At Niagara Parks we are all about growing and eating local. From our Nature + Gardens sites, including our Botanical Garden and Floral Showhouse and School of Horticulture, to our Feast On certified restaurants that source Ontario ingredients and beverages, local is very much rooted in what we do.
While we are all home and do our parts to flatten the COVID-19 curve, our talented growers, horticulturalists, and culinary artists at Niagara Parks want to offer our visitors from around the world some thoughts on growing at home. Check back in the coming weeks as we offer quick tips for your home gardens, whether edible or to create a feast for your eyes.
Edible Gardening: Growing Celery from Scraps
As far as vegetables are concerned, celery deserves to be celebrated. Its ease of use, eating, growing, transformability and versatility make it a prized resident of your plate. You can crunch away on it right from the stalk, stick it in your salads or brunch Caesar, or even turn it into salt that can be used to rim said Caesar’s glass.
And let’s not forget its starring role in not one, but the “Holy Trinity” of THREE culture’s cuisines–the French Mirepoix (celery, onion, carrot), Cajun “Holy Trinity” (celery, onion, green bell pepper), and German Suppengrün (celeriac*, carrot and leek).
*Yes, celeriac and celery are different, but this is what we mean by versatility, as they are essentially different parts of the same plant–Apium graveolens–celery being the stalk and celeriac being the root.
Celery is both ubiquitous and mighty. And as it happens it is extremely easy to grow your own, like right now. So, reach into your green bin and follow these three steps:
Step 1: Prepare the stump.
Whether cut from a fresh stalk sitting in your crisper, or the leftover in your compost, all you need is an intact stump. Clean it off, peel any outside layers to reduce its size across, the height should be about two inches.
Step 2: Immerse in water.
Now find a small container, cup or bowl, fill with water and put the stump in. Here we have decided to skewer the sides so that it is stable, you don’t have to, but you may find it easier for balance.
Step 3: Leave in light, and let it grow.
Place the container in a well-lit, warm location (windowsill) and after as soon as seven days, you should see leaves growing out the top. Keep the water fresh and plentiful (refill every 1 to 2 days) and it will continue to grow, feel free to peel off any outside layers that show decay.
And voila, you have made more celery! Eventually you will also see roots emerging from the bottom, let them grow and if you have a good pot, or if the weather is nice enough outside, consider planting.