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Florida-Agriculture.com
Division of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mayo Building, M-9
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800
(850) 617-7300

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner
April = Celery + Bell Pepper

Celery
Celery
Bell Pepper
Bell Pepper


Celery

Find out where celery is grown in Florida
Download a small version of the Fresh-2-U poster for April
Download an image of celery
Download coloring pages for celery
USDA nutritional information for celery

Celery originated in the Mediterranean countries where early plants were very primitive and were used primarily for medicinal purposes. The first use of celery as a food was for flavoring and was recorded in France in 1623. Celery grows wild in wet places all over Europe. Florida is one of the top areas for commercial production of celery today, where it is available from November through June.

Two pieces of Celery.

When selecting celery, look for crisp, firm stalks that are brittle enough to snap easily. Choose light to medium stalks with a glossy surface, and avoid wilted celery with cracked, bruised, loose, or broken stalks. One medium stalk of celery weighs about 1-1/2 pounds and yields four to five cups of chopped raw celery or three to four cups of chopped cooked celery.

Wash celery with cold water. Remove any damaged or old-looking parts, but trim as little as possible. Slice across the entire stalk at one time like a loaf of bread. Slice down to within inches of the base. Cut only the amount you will use in one day. Dice stalks or cut into slices or strips.

Celery is a low calorie snack that doubles as a good source of fiber. It provides useful amounts of vitamins A and C, and folic acid. Celery is also an excellent tooth cleanser.

Bell Pepper

Find out where bell peppers are grown in Florida
Download a small version of the Fresh-2-U poster for April
Download an image of bell peppers
Download coloring pages for bell peppers
USDA nutritional information for bell peppers

Although peppers are native to tropical America, their culture and use were widespread in Europe before they became popular in the United States. Peppers were introduced into Spain in 1493 and were known in Europe by 1585. They were taken to India and southeastern Asia in the 17th century. In 2000, Florida ranked number two in the nation in the value of bell peppers produced.

Three Bell Peppers

When buying peppers, look for firm, vividly colored ones with smooth and shiny skin and without soft spots. Avoid dull or shriveled peppers or any with spots that look like blisters.

Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, and provide some vitamin A and vitamin E. Peppers also provide potassium and dietary fiber.

Rinse peppers just prior to preparation. Cut peppers open and remove the seeds and white tissue. Peppers are damaged easily and should be handled carefully. Typical shelf life is 8 to 10 days.

Florida bell peppers are available from October through July.

Click on the months below to view other featured fruits and vegetables. July and August do not have featured fruits and vegetables.

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