A journey to craving celery.

A year ago, I could take or leave celery. I never understood all of these snack recipes with celery. Well, I understood why people would want to slather peanut butter all over it or fill it up with cream cheese and other goodies. Frankly, celery was relatively tasteless to me.

I’ve been a lifelong gardener (more on that in another post) but we never grew celery as a family. It was something that none of us really liked at the grocery store so why would we grow it? I would really only eat it when it was in a dish—and my mom had to cut it up really small or I would pick it out.

When I joined the Rise Gardens team, how and what I ate completely changed. Well, not completely—Doordash can attest to that. I started growing celery late last summer for Thanksgiving. Of course, once my celery was big enough, I HAD to try it. I wasn’t that excited but everything else that I’ve grown in the Rise Garden just tastes better. The flavors are deeper, crunchy plants are crunchier, and everything I had up until this point was some of the best testing vegetables I’ve ever tasted.

Then, I tried celery and I was blown away. In fact, I had to stop eating it so that I had enough for my holiday meal. I promptly put another celery seed pod in my nursery because I was in love with Rise celery. It actually had a crisp, deep flavor that I had never experienced in a store-bought package of celery.

Luckily, I didn’t need all of the celery grown in my garden because the plant was so large and fruitful. I happily crunched my way through snack time and finished harvesting the rest of the plant. There was a lag between plant one and plant two so I had about a month of time that I had to go without celery. In that month-long celery draught, I learned I was addicted to…homegrown celery. I was craving it every day for about 10 days. I even tried to buy organic celery from Whole Foods and I couldn’t muster my way through the package.

Once you have the good stuff, you can’t go back. Same goes with lettuce. Once you have lettuce from your Rise Garden, you’ll never want to eat packaged store-bought salad. Make sure you learn how to do crop rotation so that you never run out. Trust us, it’s sad.

After about a month, my celery was ready to start harvesting again and I started happily snacking away with my favorite new veggie again. It wasn’t until the celery was gone that I truly realized how the Rise Garden changed the way I eat and what I want to eat. Not only do I crave celery and can I only eat homegrown lettuce, I am always on the lookout for new things to try.

And, that willingness to try new things and make new recipes is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Of course, you are going to get bored with something if you only eat it one way. You have to mix it up. With a living pantry at my disposal, I have the freedom to mix it up and get creative with the meals I have. I plan my meals around the veggies that are ready to harvest vs. the main meat-based dish that I grew up with and continued for some time. While I’m not 100% plant-based, approximately 70% of my meals are plant-based now. Truly, remarkable.