Saturday, October 13, 2007


So. To sum up, my 82 year old father-in-law is SUPERFLY.

How in the hell am I going to follow that?
With a post on celery, bitch.
Oh yeah? Oh HAIL yeah.

You see what I do here?

"Why no. Just what is it that you do here?"

JUST EXACTLY WHATEVER the living, breathing motherfuck I want to do, is what I do here, dogaroonie.

If I want to do a post on the lint I find in my dryer I'll just do that humbear. If I want to do a whole cockalockin' post on soil bacteria I'll just DO that rasty bastard. Picture of my dog's butt? HA! DONE ALREADY DONE THAT ONE, BABY! SUCK ON IT!!!!!

I could sit here and just type the letter 'A' a whole bunch of times if I wanted to.

Oh yeah.
And I'll leave that bracket too. FUCK yes, D.B. Cooper. Hijack THAT plane ya little bitch.

*takes medication*


Your soil must be rich, neutral and on the damp side...a clay loam is perfect.

1. In the fall, buy a regular head of celery from the supermarket.

2. Use the whole head except for the very center where the stunted, yellow-white leaves are.

3. Leave as much of a root stub on this 'heart' as possible. Using a very sharp knife, shave a fine, fine slice off the bottom of this stub, leaving the end clean and white.

4. Wash the whole thing carefully under cold water, and trim off wilted or damaged parts.

5. Place the cleaned start in a glass of clean, cold water on a north-facing windowsill so that the root stub is well immersed. Don't let it contact the bottom of the glass.

6. Change the water frequently, and keep the glass clean. You might notice cloudy goop forming around the root stub; simply wipe it off gently under the faucet in cold water.

7. In a few WEEKS you will notice small white rootlets beginning to form in a circle around the base of the stems. The stems might also have grown an inch or so. This might take all winter long, so don't panic if you don't see any action for a long time. As long as the leaves and stems are still healthy looking, you're good.

8. In spring when the last frost has passed, plant the rooted celery in a raised mound of really rich, well-cultivated soil (the same way you plant zuchinni and pumpkins,) and keep it moist. NOT SWAMPY. It needs to drain. Later in the summer you can make a moat around the crown to help the water soak in instead of running off the surface. The more water the celery receives the fatter the stalks will get and the taller the plant. However, this increases the chance that the plant will suddenly decide to send up a flowerstalk and die (bolt.) Just give it a nice shower in the evening (unless it's rained the day before) and call it good.

9. Otherwise, ignore.

10. Clip stalks off the side of the clump all spring, summer and early fall whenever you need some, leaving the central bunch in the ground.
Homegrown celery tends to run smaller and darker green than store-celery. It also tastes far more aromatic than store celery, so you need less.

11. Come fall, after the first light frost, pull up the whole plant and cut off the root ball to within an inch of where the stems begin. There will be 'offsets'; mini-plants that grown off at an angle out from the central root and the main crown. Just crack these away from the main root. Select the smaller, healthiest offsets, the ones with the most root, and repeat the process at one.

But no, 'Nations! That's CHEATING! That's not REAL GARDENING! Real gardeners grow things from seed! If you don't grow it from seed you're NOT A REAL GARDENER! You're BREAKING THE RULES! You're doing it the EASY way! Furthermore, you're not maintaining GENETIC DIVERSITY! You're only creating CLONES! And, and, a big DISEASE could come along and wipe out your whole crop! And then move on and wipe out everyone elses' crop that's growing the same variety! And then get stronger and stronger and mutate and breed! And fall into a nuclear reactor and then maybe a guy sweeping the floor will sweep it back outside where it will grow and spread at a geometric rate and KILL ALL THE WHOLE CELERY IN THE WORLD! AND MARS AND VENUS PLUS ALL THE ASTEROIDS! AND SATURN!

Get a fucking grip people. You stick shit in the ground and it grows; that's gardening.

Seed is selected from cloned varieties. How do you think they maintain commercial variety? By asking the celery nicely? By magic? Does 'lil Harry Potter wave his winkie over the celery and say "Celery est!" or some jive ass trumped-up Latin crapola and WHOOMP there is more celery?

NO! They select healthy plants with desirable traits and....wait for it.....take clones! And let them bolt! And take seeds from the cloned plants and....
wait, wait.......
-Sell them!

Theres a problem, though. Celery seed is NOTORIOUSLY BUTTLICKING DIFFICULT to grow on from seed! It takes 6 and one half Federation Standard light-years to germinate, and Mr. Spock has to urinate on it all that whole time. Oh yes! Plus it has to have a constant high soil temp and must lie on the top of the dirt undisturbed in the light where CELERY PREDATORS can just come along and KILL IT AND EAT ITS BRAIN AND RIP OUT IT'S PANCREAS AND LEAVE THE REST TO ROT IN THE TORRID, UNFORGIVING HEAT OF A MERCILESS SUN!

In addition, seedling celery damps off for no reason. The shit just dies. Or cutworms chew it off at the soil, or celery flies and carrot flies come along and land all over it and lick it all over or do whatever they do and kill it in the prime of its young and promising celery life, thus depriving you of vital celery nutrients! AND NOBODY WANTS THAT!

So yeah. Root a clone in water and then plant it out.

*takes more medication*


  1. hendrix11:06 AM

    You stick shit in the ground and it grows; that's gardening.

    Yeah..that's how my family has always done gardening too. Sometimes they aren't even sure what plants they stuck in the ground or whether or not they actually wanted them in the garden in the first place...

    I've got some celery in the fridge - I'll give it a go.

  2. My word woman, I'm the least likeliest person to garden...(seriously if they'd had a vote at school to say who would be most likely to kill any plant...type of thing.....yup, that'd be me), but you actually made that sound fun and challenging, and I loves a challenge....see if I can get Mr Spock to come pee on it (he doesn't have to know it's not from a seed).
    Brilliant post, definitely on par with 'Playboy' post!!!!!

  3. Yep,the vegetative method is the quickie.Just so long as there are still enough of us saving open=pollinated seed from the old, tasty varieties.
    Come up with a fool-proof method for parsley and you will die a rich woman!

  4. hendrix: it's pretty easy. we rooted celery hearts in a jar-lid full of water as a science experiment in 4th grade. i just took it a step further. your folks garden sounds like mine this year...for some reason i had serpentine garlic and tomatoes everywhere.

    punkie:you oughta been here today. i harvested and processed my celery and the house smells AMAZING. do yoou love plants to death? i tend to do that too.

  5. dinahmow: you snooked in under the wire there! i have a devil of a time with damping off here because of the temperate clime, the clay soil and the lower-than-sealevel conditions (see, i hyphenated.) i tried celery seed for years...they grow it commercially in Oregon so I figured no problem...i was RONGE.

  6. Ya know. They sell that sort of stuff right at the store now-a-days.

  7. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I wish Mr. Spock would stop by and pee on my seedling celery plants. Actually, I wish Mr. Spock would pee all over me while violating me with a celery stalk.

    Man, I love gardening stories..

  8. Well I never knew there was so much DRAMA going on in the world of celery . I am making careful note to wash me celery more carefuly now I know passing vulcans are urinating all over it , I also suspect Mr Spock has crapped in my trainers (which would explain the smell).
    So I now have all these new things to stress about , mutating celery superbugs and nuclear reactors , incontinent aliens , and forlorn little seeds laying unloved and vunerable
    **** takes medication****
    and Rampant old people trying to whip off me undies
    **** takes more medication****

    ****goes to lay down for a while *******

  9. I feel completely neutral about celery, except as a proper addition to stuffing and tuna salad.

    I want dugongs and fluffy kittens! WAAAAAHHH!!!

    *takes own medication*

  10. You deserve a raise in celery for all of your hard work.
    I once nearly fell victim to a clay loam scam!

    What is a clay loam anyway? Sounds like something that a surgeon removes from your left nostril inhaler.

  11. Thanks for the tip. I had no clue you could sart celery from the bunch *'sat what you call 'em?* you get from the store. I'm moving into a new place this weekend, so I'll start a new little celery plant to commemorate the occasion.
    I'll name my plant Paul in your honor :) If it's a she, than tough.

  12. What kind of medication is that? I have to get some for .. a friend .. um, yea, a friend that could use it.

  13. As I've read on a wise, young bloggers site once:

    There are 3 kinds of soil particles: sand, silt, and clay. Sand particles are very coarse, silt are somewhat fine, and clay particles are extremely fine. These particles are all inorganic, but most soil contains organic material as well. That which is commonly referred to as 'mud' is a mixture, a 'loam' of diffent types of particles and espeically organic matter.

    Hope that helps.

  14. 'shot: thats no fun! besides, i have exceptionally tasty, FREE celery any time i want all spring, summer and much or as little as i need at any given time, and always perfectly fresh.

    anon: always a pleasure, anon! why hide behind the nom de none, though? it's obvious you've found a peer group. get a name! and bring celery!

    beast: gardening is an adventure. just like the Navy, but with less explosions. that's it's only drawback, in fact.
    there should be more explosions in gardening.
    golf, too.

    danator: oh fine. you're next. lets all indulge the invalid in her bed of pain with her leg of beef.

    homoE: where did you think clay loam came from? dinosaur boogs. oh yes.

    hoosier: i am humbled to think that i have inspired people to grow celery. thanks to me, the world has a little more celery. lets all sing: KUM BA YAAAAAAAH, MY LORD, KUM BA YAAAAAAAAAAAAAH......

    joeVegas: you know the kid in Beavis and Butthead that goes around saying he's Cornholio and asking for tp for his bunghole? its that stuff.

    'shot: that's right. clay loam is 'somewhat chunky clay you can actually stick a shovel into about half the year if you're lucky'. what usda zone are you in, by the way? you're up near the Lakes, right? do you garden???

  15. take that alan titchmarsh!

    you seriously need to write a book on gardening. this is chapter 1: how to grow celery. all done, right here.

    a gardening book by you would be the most informative, helpful, hilarious, random, funny, and disorganized gardening book ever written. it would be brilliant and i would buy a copy for everyone i know.

  16. I'm into hydroponics.

    My lovelies are agrowing in the attic and I'm looking forward to a bumper crop.

  17. I'm in the Central Time Zone (Chicago 'burbs).

    The extent of my gardening amounts to this: I've 'grown' potatoes and onions in that I've put them away and forgotten about them until the shoots pop out of the cabinet. I've also managed to kill a $400 bonsai tree.

    The loam info came straight (cut/paste) from C.B.'s blogger bio.

  18. there's something about my little garden besides the fact that it only grows in my imagination that precludes the growth of celery, sugar.
    i have tried, but real gardening seems to hate me and everything just dies to spite's actually one of the many reasons i take meds...*having a few now*

  19. Where are you guys getting all this medication?

  20. Never knew it was so difficult, always wondered why it tasted like vulcan piss.

  21. Anonymous11:30 PM

    i guess because celery wasn't widely available when i was a child as it is now is the reason why i don't care for it much. now, the grocery stores all carry it, but back in the day it was rare, and even then...if it didn't adapt well to mississippi gardens, we didn't eat it. homegrown peas, butterbeans, snapbeans, and corn were our staples.

  22. That was a great post. I now feel very confident about celery and how to grow it, so much so that I know for sure that I'll stick to buying it from the supermarket.


  23. "It takes 6 and one half Federation Standard light-years to germinate, and Mr. Spock has to urinate on it all that whole time."

    I have officially coughed coffee all over myself laughing...thanks :)
    I've given up on growing things in a garden...I find myself effectively killing it all by getting busy and forgetting about it. Weeds - I can do those.

    As a lab tech - I can say from experience and plant research I used to do: cloning plants is much faster...and I can pretend I'm taking over the world with my own evil strain of super plants. Personally I always wondered why noone had gotten around to cloning together blueberries with another well known and loved herbal plant to make happy pies.

    Or cross venus fly traps with roses...for when you want to give flowers to some you hate...

  24. cb: hey, leave the titch alone! that man is a POEM. you know the funny thing is, i did this as an idle thing, because i like to start plants on the windowsill and observe the growth, the root structures forming, just for pure enjoyment...and come springtime i just plopped the celery in the ground and took it casual. THEN i go on the net to find out when to harvest it-or even if it's an annual or a perennial; who knew? now me-and there's all this OOOOH MY GOD CELERY IS INTIMIDATING crap.

    garfy: well grown, my darling. does this explain your recent unexplained absences? you go up to the attic, inhale a snootful of pollen and then forget where the door is for a month? I betcha.

    'shot: oy. you've got me beat; the bonsai i killed only cost 37.00. *snif* re potatoes? how do you think i 'started' my white roses and my new reds this year? that's right. opened the cabinet and got my tit grabbed.

    savannah: it's weird, isn't it? i was the same way until i was about 27...then suddenly i was Pomona incarnate and who knows why. *pours another round of 'medication' for savannah and self* skaal, baby.

    dinahmow: Garfer.

    gale: you see what you can learn here? it's SCIENCE.

    pink: yeah, it's a colder weather crop. mainly it's an ingredient. i go through tons of the crap because i do my own stocks and sauces. to pick up and eat? pass.

    qenny: And just would have gone on for years wondering what that elusive flavor was without knowing had it not been for dear old FirstNations. you are welcome.

    geosomin! hey you! you did plant research? real plant research in a lab with pyrex stuff full of bubbling crap? (differes from the 'plant research' i conducted back in the '70s by a long shot.) that is outstandingly cool. i always wished that i hadn't wasted my time in college doing a business degree...i would have been so much happier in the botany lab taking tissue cultures.

  25. I just popped back for more celery related fun !

    **** sticks celery sticks in ears and makes silly faces *****

  26. but what do you do with it once you've grown it?

  27. Beast: uh huh.....ok....

    ziggi: I send it to Beast. God only knows what he does with it.

  28. Celery? All it seems to do is floss my teeth for hours afterwards.

    Now this "D.B. Cooper" is much more interesting. Did he get away with it?

    Is it a coincidence that David Lynch named his FBI man Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks?

  29. Sorry you - the issue should not be "How to grow celery" but "Why grow it?" I hate the stuff - good diet food, though, bearing in mind you use up more calories chewing it than it contains.
    Also, it's not really a butch kind of food. I have to be careful what I eat round here because in my neighbourhood they think you're a fairy if you've got two ears.

  30. sopwith: yes, he got away with it, and no, not a coincidence. some of the money that Cooper got away with was later found on a sand bar in the Columbia river, but the body...never.

    reg: yeah, i can't just take a stick and munch on it, but i go through a ton cooking.
    *checks ears*