How can we eat healthy snacks and meals while growing our vegetable supply?
Background: Propagating Celery
While working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be easy to eat and drink highly processed foods: things like chips, candy, soda, hot dogs, frozen pizza, ice cream, sugary cereal, and so on. While these treats and empty-calorie meals may be tempting, incorporating whole foods into your diet -- as snacks or ingredients in meals -- is necessary for obtaining the essential nutrients for daily functioning. Additionally, non-processed foods are ultimately cheaper than highly processed foods, largely because the processing of foods themselves involves a “value-added” (i.e., the creation of a new product) to the original ingredient(s), even though the nutrition itself is degraded in the final product.
So, there’s no question that eating non-processed vegetables is a good thing to do; moreover, you can learn tricks to propagate them at home, thereby multiplying your fresh produce supply. With the lesson below, you will learn how to do this with celery: a delicious snack (think “ants on a log”) and a versatile savory ingredient that cooks well with onions, carrots, apples, and a whole host of other ingredients.
Students will be able to...
Propagate celery stalks at home using common household items to multiply their fresh produce supply
Learn common ingredient pairings with celery
processed food /ˈpräˌsest fo͞od/ noun. - food that has undergone mechanical or chemical changes in order to extend the foods’ longevity -- a process that routinely reduces the nutritional value of the original ingredient(s)
whole food /hōl fo͞od/ noun. - food that does not contain supplemental ingredients to enhance its storage life or change the original food otherwise
1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies:
head of celery (1) · knife + cutting board · glass jar + water (filled about halfway)
2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to propagate celery. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.
💜💭Did you know … that celery is a great source of vitamins A, K, and C and contains very few calories -- making it quite nutritionally dense.
3. Identify the bottom of the head of celery (where the stalks are connected), and, using your knife and cutting board, chop the celery about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the celery.
🍽💡Time to eat … Use the celery stalks you chopped from the head as a topping for a salad, as a spice in a soup, or slather them with peanut butter and top with raisins as a healthy snack.
4. Remove a few of the outer stalks of celery from your chopped head. This will expose the base of the celery, from which the roots will grow.
5. Place the chopped celery head in your jar of water -- it should be somewhat buoyant (float), with the tips of the cut stalks sticking out into the air.
6. Place your celery fixture in a well-lit window sill, and watch for root development and new sprouts. Eventually, you’ll be able to transplant your celery into the garden.
Download the PDF version of this lesson plan: