This is one of my most treasured treasures. About 25 years ago or so I was in an antique store in Kalamazoo with my friend, Nancy, when I admired this celery serving dish. I thought it was beautiful and unique and I especially loved the three little salt servers that came with it.
Much to my surprise Nancy went back the next day and bought it for me! I think it was for my birthday, but I really don't remember for sure. In any case, I was delighted. I often fall in love with lovely things like this, but never buy them for myself.
I love this dish as much for it's beauty as for the reminder of Nancy's thoughtfulness and friendship. But I also love it because it's such a nice reminder of Kalamazoo, which is known as the "Celery City," and is the place I always think of as "home."
The story goes that a Kalamazoo pioneer from England brought some celery seeds along with him, and that Dutch settlers eventually began cultivating it in the rich black muck along the Kalamazoo River. Before long the celery Fields were flourishing and it was not uncommon to see peddlers selling celery on the streets of Kalamazoo.
Today, California is the nation's top celery producer, Michigan only ranks fourth, but you can visit the Celery Flats Interpretive Center to learn all about the history of celery farming if you're ever in Kalamazoo and really want to know.
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