However, I’ve found that homegrown celery is more flavorful and crispy. Also, I get to harvest a stalk at a time, as needed. How many times have you purchased a head of celery, used a stalk or two for a recipe, then put it back in the refrigerator only to forget about it? And we all know what celery looks like a few weeks later, right? (eww)
Being able to just harvest what I need, knowing the plant will continue to grow more stalks, is a perfect solution.
The variety I grow is ‘Tango’, which is ideal for Northern climates. The seedlings take a bit to get going, but once they’ve hit their stride, look out!
As you can see by the top photo, the plants grow quite thickly. Isn’t the foliage pretty?
Every so often, we like to remove the largest stalks from each of our 10 plants to thin things out a bit. (it’s important to avoid cutting off the central stalks, though, as that’s the plant’s main growing point) Once we trim off the leaves from each stalk, we chop them up and freeze them in heavy-duty freezer bags. Having bags of celery on hand for future soups and casseroles is so convenient.
After yesterday’s harvest, we ended up with 6 quart-sized bags of chopped celery (yup, a gallon and a half!). I’m certain we’ll get at least one more picking before the frosts start hitting, although celery is quite cold-tolerant so those won’t slow them down until it gets really cold.
If you’ve never grown your own celery before, I heartily encourage you to give it try. Chances are, you’ll be hooked!