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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Celery Farm

Last week I drove past the celery farm I worked at when I was in high school. That's been some time ago, but they are still growing celery there.  I thought I would share a few pictures of it, because although it's grown a lot in my area, I know it isn't really common.
Celery grows in dirt called muck.  Muck is black, very rich dirt, that really holds water.  If you see a puddle sitting on top of it, you would be smart not to step in it because you might get stuck!

This is a planter. The planter I used 30+ years ago was smaller.  2 people sat on it, each had a box of baby celery plants in front of them.  We would take a handful of those plants and insert them, one at a time into a metal disc which circled around, placing each plant into the ground.
We used to get a nice tan on our planter, wearing shorts and tank tops and putting our feet up on the little fenders.  We didn't worry about skin cancer then and we thought that was a great bonus!


We used to stop if we missed a plant or to get a new box.  Now they have someone walk with them to take care of those issues.  Look at all those little plants in a row!


Here's a field of celery that's been growing for a little while.  I've always thought the rows of celery in the dark dirt was a pretty sight.

Soon the fields that were planted first will be ready to harvest.  There is a machine that pulls up the celery and puts it in a wagon.  It then comes into a barn, where it's trimmed - the bottom cut off and suckers pulled off. It then goes on a conveyer belt where the top is trimmed and it's washed.  It's then sorted by size into crates.  Usually the crates are trucked out, but sometimes each bunch of celery is bagged first.

I really enjoyed working on the celery farm.  I was able to work in each area during my years there - from the greenhouse, to the planter, to the trimming station, to the packing station - all hard work, but we had fun too.


19 comments:

Blackberry Lane said...

Very interesting. I don't know that I've ever seen celery growing. A great job for you in order to be outdoors. I love celery chopped up in chicken salad.

Terri D. said...

I don't think I've ever seen how celery is planted, or how it looks as it grows! Very interesting, and a great job for you and your friends. Thanks for sharing the photos and story!

Karen said...

I planted celery this year and I'm really curious how it's going to grow! This was interesting to see. I worked on an outdoor paint crew in college and it was one of my favorite jobs. We were outside all summer and had the tan thing going, too!

Betsy Brock said...

It does sound fun...and yep, we all had a good tan back then! The darker, the better! I think the rows in the dark soil really are pretty. I'll have to look on my celery bags and see if it comes from Michigan!

Weekend-Windup said...

It looks good. They are doing a good job.

Sola Scriptura said...

Very interesting!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

My goodness what a great post...so very educational...I didn't know about ANY of this. Yep, I remember those days of sunning/tanning BEFORE we all knew about skin cancer. I've often wondered why some farmers back then was never inflicted with skin problems. Makes you wonder what their bodies make up was like and why they can't 'can' their blood to cure skin cancer. LOL....Sorry, got carried away.

Anyway, this was most interesting Mari. And thanks for the comment on the Caracara post.

linda said...

Very interesting. I had never seen a celery farm and really didnt know how it grew or where. That was a first for me, and I always love learning something new.

Simply Linda said...

How interesting! I had no idea how or where celery grew. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

Jennifer said...

This is so interesting. I have never seen a celery farm and didn't know much at all about how it was grown. Isn't it fun to think back on jobs we had when we were kids? Some of mine were terrible but really fun at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

Brooke said...

i'm not a fan of celery, but i share your love of farms. i think they are gorgeous :)

Jean Stauffer said...

Like I told you before, Dick's family were celery farmers. When we were first married, I used to help to get celery ready for market. One thing they always did was dig trenches to put the harvested celery into. It would then become bleached and sweet until it was sold. There was a very big demand for it especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are still celery farmers in Lancaster County who do that. I can't find any celery around here that tastes anything close to as delicious as homegrown, bleached celery.

Connie said...

We drove past the celery farms just a few days ago and we remarked how pretty the rows of celery looked in the fields.

Beth said...

Interesting. I've never seen a celery farm and never really thought of where it comes from. The field is really pretty. :>)

Susan said...

I haven't been on blogger much lately either posting or reading but decided to "visit" after posting today. I always enjoy your lovely, and informative posts, Mari. I love celery and actually never thought about how it was grown or where. Thanks for informing me!!! I'll enjoy the stock I just bought at the grocery even a little more as I eat it.

Michelle said...

This is a neat post.
Now I know how celery is grown Thanks

Ceil said...

Hi Mari! I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but I had no idea how celery looked in the ground. You taught me a lot today. The green against the black really does look pretty. So ordered!
I know what you mean about tans. I swam all the time as a kid, and we would put baby oil on and cook in the sun. That's like a sin today!
Happy Sunday :)
Ceil

Jenny said...

I love your stories of working farmland as a girl. And I never knew anything about how celery (which I LOVE) is grown, so I appreciate that knowledge! And the plants really are pretty growing in those straight green rows. A little sunshine never hurt anyone! xoxo

Haddock said...

Wow.... would like to spend a few days in a farm like this.