad save the the ends and tops of the salad and place them in jam jars on a bright window sill with about 2cm water. Replace the water every couple of days. You will be amazed, they grow so quickly! A fantastic activity to try with children in just 1 day you will see leaves sprouting from the centre of the salad. Once the leaves have reached the top of the jar after about a week plan in a pot or even a tin can and roots will begin to grow. A new plant from scraps.


Once you have mastered free lettuce there is nothing to stop you placing your beetroot tops in a jam jar to grow beetroot leaves . Using scissors snip the leaves, wash and use in your free salad. The beetroot will continue to grow new leaves which you can cut again and again.

Developing your new free food skills further, you might like to try celery, garlic, red onions, spring onions , Bok Choi, fennel and even lemongrass!

Start them all off in a jar on your window sill, they also look great, fresh greens in your kitchen! They can be grown indoors at any time of year! Not only does this idea create free food. It can help limit your environmental impact by reducing the need to by salad in packaging. So get regrowing! Take some photos and share with me.


Give this a go and let us know…

Frances O'Reilly