Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Homegrown Celery

Celery is a staple in my kitchen. It adds flavor to homemade chicken stock, crunch to salads, and a smooth surface to slather on my favorite sun-dried tomato hummus. But I had never considered planting the crunchy vegetable until I came upon a 6-pack of celery plants this past spring as I was shopping for the rest of my vegetables.

I planted them in my square foot garden in the spring and I am now starting to harvest it. The first few stalks that I pulled two weeks ago were a little bitter, so I think I pulled them too early.

But I pulled a stalk yesterday to check it and it had that strong celery taste. My homegrown celery is not as thick as you find in the grocery store. It also has a slightly different texture, maybe a little denser than the grocery store celery.

With 6 plants, we'll never eat that much before it goes bad. I'm going to harvest the celery, clean it, dry it, and freeze it whole (including the leaves) for my homemade chicken stock. I make quite a bit in the fall and winter, so that will be one less ingredient that I will have to buy.

Do you grow celery? What is your experience with growing it?

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This post is linked to: Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage


  1. I agree; we grow celery in the summer too but it is a tad different in size and texture than what you would purchase at the grocer. It is a good idea to freeze it for stock because we can never use it all up before it goes bad.

    Also, if you harvest it by cutting it just above the root, it will regrow more for you!

  2. Hi!
    I've never planted celery. I'll have to give it a try. Although I think the ground is too hard here for celery. Doesn't it require a sandy soil. Have a great day!

    Food for Thought

  3. I tried growing celery once when we were given a few plants, but didn't do much with it. I think it may have tasted different, like you described.

    It didn't take up a lot of room which is nice. Maybe I'll try again next year since it would be nice to have it for making stock.

  4. I'm growing it for the first time this year too, and because I ran across it at the garden centre. I haven't harvested any yet, but also plan to use it for winter stock making. I read in a garden book that it should be blanched, either by hilling soil around it, or wrapping it to keep the sun off the stalks. That was supposed to eliminate some of the bitterness.

    It's a fun experiment, no matter what.

  5. I didn't grow any celery this summer, but I have in the past and then I clean, chop, and freeze for chicken noodle soup during the winter. I love having things like that all prepped in the freezer!

  6. Sherry - my soil isn't sandy. it is a mix of compost, peatmoss and vermiculite.

    Thanks for commenting.


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