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Snappy Celery stalks.

18 Nov

I have been really enjoying my celery harvest. When I first planted these transplants I bought from the store 4-5 months ago, I thought I might cut a stalk here and there as it grew.
But that never happened. Mainly because the one time I thought about doing so, the stalks needed serious washing and were a bit messy with crazy leaves everywhere. Also, I discovered there was a spider living in one of the plants… Icky!
So come harvest time, I just pulled the whole thing out of the ground. Celery plants have very shallow roots surprisingly and not very many either. The whole thing came out really easily.
The stalks snapped and broke surprisingly easily too. It wasn’t veiny and was crunchier than any store bought celery. Only the flavour was very strong. Almost salty. I kind of expected it as from what I have read, you need to ‘blanch’ celery so it turns/stays more white than green. Some people wrap paper around the stalks while it is growing. I wrapped some garden wire around mine to keep the stalks from falling outwards only. My stalks were thick, almost as thick as store bought, probably similar to organic celery, and crispy and unblemished. Quite beautiful with all the healthy leafy foliage.
Back to the spider…. I knew he was living in there and my hubby convinced me it was a good thing as spidey was eating all the bugs. So he had been living in there for at least a month that I am aware. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the sucker but it was definitely a black widow. Giant shiny black butt with a very vibrant red mark on it. Yikes.
Part of me was questioning my efforts to grow my own food and having to deal with the yuckie spiders, slugs and bugs by myself instead of just buying lovely trimmed, blanched and bug free celery from the store. Was this really worth it? My second thought was the realisation that this IS real food. All food starts off covered in bugs and the reality is that bugs and grubs loves your food as much as you do. We are a part of nature and so are they. We have ‘discovered’ the most pleasing plants to our palate and it is no surprise the rest of nature appreciate the same goodness from the same plants. This is the part of food production we never usually see and are not used to. In the end, I do have the awesome feeling of wholeness growing my own meal but also the slightly grossed out feeling of having to battle a black widow for a couple of stalks of celery.

JULY 2010. Look how small they were when I bought them. It came in a six pack of baby transplants for $3. I planted them in three different plots wherever I had space. In the summer when I bought these, this area in front of our parking spot gets lots of sun.

Celery almost ready for harvest. This tiny plot gets no sun in the autumn and winter besides what comes through between the cracks of the fence. I used garden wire to keep the stalks together and upright otherwise they all spread out into the ground.

Nov 2010. Celery harvest - What a beauty!

Nov 2010. Here is another celery plant ready for havest. You can see my garden wire tied around it. This one is toppling over because my hubby drove his car into it!

 

Nov 2010. Homegrown Celery Harvest in my hand to get an idea of the size. I was not aware at this point my resident black widow was still lurking inside YIKES