Ultimate Composting

Several weeks ago I shared the disappointing results of my children’s compostable packaging experiment.  In case you missed it, the results were notable for not showing any result at all.  After two years in the compost heap, the vegetable scraps had been transformed into beautiful, lush compost for our garden.  The packaging had not.  It had remained intact, barely showing any sign of degradation.

While I was dismayed at the lack of transformation shown by this supposed earth friendly packaging, I carried on carrying out all of our compostable materials from the 1840 Farm kitchen to the compost bins.  I decided to tuck the packaging back into an actively composting bin and see if the third year might do the trick.

Then I happened upon an article that made an interesting claim:  I could grow organic celery plants for my vegetable garden using nothing but the stump left over from a bunch of organic celery.  I was skeptical.  It seemed far too easy.  I couldn’t wait to see if it would work, so when the aforementioned celery trimming was ready for its usual trip to the compost pile, it was given a place of prominence in the kitchen window instead.

The celery trimming sits in a shallow container of water for a few weeks.  As it does, it will set roots and begin to grow new stalks of edible celery.  I kept checking for either when I changed out the water daily, but for the first few days nothing seemed to be happening.  Today marks the fifth day of this experiment and suddenly the small slice of celery is sprouting a tiny new stalk.

There are miniscule roots beginning to emerge from the underside of the celery.  They aren’t sizable enough to plant in the garden yet, but we’re making progress.  I’m amazed that this method may actually turn something that I would usually toss into the compost bin into a vibrant new plant that can be transplanted into the vegetable garden for the summer growing season.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of our new composting experiment in the coming weeks.  Until then, I won’t be throwing any celery trimmings in the compost bin.  I’ll be too busy sprouting them in the kitchen window.

Related posts:

Ultimate Composting – Week Two

Ultimate Composting – Week Three

Ultimate Composting – Week Four

Ultimate Composting – Week Five

Ultimate Composting – Week Six

Compostable?  I Think Not. 




  1. Most biodegradable plastics need UV rays (sunshine) to compost.

  2. I have tried the celery thing. Not with organic, but just with the heel left over from store bought lettuce. I didn’t try it in water, I put it in a pot of dirt. I think I may have watered it too much or something. The most I got was a couple of stalks an inch or two long before it just sort of rotted.
    I think possibly the heat got to it because I’m pretty sure lettuce is a cool weather plant. I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing how yours does! :o)

  3. I started a stump of celery in water on my windowsill; it grew roots and I transferred it to my garden. It is growing nicely.

  4. I have another one started on my windowsill, but I think this one is not doing so well. LOL

    1. Author

      I hope that it works for you. Of the seven I have tried over the last month, only one had to be thrown in the compost pile. Good luck!

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