I wonder if East Tennesseans put so much celery in their turkey dressing because it produces such a fine fall crop. We started several celery plants back in February. They are notoriously slow-growing and we did not transplant them until May. But by mid-July we harvested some thin, tough stalks that were suitable for flavoring soups. During the worst of summer's heat, the plants merely sat there, looking a bit bedraggled. Since Labor Day, no doubt with a boost from unusually abundant autumn rainfall, they have recovered. Although not as large as supermarket celery, the stalks are sweet and succulent. Ideal for sauteing with onions to add to the dressing on Thursday.
This year, as the holiday season approaches, why not consider food gardening gifts? Instead of a potted tropical orchid, give someone you love a kumquat or Meyer lemon in a pot. Perennial herbs in small pots make great gifts, too. Unlike a poinsettia, which will fade by January, a living food plant can bring pleasure throughout the upcoming year. It always helps to include a card with growing instructiions, and perhaps a favorite recipe. Want to help a friend get started gardening? Share seeds with them. You could put together a simple veggie and herb garden plan, write up some instructions, and provide the seeds. This is a great way to use up extra seeds at the end of the season. Include seeds you have saved, if you have them, for a special, personalized touch.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
John and Jerry