Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, July 02, 2018

Ode to Celery The Herb/Vegetable, Caper Berry Harvest Tip, and Seed Share Reminder

Dear Folks,

While I was harvesting some of my Redventure Celery I realized just how much I rely on this tasty garden offering for last minute flavor, to add to all my stock pots, any poultry roast, dried in my homemade bouillon blend - really pretty much anything is enhanced with some celery.

I am also aware of how many nutrients are in celery, plus the Redventure has lycopene in it from the red pigments.

First a Reminder on the Seed Share/ Q&A this Thursday.

Sow? 105+ Degrees? Yes!
Mesa Urban Garden
Free Seed Share and Q&A
with Catherine, The Herb Lady
Thursday, July 5, 2018, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Mesa Main Library
64 E 1st St
Saguaro Room

Mesa, AZ 85201
(East of Post Office off of Center Street)

Event Details here.

Back to Celery

Celery Apium graveolens came to us from the Mediterranean region but is now grown worldwide.  Two links below will provide you with some interesting facts on Celery.

One of the main essential oils is Limonene found in citrus.  You may have noticed that essence when eating fresh celery.

Read more on the essential constituents on Gernot Katzer's spice page.  BTW his site is a wealth of information on essential oil and other chemical components of herbs and spices.

I like my Redventure for its more open growth habit which is just perfect for the home garden.  I rarely need an entire crown of celery, just a few stalks and the open habit allows for cutting what I need.  Right now I am still getting some new growth, a phenomenon because the warm/hot fall and winter delayed the seed germination.  So I am taking advantage of this garden blessing while I can.

Celery contains many nutrients, vitamins, minerals and high fiber.  It can be a diuretic so be wise if anyone in the family has issues with diuretics.

The natural sodium content, while higher than some herbs and vegetables is a low form of salt which helps foods flavored with celery to require less salt added.  The celery provides a nice balance.

Celery contains:  Vitamin A and K, Potassium, Folate, and antioxidants.

"These antioxidants include dihydrostilbenoids like lunularin as well as furanocoumarins like bergapten and psoralen. The antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxidative damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems."  Read a ton of information about celery here at the Whole Foods celery page.

You may enjoy my Braised Celery with Cranberries recipe, I initially created for Thanksgiving.  I am wondering if my Roselle Petals might be a nice substitute for fresh cranberries, if I wind up with a lot of celery and need to use it up.  Hmmmmm.  :-)

My basil is doing great, here, there and everywhere in the gardens. I've let the re-seeded plants be as they are happy in their spots.

I am pruning regularly to keep the leaves bigger. What I do not use I "cut and drop" to add to the duff/mulch in the gardens.  Later on when the seed heads are allowed to dry, the seed will drop and sprout next spring.

If you are growing capers, harvesting the berries is going on now.  Harvest can continue on well into late summer and early fall here in the valley.

While harvesting this morning, looking for fruit of a certain size, I then noticed that the fruit I preferred still had a bit of the old flower attached up the stem.

So now I look for the dried flower bits (it does eventually fall off completely but then the fruit may have passed best time for harvesting to process and may never lose the bitter tastes).  NOTE:  Caper buds or berries must be fermented in brine, salt or a combination of brine and vinegar to remove the very bitter flavor.

I hope to see you at the seed share Thursday.

Have a great day in the garden and kitchen.  Be Safe, Drink Water, Have Fun This 4th of July.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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