Origin: California (via Mills River, North Carolina)
Improvement status: Breeding population
Seeds per packet: ~225
Germination tested 1/2023: 68%
Life cycle: Biennial
While visiting Asheville, North Carolina with a group of organizers of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance, Nate reconnected with the great Pat Battle of Living Web Farms. As Pat was showing the group one of their greenhouses (home to a beautiful 'Ultracross' collard planting), he pointed out a bed full of celery and told the group that it was originally 'Ventura', but it had been growing naturalized in the greenhouse for around a decade! At this point, it shows all the same diversity you would expect from a landrace, and it has slightly smaller stalks than the average Ventura plant, but the plants are nevertheless vigorous, productive, and quite cold-hardy. The Ujamaa team found the strong-flavored stalks to be delectable. This is one we look forward to trying ourselves!
Our seed comes from Patryk Battle of Living Web Farms in Mills River, NC, who continues to let the seeds pop up and fill one bed of their greenhouse every year.
Nate took the attached photo of the legendary Ira Wallace of Ujamaa and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange enjoying some of this celery in the Living Web greenhouse.