CELERY: as we know it, is the cultivated variety of a plant of the parsley family, which is found wild in many parts of both this country and Europe. It is grown in large quantities in divers latitudes—New York, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, California and Bermuda being the largest producers. It was formerly obtainable only at certain seasons, but the finer grades are now on sale all the year round.
Celery requires constant care and cultivation, and rich moist soft soil of saline character to attain its best qualities. For early celery, the seed is planted in hot houses and the small plants are set out as soon as the frost leaves the ground. For late celery, the seed is sown in the open ground. The whiteness of the stalks is obtained by "banking" earth or other material up along the rows of plants or putting boards alongside for the same purpose. Some growers raise three crops each season, fol lowing each lot by immediately setting out the small plants for the next.
Every part of the celery plant can be used to advantage. The stalks and heart
are served in a variety of ways—plain raw, with various fillings, in salads, cooked in numerous ways, etc. The out side stalks may be cut in pieces and stewed. The trimmings are excellent for flavoring broths, etc. The seeds are used for celery salt and many pickles and seasonings.
Celery from Michigan and New York State is best from July 15 to Decem ber 1 or later; California ships principally from Thanksgiving to March 1; Florida from February 15 to May 1 and Bermuda from April 15 to the middle of June.
To keep in the best condition, celery should be wrapped in paper and held in a cool place. In refrigerated cooling rooms, it can be kept in good condition from one to two months. It may also be stored in cool cellars if packed just as taken from the ground, without either washing or trimming, heads up in long deep boxes and filled around the roots with sand, which should occasionally be moistened.