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Monday, September 17, 2012

Muck farm!

Last week I drove past the muck farm I worked at when I was in high school. If you've never heard of muck, it's a type of dirt that you can find in some areas of west Michigan. It's very dark, is moist and is great for growing things like celery and onions. I grew up near the town of Hudsonville, which is also known as the "Salad Bowl City" because of the vegetables that are grown in the muck there.
Anyway, the farm I worked at grew celery and I spent many hours there. We worked after school starting in late March, planting tiny seedlings in the greenhouse. Later in the Spring we would take those same seedlings and sit on a celery planter in the field, planting them.
In the summer I worked in the building trimming and packing the celery into boxes and this work lasted until late Fall.
We always smelled like celery and even now that smell brings me back to those times!
The farm now grows celery and onions.


Here's one of the fields. You can see the harvested field in the front and the green onion tops in the back. The workers are in the field "topping" onions.



Here are some of the onions all crated up and ready for shipping.



Here's a bunch more filled crates, along with a view of the crates.



This is one of the celery planters I told you about earlier. When we would first start planting in the Spring it was quite cold and the cover helped protect us from the wind. Later this cover would come off and we would enjoy the sunshine.
It was hard work, but we also had fun. Thanks for letting me take you on a trip down memory lane.

20 comments:

Maple Lane said...

How very interesting. I love celery! I enjoyed your memories and these wonderful photos, Mari.

Melinda said...

Trips down emory lane are my favorite kinds of posts! Thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

I have always said when the crates are out you know its fall. I never worked in the muck but as a kid lived near one and loved to dig in that kind of dirt, Fun memory

Crown of Beauty said...

Wow, Mari I admire you for having literally planted with your own hands. I learn so much from reading blogs, and what inspires me is that these blog authors are my blog friends!

I love celery in salads and soups. It is rich in Vitamin C.

We know how to make celery syrup by fermenting it with organic sugar.

Loved visiting here today.

Lidia

HOOTIN ANNI said...

....oh and I can imagine the cold winds coming in off the lake in the Spring. Cold and damp!!! I can feel it in my bones as I type. What an interesting part of your past today Mari. I so enjoyed learning this, and learning what it takes to grow celery on such a vast farm. By the way, I knew what muck meant...my MIL was born and raised in Grand Haven. You know where that's at, I'm sure.

And the post below this that I missed yesterday...that granddaughter of yours...what a sweetie!!! I can see why she is the star of attention. Hope you enjoyed your vacation with family...and now, Andy had to go back on duty?!!! That camping trip....my idea of roughing it is trying to get a room without a reservation. Seriously. But the 'continental breakfast' looks mighty yummy.

Pat said...

You know what I liked best about this post? Not only was it fun to walk down memory lane with you, but I love that you never once included a complaint. Boy, could young people today take a lesson from you, and also a few older people too!
When I hear "Hudsonville" I think of ice cream. Isn't that where they make that wonderful ice cream?

LL Cool Joe said...

I thought muck was just another name for dirt or mud. Very interesting. Wow it must have been fun working on a farm. Well and hard work too!

Brooke said...

your posts with pictures always make me feel like i've taken a mini vacation. thanks! :)

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Your post is why I love to read blogs. I always learn something new and interesting! Have a great day!

Deanna said...

Thanks for taking us along on your walk down memory lane. I never think about how things grow, especially celery so it was so interesting to go with you while you planted and harvested.

Penny said...

Love hearing from your memories! =) My dad grew up on a farm, and I always love hearing his stories.

Lauren said...

Wow. This is a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing :)

ancient one said...

I had no idea how celery was grown. Ask me about potatoes, tobacco, sweet potatoes, peppers, etc... but I don't think no one grows celery around here. I enjoyed this post!!

Terri said...

ahh,the muck fields. Cheri and I loved working on the planter together. That was the best job - now weeding.....that was a whole different story - YUCK!

Dena said...

all i can think is - a)what can we make with those crates and b) how can we get them! lol i'm clearly on pinterest too much!

Michelle said...

Wonderful memories you have shared. We are a tobacco area, so no celery here!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so glad I could learn about muck today!

Musicaljean said...

I cannot believe this!!! I have never met anyone else who knows about celery farming! Dick's family had a celery farm, and they sold it to stores and had a stand at market. When we met as teenagers in a local youth chorus, he always smelled like celery!! To this day, it is a very romantic fragrance to me, hahahahaha!!

The first years we were married I helped to prepare the celery for market, and we always had so much fun - three generations working together. I practically gave birth to Lisa in the celery cellar!!

I remember Dick's dad saying that someone told him it takes a strong back and a weak mind to be a celery farmer, hahaha!

Shelly said...

I never knew that about you! Thanks for sharing your story. I love the smell of the celery and onions when I drive past the muck fields too.

Jenny the Pirate said...

That's fascinating! You had some interesting experiences. More teenagers (and grownups) need to work hard at jobs that make you need sleep good at night (after a hot shower and a hot meal)!