Re-Grow, Reuse, Reflect: Lessons from the Chironion

 In Go Go Green Thumbs

Written by Sumati Shah, Go Go Green Thumbs


Ok that title got  a little far out but stay with me, I promise I’m on topic….

First, the detour about Chiron (you can look up the Greek mythology and also the astrology of Chiron…endlessly fascinating) but here’s the seed for my train of thought:

Chiron is twice-wounded: once at birth, and again towards the end of his life.

Chiron turns in particular to the healing arts as a means of healing himself, and not only himself but others too. He shines the light, giving to others that which he himself most needs or needed. Rather than allowing the original wound to fester, he finds within it a source of motivation even of inspiration, that leads him to great insight and achievement. This in turn invites, or rather imposes, a sense of purpose and service or duty that ennobles and enriches his life in ways that the other centaurs could not even begin to imagine.  [source]

Now over to the onions…. Or CHIRONions , if you will, for today.

Wounded, ok just plain eaten, there’s no doubt that the apparently useful part of the food is gone, done, cut off at the root and deliciousness added to my sprout salad (those mung beans and the recipe for dressing really is delicious – go check my previous post in the RECIPES topic!

So now we discard the tough little nubs as inedible and useless now after having served their purpose, right? Hold on a hot minute, let’s see what we might be able to clean from these…after all their roots are still there: trimmed to nothing for shelf presentation and kept in the fridge…not so fast.

You can see in the picture where I cut the onions, I decided to regrow these rather than grow from seed or buy starts at the garden centre.

I just nestled them into a small glass that would hold them upright and added water, careful to avoid drowning the tops.  This was tricky because of how close I’d cut them, but you get the idea.

Next – sit them in a window and wait.  The wounded tops first start getting taller.  You’ll question it thinking the outer layer is just shrinking as the tops will dry out and heal over so the plant cells aren’t open to infection.

First comes the healing. And then the growth begins.

Wait a week and you’ll see changes…roots growing….the white tops start showing tiny green centres signalling signs of upward growth.

Wait another week and you’ll see something start to resemble onions (maybe more like chives initially) begin to show themselves.

After about 3 weeks maybe 4, you have what you see here in my picture.

Regrowth of a fresh new crop of onions coming from my old bunch of discard roots.

Rule of GreenThumbs: Check for signs of life before composting – regrowth from many vegetables is possible (Sweet Potato is next for this trial method!)

Now that these are well and truly sprouted and on their way to becoming ‘grown up’ actual recognizable green onions, I’m going to plant them outside burying them a few inches below soil level – what’s below will become the white part you see on your store bought bunch, and the green tops will do their thing and grow to size.

Permaculture? Well, in principle: YES! We’re reusing and repurposing the bounty, using ‘waste’ parts with purpose all toward a sustainable and naturally achieved harvest.

Go for it – get meta about it and discover the wisdom of your own wounded healer if you take a reading detour;  or not….either way you’re getting a Two for One out of your onions, and this doubles as a fun little project for kids too – they can have the job of rinsing out the water and taking note of the changes while they grow their own!


Here’s to levelling up, Friends! Happy Eating!



Recommended Posts