Blanching is the process of blocking light to celery in its last few weeks of growing to reduce its natural bitterness and woodenness. This process also lightens the colour of the plant and reduces its nutritional value. It may not be necessary, depending on the variety of celery you are growing, how much sunlight your plants are exposed to, and your taste.
There are many ways to blanch celery, such as by gradually building up dirt around it so that it is in a trench, or wrapping newspaper around it. One of the simplest ways to blanch celery involves using inexpensive brown lunch bags.
- Stretch out the fold in the bottom of the bag, and cut it off. You now have a paper tube.
- Grasp the bottom of the celery, then move your hands up the plant, bringing all of the stalks together in the middle (being careful not to break or bend any). Imagine you are smoothing a head of hair to ready it for a ponytail.
- Slide the paper tube down over the top of the plant. You may have to stop occasionally to tuck in the shorter stems.
That’s it! Though thin, these paper bags block out the light and withstand heavy rain and wind.