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In The Kitchen

Can I Plant the Seeds from My Fresh Produce?

Using Food Scraps to Grow Vegetables

Overhead shot of tomatoes that have been cut in half to show the seeds inside on a cutting board. Play Video

Some people like gardening because it’s peaceful. Others enjoy harvesting their own fresh food. Whatever draws people to gardening, there’s been a dramatic surge in interest during the COVID-19 pandemic – and that has led to a shortage in the availability of seeds for home gardeners.

But what about the seeds in some of your favorite fruits and vegetables that you’ve purchased? You might have the key ingredients sitting in your kitchen right now!

If you’re hoping to start a garden, don’t let the lack of seeds stop you. Watch as Chris Gunter, vegetable production specialist with NC State Extension, shares tips for using your seed scraps in this segment of Homegrown In the Kitchen.

If you decide to plant some of those seeds from your grocery store produce, make sure you check out these resources from NC State Extension for both beginning and experienced gardeners:

Reducing Food Waste

Recycling your seed scraps is more than just a life hack for aspiring green thumbs, it’s a responsible way to help reduce food waste. An average family of four wastes around $1,500 a year on food that is thrown away, creating garbage that must be transported to a disposal facility at significant financial and environmental cost.

And if that doesn’t stink enough, nearly 1-in-6 of our neighbors in North Carolina are food insecure, which means they lack access to enough food to live an active, healthy life (Source: N.C. Department of Environmental Quality).

Learn more about how you can help reduce food waste with resources from Extension’s Local Food and Composting programs!

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