Category Archives: Farm News

Celeriac – seriously underrated, but versatile, winter stalwart.


Celeriac is the weird, knobbly root vegetable that customers see at our Farmers market stalls from late summer to winter. We usually don’t make a big effort to promote it because it is one of the secrets of the restaurant industry. Now in the lead up to winter, it is time to promote this amazingly versatile vegetable for use at home.

Celeriac is a variety of celery, Apium graveolens, that has been bred for its swollen stem base as well as edible stems and leaves. The crop requires minimal chemical disease control, compared with celery, due to the stem base being the main part of interest for eating

Celeriac has an ugly appearance, which can be daunting for the home cook, but when topped, tailed and peeled, the beautiful white flesh within is revealed. Its flesh has a smooth, stringless texture and a mild, celery flavour. It can discolour if not used quickly, so if preparing in advance, place it in water with a dash of lemon juice or vinegar.

Preparing celeriac – serious knife work.


In the kitchen the uses of celeriac are many and varied, from roasting, to casseroles, salads and pickles. One of its major attributes is its savoury flavour and it can be used as a component of mirepoix, the classic aromatic flavour base for many soups, stews and casseroles.  A mix of carrot, onion and celery or celeriac is slowly cooked in butter or oil to use as the foundation for many dishes.

Celeriac is low in carbohydrates, so makes a good substitute for potatoes and other starchy foods. It is also a good companion for potatoes and adds a deliciously savoury flavour when the puree is mixed with mashed potato or when sliced and combined  with potato in a gratin.

Used raw, celeriac is a perfect for winter salads and slaws. Finely shred it and combine with other crisp vegetables such as shredded cabbage, kohl rabi, apple or daikon, finish with a light, lemony mayonnaise. Celeriac is the key ingredient of romoulade – the famous French salad of shredded celeriac dressed with a light creamy mayonnaise. Shredded celeriac can also be pickled and lacto-fermented by itself or with other vegetables to make delicious, crunchy preserved vegetables.

Celeriac combines well with other root vegetables such as fennel or leeks to make beautiful creamy winter soups.

Read more about celeriac in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s article:

Bathgate Farm News – 21 April 2013

We are nearing the end of the big harvest season for summer vegetables. The next month will see an end to tomatoes, basil, chillies, zucchinis and all the other heat loving vegetables. The scramble is on to finish planting winter brassicas and other cool season crops.

Successes of the summer months include good germination and establishment of carrots and parsnips; promising results from new varieties of Jalapeno and Poblano chillies and good crops of fennel, celeriac and radicchio. We have had to cope with plagues of twenty eight spot ladybirds and green vegetable bugs in tomatoes and eggplants, which has resulted in a lot of fruit ending up as seconds.
The potato harvest finished this week. Yields were low due to rain in December delaying planting. We will have limited quantities of some varieties as a result.

We have a trial planting of salsify (and scorzenera) we will start harvesting in the next week (pictured below). If you are wondering what salsify is, then have a look at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s article from the Guardian: It won’t be on the vegetable list but let me know if you want some.IMAG0101IMAG0103IMAG0104

What to expect in winter:
Brassicas- kale (Tuscan and curly), Romanesco broccoli, violet cauliflowers, sugar loaf cabbage, collards, broccolini, purple sprouting, kalian and pak choi.
Root crops- parsnips, carrots, beetroot, swedes and turnips.
Potatoes: Norland, Delaware, Nicola, Kipfler, Royal Blue, Rodeo, Dutch Cream, Ranger Russet
Other vegetables- perpetual spinach, ruby chard, sorrel, herbs, wild greens.