REAL celery

004 (3).JPGYou may laugh, but one of the tastiest vegetables I grow is celery.  I grow organically, mind you, but that’s not to say my soil is merely chemical-free, but that it’s love-abundant.

I read my earth, I smell it, I sit in it, I even taste it, and I know what it needs to feed the tastiest produce imaginable. Fertile earth, feelings, and flavor are one

Celery is easy to grow, but most think it difficult, so I was always the only one at the farmers’ market with celery. At the Orleans market on Cape Cod we often had visitors from Europe, and when they saw I grew celery they asked for a bite and were astonished at what they found. What they found was flavor. “You grow real celery,” many would say, having been to the store.

Real celery is almost a different vegetable from store celery. It’s flavor is strong, for one thing, and penetrating. The flavor is almost that of an herb.

What’s more, if’s highly healthful had has so few calories that you lose more calories in chewing it than you gain from swallowing.  I’ve grown it for years, and find it virtually immune to pests, except an occasional slug — probably because my organic soil is so nutrient-rich, and the crops so strong and healthy in turn, that pests go somewhere else for lunch.

All you need do is start it indoors under grow lights, set it out in the garden when the weather settles, maybe 6 inches apart, and keep it moist; at least the top two inches of soil (it’s shallow-rooted). Be wary of mulching, because slugs hide out there by day.

(I use the variety, Tango, but others are equally good.)

And why on Godess’s green earth it’s so full of chemicals at the store,  I have no clue.

(Coming up after the break, my recipe for celery soup….)


About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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1 Response to REAL celery

  1. Harlan Billings says:

    next year I would like to be on the list for leftover celery plants.
    I apologize, but you can forget over the winter, if you really use all you start

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