Create a Top-Down Garden with Your Kids

A great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables, reduce waste and start a low-cost indoor garden is to start your own top-down garden. A top down garden uses the top of root vegetables like beets, carrots or radishes to sprout greens.  These greens will not grow new root veggies but the greens can be eaten and fun to grow!

The next time you are planning a meal with carrots, beets, or radishes, buy them with the greens still attached.  To plant a top down garden, re-use a food container such as a pie pan or plastic food container with no holes.
  1. Cut the carrots, radishes and/or beets (the part that you would eat), leave some of the vegetable (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch) attached to the top.  Save the cut carrots, radishes and beets for a salad or snack later!
  2. Place the veggie tops with leaves attached, cut side down in the container and fill with just enough water to cover the remaining vegetable.
  3. Put the top down garden in a warm, sunny window and check daily to make sure the cut side is in the water.  Change the water if it becomes cloudy.  Top down gardens look great when you have several tops in one container. 
  4. Keep your garden growing by replacing tops as they are used or start to look droopy.  You can also dress up your garden by adding decorative rocks or marbles.
Once your garden has sprouted new greens, it is time to starting thinking about harvesting them. Baby radish greens are delicious and high in nutrients.  They can be added to salads, sauteed with mustard seeds, added to smoothies, and so much more!  Carrot tops are also high in nutrients and are great in soups, salad, or infused to make a tea. Finally, beet tops are "tops" in salads, but can also be sauteed in olive oil and garlic, or roasted.  If you are growing all three tops in your top-down garden, put them together in a salad for a tasty treat.

Your kids will have fun growing top down gardens and will have the chance to try new foods!

1 comment

  1. This is a great posting. This blog is very helpful and I will be a regular reader from now on.


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