More and more people are becoming committed to a healthy and wholesome diet. It is easy to buy almost any kind of vegetable, even exotic ones. The number of large estate owners and gardeners who are growing healthy plants on their own land is increasing. But growing is one thing, and preserving the harvest with minimal loss is another. For a variety of reasons, this is often far from easy to do. Chief among them, in my opinion, is the lack of storage facilities for the grown produce. Therefore, we must look for, and often invent, ways to provide vitamins for ourselves and our families throughout the year. This article is about storing celery roots at home during the winter. You will learn more about storage Root Celery in winter: A Year's Vitamins for Your Family by Bubgo article.
What Are The Benefits of Celery
This crop has been known and widely used since ancient times. As early as ancient Egypt, it was used to treat many diseases and to "ward off evil spirits". This vegetable was originally used only as a medicine.
Celery is not very common in vegetable stores. It can be found in the market, but unfortunately, at a high price. But the vitamins and other useful elements in this vegetable are huge! Therefore, it is worth introducing it more often in your diet. The best way to get the most out of it is to make the most of it. Do it independently in summer and autumn and provide reserves for winter storage.
There are different types of this vegetable, depending on its edible organ: leafy stalk, leafy and root vegetables. The storage conditions and characteristics of each are different.
Let's talk about the root form of this root vegetable. Celery in its dried, frozen or fresh form will greatly improve the taste of dishes and provide our body with useful elements. Celery organs contain the following beneficial substances: vitamins B, C, PP, essential oils, phytohormones, salts of useful metals, starch and some other substances.
Regular use of this root vegetable boosts the immune system, protects the body from viruses and various infections, and removes toxins. This is not a complete list of all the positive properties of celery root. The crop has a unique property: a single twig can replenish daily needs of vitamins and trace elements.
Why to Store Root Celery
Because the crop is rich in beneficial nutrients and vitamin complexes, our bodies respond positively to their constant intake with food throughout the year. However, the leaves and petioles are a short-lived pleasure. They are most useful during the gardening season. This is where vegetable roots come in: not only is it as useful and nutritious as the whole plant, but it can also be stored for a long time without losing its valuable properties, unlike the green part. The delicate texture of the roots is said to be similar to the medicinal value of ginseng.
When to Harvest Root Crops
Celery is a fairly hardy crop. In the soil, it easily tolerates light frosts. However, it should not be allowed to do so, as frosty specimens tend to deteriorate rapidly. Healthy, mature root crops can withstand frosts as low as 19 °F (-7°C). However, there is not much of a rush to harvest them either. There will be more time to prepare the needed storage sites, and root crops will be more marketable: fully mature, larger in size, and with hard skins for better preservation.
Dig up useful root crops later in the fall, when the soil can still be dug out. Pick out the roots with a fork and pull them out with a hauling rope, taking care not to damage the excessively long roots. Otherwise, they will be less storable. For rootstock celery, the leaves are usually cut off at harvest time, leaving small cuttings.
The leaves are no longer very suitable for use at this point. There are leaf varieties used for this purpose. These cuttings can then be used as organic fertilizer directly on the bed. The time of harvesting depends on the variety and the climate of the region at this period.
Rootstalk Celery Varieties For Winter Storage
For long-term storage, there are varieties that have been developed specifically for this purpose. The best varieties are the medium and late maturing ones. Rapidly maturing varieties should not be used for storage. If you make a mistake, root crops will retain their flavor and technical characteristics for a short period of time, or they will not be stored at all. In this regard, the most famous varieties of celery are as follows.
If you need a variety that can advance throughout the growing season and produce early stalks, try "Conquistador". This hybrid of 'Pascal' matures in just 80 days in warmer areas, making it an excellent plant for the impatient gardeners of the world. For those in cooler growing areas, you will have to wait about 115 days. Still not bad at all!
'Conquistador' sprouts very slowly and produces crisp, tasty upright stems. It is heat tolerant and can even tolerate a little drought. It's not automatically blanched, so if you want pale, almost white stems, you'll need to blanch this yourself. Or, if you're like my husband, enjoy them to their fullest. Sometimes you just need a crunchy bite of that intense, uninhibited flavor.
2. Giant Red
'Giant Red' is an heirloom variety that dates back to the 19th century. This hardy variety turns pale pink with fuchsia stems when cooked and is popular in the UK. The flavor is intense, more so than the green variety. What a great way to add color and flavor to your cooking! Make sure to reserve plenty of space in your garden for 'Giant Red', which, as its name implies, grows up to two feet tall. Despite its height, this colorful variety matures in just 85 days.
3. Golden Pascal
"Golden Pascal is an heirloom variety from France, also known as "Winter King" or "Pascal Giant". Introduced to the United States in 1913 by Livingstone Seeds, this variety produces yellow-green shoots up to 20 inches tall.
4. Golden Self-Blanching
This heirloom variety dates back to 1886 when it was introduced by the Johnson and Stokes Seed Company. For those who like the taste of celery but don't want to blanch it at home, Golden Self-Blanching is the answer.
While the stalks remain dark green throughout most of the season, in the fall they begin to turn a beautiful golden color, which indicates that the flavor is softening to a soft but delicious crunch. The thick, juicy stalks and deep ribs mature in about 105 days, and the plants grow to nearly 2 feet tall.
'Monterey' is an early-maturing hybrid variety bred by Tozer Iberica in Spain. It is bolt resistant and ideal for gardeners in warm climates.' Monterey is grown commercially in Southern Europe and is one of my favorite countries to visit: Spain's market-leading variety. An energetic grower with delicious dark green 12-inch stalks that can be harvested in just 80 days.
6. Nan Ling Cutting
A. graveolens var. secalinum, also known as a leaf or Chinese celery, is grown primarily in East Asia.' Nan Ling Cutting' does not grow large, thick, tight stems, but rather thin, light green stems that you can cut from the 60th to the 90th day of growth.
7. Tall Utah
This popular heirloom variety was introduced to the market in 1953. "Tall Utah" grows 12-inch crisp, cordless stems. It's perfect for snacking outside in the garden (peanut butter or ranch, of course). Of all the varieties, this is my favorite to grow with my young son because he actually eats it. Maturity takes about 100-125 days, depending on the temperature in your area.
8. Tango Hybrid
This sweet, crunchy hybrid grows extra tall: up to 18 inches tall! You can also sow 6-8" seeds instead of 12" for a larger, heartier crop. This variety also matures faster than older celery varieties - it takes only 85 days after planting to enjoy. In addition, it can tolerate temperature fluctuations and resist blight, making it ideal for beginning gardeners.
9. White Plume
If you like poetic plant names, White Plume is the variety for you. But the name isn't just for literary reasons: the plant itself grows compact stems topped with bunches of lacy, light green leaves.
Introduced by the Peter Henderson & Co Seed Company in 1884 and sometimes referred to as "Henderson's White Plume," this dwarf heirloom variety grows to 12 inches tall. It is one of the oldest self-ironing types, and its flavor is crisp and sweet. In the 19th century, it was one of the most popular varieties of celery in the United States. Hotels of the time not only put celery in their dishes but also decorated their tables with beautiful plants so visitors could admire their delicate stems and leaves.
If you can get your hands on the seeds, you will taste a piece of history. But eat your stems fast, because one caveat to this beautiful variety is that it won't keep for more than a few days after harvest.
Even without special preparation, these varieties will keep well.
How to Prepare Vegetables For Storage
The first step is to trim the leaves with cuttings if you have not done so beforehand. It is best to trim at an angle, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm). This will protect the roots from freezing and prevent them from drying out prematurely. Further preparation depends on where and how you store the plugs.
Tip: Before long-term storage, clean root vegetables out of the soil (don't wash them!) ), dry them in the sun, and discard diseased and damaged vegetables.
Which specimens should be put away for storage? Have the following characteristics.
1. uniform skin color, no spots or nodules.
2. The entire root vegetable should be equally firm and have the same consistency from leaf to tip. If there are any soft spots, they should be used as soon as possible. Such specimens will not be stored.
3. When tapping on the root of the vegetable, a loud sound should be heard. If it is muffled, there is a good chance that it is hollow inside. The fruit should not be put away for storage.
How And Where to Store Celery Roots In Winter?
A. Cellar, basement
This is ideal. A temperature of 33-86 °F (1-30 °C) and a humidity of at least 90-95% should be maintained. A glazed, insulated log cabin or balcony is also suitable. Refer to temperature figures at least 50 °F (10 °C).
Recommended winter storage methods.
1. Wooden or plastic boxes
Fill the boxes perforated for ventilation with clean river sand. All that remains is to place the roots of the celery vertically in the sand, leaving a small portion of the leaf stalk on the surface.
Tip: You can use boxes without holes in the walls. Place healthy celery roots in them and intersperse them with clean sand. The sand layer should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the top.
A well-known method that is also used for raising other root crops. Make a solution of sour cream by mixing clay and water. Next, soak all root crops one by one in this mixture and dry them, preferably in a single row, or in piles if space is scarce.
3. Sand (soil) and ashes
Place healthy, undamaged succulent roots in a low pile on the floor or any bedding material and cover the surface adequately with this mixture. The ash serves to prevent mold, rot, and other diseases. Likewise, sand containing crushed chalk can be used and poured over fresh roots placed in layers in different containers with the petioles facing outward.
4. Polyethylene bag with small holes
Put the prepared celery root organs together and tie them up. You can also use aluminum foil packaging instead of polyethylene.
Store in one unit. This is quite problematic, especially if the room is well heated. In this case, the best way is to store it in the processed form: dry or frozen.
Methods of Storage In The Apartment
Grind the roots with a coarse hole grinder and divide them into small single portions, put them in bags or containers, and send them to the freezer. You have a healthy, tasty condiment for soups and meat dishes. Keep it in this state for no more than 10 months. After that, all useful properties will be lost. It is recommended to use it without thawing.
2. Drying in the sun
Wash the dug-out mature roots, peel them, remove the skin, and cut them into straws or small circles no thicker than 0.4 inches (1 cm). Then place everything on a flat surface outside in a well-ventilated area to dry. Don't forget to stir the ingredients periodically so that they dry evenly. Make sure that unexpected precipitation does not interfere with the process. The finished pieces should be placed in linen or cotton bags or glass jars. These pieces can even be stored at room temperature, but not above the humidity level.
3. Drying in the oven and in a vegetable pot
The preparation method is the same as the previous one. Please note: this method loses most of its valuable properties.
4. In the refrigerator
Clean root vegetables thoroughly of dirt, cutting off the green parts and roots. Then wrap each fruit in regular food wrap or seal it in a plastic bag or aluminum foil and place it in the freezer of your refrigerator. This method is good for storage if no other suitable room is available and only a small amount of vegetables are available. This herb can be stored for about three months under these conditions. Unpackaged root celery will not keep for more than a week.
5. Salt Curing
One method: Take 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg) of celery root and 100 grams of pure salt, without any additives. Any seasoning can be added to improve the taste. Prepare the raw material in any way: chop it, grind it on a grater with a coarse hole, or grind it through a meat grinder. Spread in layers in a glass container and sprinkle all with salt. The container should now be tightly closed and left for a long time in a dark, dry place at a temperature of 41-158 °F (5-70 °C). Store well under these conditions until spring.
6. Acid washing
After the same preparation, the ingredients are immersed in the pickling solution for 15 minutes, then removed with a slotted spoon, packed in sterile jars, and poured into the hot pickling solution after seasoning with spices. The jars are then sealed and left to cool.
Pickling recipe: Dissolve 30-40 g of salt, 50 g of sugar, and 3-5 g of citric acid in 0.26 gals (1 liter) of water.
Prepare this healthy root vegetable in any suggested way and you will be able to enjoy unforgettable, richly flavored dishes all winter long.
Another useful use for celery root is to plant healthy specimens in the soil in pots or small boxes on your windowsill. Now you will be supplied with vitamins by eating the green celery leaves that grow regularly from the roots of your miniature vegetable garden.
How do you store celery? Share your tips with other gardeners in the comments.
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