Grow From Home: Sustainability and Social Distancing


While many of us are home and without access to outdoor spaces or materials to grow, (and perhaps a good portion of us have never grown anything ever before), we thought it would be useful to share some tips and tricks for sustainable at home gardening! Don’t be intimidated when we say ‘gardening’, growing veggies and other plants from home is for everyone! This handy outline of quick ways to repurpose existing vegetables to regrow them at home and produce seedlings will mean that you may never have to visit the grocery store for vegetables again! Any of these below could be started with a little bit of window space and some water. Once you start your garden, make sure to dedicate it to Dr. Jane Goodall through JGI’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ Program here.

Sprouts are the easiest thing to grow!

Items needed:

  1. Clean source of water
  2. Hemp (or other course weave) bag
  3. 1/4 – 3/4 cup bean or seed (any bean or seed can be sprouted; you can mix beans like different lentils for a fun variety pack).  Use 1/4 cup for smaller seeds, 1/2 cup for lentil size, 3/4 for larger beans).  Experience and experimentation are the key to happiness.  No hard and fast rules here
  4. Medium sized mixing bowl

Get Started

  • Put the beans or seeds of your choice into the mesh bag and plunge the bag in and out of a full bowl of clean water a few times
  • Empty the bowl  (preferable into potted flowers)
  • Put the bag back into the bowl and fill the bowl with water again
  • Let soak in a dark place for 12 hours (general rule, but feel free to find an on line reference for the specific bean/seed of your choice)
  • After 12 hours give them a good rinse, then remove excess waterby giving the bag a good ‘windmill spin’ outside (my version of a salad spinner too)
  • Repeat this process every 12 hours (after the first 2 or 3 cycles, you will see the nice little sprouts emerging from the beans)-You can put in the fridge at this point, or let the sprouts get longer for a day or two

To store, it is important that the sprouts are dry after the last rinse and they are not sealed.  Windmill spin one last time and pour into a low glass container lined with a small dry cloth, leaving enough cloth to fold over the top.   

That’s it!  

Here’s a starter list of things you can regrow:

  • Any bean for sprouts from legumes
  • Any onions (leaks scallions, large onions)
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Beets
  • Raddish 
  • Rutabagas 
  • Turnips 
  • Parsnips 
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes.

More Ideas:

Herbs sprouted from cuttings:  
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Basel, Oregano, Cilantro, Sage, Thyme, Lemon balm, Mint

These all make great microgreens:
Flax, Basil, Chives, Parsley, Mustard, Arugula, Sunflower, Wheatgrass, Kale, Bok Choy, Celery, Broccoli, Cabbage, Corn, Lentils, Radish, Beet

You can even start mushrooms by removing the cap and sticking the uncut base stem into soil.  Kept warm and most she begins to grow again

Some Fun Ones:

  • Shungiku
  • Fenugreek
  • Purslane
  • Sorrel
  • Amaranth
  • Clover
  • Cress 
  • Mizuna
  • Endive
  • and Fennel!


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

gfan learn more v2gfan support jgi v2

gfan shop jgi v2


About Author

Bill Wallauer is a public speaker, scientific advisor and filmmaker for the Jane Goodall Institute. Bill became part of the life at the Jane Goodall Institute's Gombe Stream Research Center in 1989 while on assignment for the U.S. Peace Corps in southern Tanzania. After he captured a wild chimpanzee birth on videotape, Dr. Goodall asked Bill to follow chimps and record their daily activities and behaviors, which he did for the next 15 years. Bill has served as camera operator and scientific advisor for more than 30 productions, including BBC/Animal Planet’s “Chimp Week,” BBC/Discovery’s 10-part series, “Planet Earth," and Disney Nature’s “Chimpanzee.” He also worked on three National Geographic films in 2014 and 15. He shot the closing sequence for the BBC/Discovery's 10-part series, "Planet Earth," and appeared in the Animal Planet special, "Almost Human," with Jane Goodall.