Granted, this may not be the way to solve the world's hunger problems, but it's a fun experiment. I saw a photo of celery re-growing on Pinterest, and I decided to give it a try.
I followed the Pinterest photo back to its original source on the 17 Apart blog and followed the instructions. Take the base from a stalk of celery, rinse it off, and put it in a shallow cup of warm water on a window sill. Change the water daily and keep an eye on it to see if any regrowth begins. As you can see from the photos below, there were significant signs of regrowth within five days.
Day 1: Celery base put in water.
Day 5: Celery base after five days of the experiment. Water was changed daily.
There was little to do except change the water and look at it daily for changes. As the middle of the base of celery began to re-grow healthy, dark green leaves and eventually stalks, the outside of the base began to turn brown and break down. That seemed perfectly natural, and I assumed that when I finally planted the stalk in soil, the outside would continue to break down and create natural nutrients for the new growth.
Day 8: Celery base with impressive, healthy regrowth.
It took only eight days for the regrowth to get to the point where I needed to transplant it into soil. My son and I took a container, filled it with organic potting soil, and planted the re-growing celery in the container. We placed it on top of one of the cinder blocks that border my vegetable garden so the rabbits couldn't get reach it. We probably should have surrounded it with barbed wire, too, because within two days, it had been eaten down to a nub. The %$&* squirrels got to it! I didn't take any photos of the celery in the soil, but for the two days it was in there, it continued to thrive. It didn't seem to suffer any transplant shock at all.
I suppose I'll have to console myself with the fact that the regrowth did end up as food — even if it wasn't food I got to feed my family. It would have been great to watch the celery grow into a full stalk to harvest later in the summer and eat (and then see if we could get the base from the new stalk to re-grow). But, I saw enough of the regrowth to know this was an experiment worth sharing. If you're curious, give it a try. And, if you have children who are getting out of school soon, this would be an easy, fun garden-science experiment to do with them over the summer.
From what I read from various sources, it takes two to three months (sometimes longer) for a mature stalk to grow. During that time, kids could be keeping a regrowth journal, recording what they see, measuring the height of the regrowth, and taking photos. My 10-year-old eagerly checked on the celery every day and took some photos.
You can also re-grow green onions from their roots after you've used the green part. I think I may try that next. I don't think the squirrels would be as likely to eat them.