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The celery leaf plant that I grew in the winter of 2011/12 did so well that this past winter I planted four of them. 4 nice celery leaf plants in the garden.

Celery Leaf Feb 2013

Celery Leaf Feb 2013

It was very easy to grow and I used it a lot in our green salads. stir fry and egg salad.

When the weather starts to warm up  I usually let several plants go to seed so I can collect the seeds to use the next year. The celery leaf was no exception. In fact, it is still sending up flower heads even though I haven’t been watering it. The bees and the butterflies continue to appreciate it.

Some of the seed heads have dried up and a few weeks ago I went out and clipped a few to collect the seeds for planting again this fall. The others, I just left out there. I had plans to get it pulled up and in the compost tumbler, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I am glad.

The one thing I didn’t connect the dots on was celery seed is celery seed! Not sure how I missed that…. but luckily some of my brain waves were firing last week when I was making up the dilled green cherry tomatoes . Celery seed was the one thing I added to Nancy’s recipe… so I guess it was in the front of my mind. Celery seed is celery seed.

Celery seed

Celery seed

I dusted off one of the screens for the drying rack and I marched back out to the garden with the clippers. I clipped several stalks of celery leaf with lovely mature seed heads. We had a sprinkling of rain that morning so those seed heads are quite wet. They are now resting on the drying rack, drying out a bit. I left several mature stalks out in the garden and will let them dry naturally before I cut and bring them in to dry out a bit more.

I have been watching the celery leaf go to seed for a few months. Somehow I never connected “celery seeds” to “celery seeds”

Am I making any sense?

Has something every stared you in the face for a while before you had the “ah ha” moment?

Sincerely, Emily

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okra

Every year that I garden I realize so much more just how important heirloom plants are. I know that I’m carrying on a legacy and helping to keep a variety of plant alive another year. Some of these plants are considered in danger of extinction by Slow Food USA via the Ark of Taste.

Take the Cherokee Trail of Tears for example. This one I find close to my heart since we live in former Cherokee land.

The Cherokee Trail of Tears bean memorializes the forced relocation of the Cherokee Indians in the mid-nineteenth century. They carried this bean throughout this infamous walk, which became the death march for thousands of Cherokees; hence the Trail of Tears.’*

All heirlooms have a little story behind them, whether they were the county fair winner 70 years ago or have a tremendous impact on the lives of a people like the Trail of Tears bean. We even try to “grow” heritage chickens to keep the lineage going for another few years.

basket of 'maters

Some may call me a plant snob (including Hubby), but I’m fine by that. When I plant heirlooms I’m free to save my own seed without fear of losing any of the original plant’s qualities as you can with hybrids. I know that my tomato plants will be disease resistant and have great flavor. I also know that I’m avoiding GMOs and will avoid repercussion from any companies by saving seed legally or illegally.

jacob's cattle

If you plan to save seed, avoid any hybrids. I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself. I’ve bought plants thinking I was purchasing an heirloom, only to find it was an F1 hybrid. Ack. You can’t save seed from an F1 hybrid because the resulting seedlings will not come true to seed. I bought turkeys thinking they were an heirloom breed, but they’re a hybrid and grow too big to reproduce naturally (and I am not about to assist them). Besides, turkey’s don’t require a paintbrush to reproduce as most open-pollinated plants do….

Do you grow heirloom or rare plants in your gardens?

*From Ark of Taste

You can also find me blarging away at Unearthing this Life where I ramble about living with a dozen chicken, 3 guinea, and 3 turkey – and I’m not referring to family.

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