Growing Food From Scraps

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In this activity, learners will explore vegetative propagation while preparing food scraps to grow into plants. Learners will also investigate light and water conditions necessary to promote growth in a variety of plants. Activity includes step-by-step instructions specifically tailored to common food scraps: potatoes, celery, lettuce, carrot, radish, green onion, and leek. A how-to video is also included. Please review activity and video for important safety notices.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Vegetable scraps (You can use the eye of a potato; the roots of celery, green onions, or leeks; or the leafy tops of carrots or radishes.)
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Cup or bowl
  • Water
  • Toothpicks
  • Flower pot
  • Potting soil
  • Warm, sunny place


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Nature and Environment


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Carnegie Science Center, 2021

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