Celeste in the Garden

About this Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer. Her new book, "Celeste's Garden Delights," is now available!

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May 10, 2013

Have you always wanted to have grapes in your backyard? Or, do you have an old grapevine that has grown completely out of control? There are several things to consider if this is the case—not every location is actually ideal for the growing of grapes: First of all, grapes need to be in the Sun all day long. They will not grow well if they are in the shade for all or a good part of the day. Wet areas are also not favored by this crop. Grapes do NOT like to have wet feet; they actually can reach... more

April 11, 2013

Broccoli is another plant that can be put in the ground before all of the frost is done. Garden centers sell the plants, but it is actually quite easy to grow from seed. I prepare my soil as usual. Then I create several “dips” or—as I call them—“water-catchers” leaving about a foot and a half free at the edges of the bed and, if it is extremely long, also in the middle. These dips will catch the rain and irrigation water and keep it right where the plants need it. I then plant six or eight... more

March 22, 2013

Another crop that can be planted early is lettuce. This is actually my husband, Bob’s, favorite so I plant it early and often. Lettuce is best when it is young and tender. As it ages, it gets bitter. So I get a mix (there are many, but I especially like Johnny’s Allstar Lettuce Mix) and I plant it every ten to fourteen days. I prepare the soil by adding my usual mix of additives (kelp meal, azomite powder and old compost or manure) then fluffing up the bed by either turning it or loosening it... more

March 14, 2013

Nobody is neutral about beets. You either hate them or you love them. I happen to be one of the people who love them…. Their rich, dark red root looks like it is loaded up with nutrients and flavor (which it is). Some even say that beets have to do with longevity. They are easy to keep in the root cellar and provide us with good eating all year long. My beet kvaas (see related blog) is something that I enjoy every day. Beets don’t mind a bit of frost so they are one of the crops that goes into... more

March 5, 2013

I love carrots. I put them in soups, stews and stir-fries, I cut them up for dips and I juice them for delicious drinks. I do find, however, that carrots are one of the hardest vegetables to grow. I plant them early (they don’t mind a bit of frost). I put them into rows several inches apart and cover the seeds with a bit of dirt. Then, I babysit them. Carrots take ten to fourteen days to germinate and they live for all this time in the top ¼ inch of the soil. This MUST NOT dry out at any point... more

February 12, 2013

Bone broth is magic! About twenty years ago, I made a startling discovery. I noticed that—if my husband, Bob, and I have at least two servings of my homemade bone broth soup a week—we have no problems with our joints. If we don’t, our joints get quite stiff and bothersome. Vitamins and minerals are water-soluble. This is one reason that we lose a lot of vital nutrients when we boil our vegetables and meats and throw the water away. Soup, on the other hand, collects these items and serves them... more

January 20, 2013

Seed catalogue companies mostly send out their magazines in December. This is the period when most gardeners have the time to sit and look through the colorful pages. Much information is given about varieties, how to plant and space, “keeping” properties and sizes of harvest. I have found that these helpful hints are fairly accurate and I tend to return to these catalogues when I have questions. Seed Catalogues I get catalogues from many sources including: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Seeds of... more

January 3, 2013

Canning and freezing—as methods to preserve food—are relatively new in the Grand Scheme of Evolution. Our ancestors (who did not have the advantage of electricity) largely fermented their crops in order to eat them at a later date. Pickles, relish, ketchup, mayonnaise, sauerkraut and mustard were all originally fermented. Depending on the environment, fermented fish, eggs, miso, kefir, kombucha and yoghurt were also staples of early Man’s diet. It’s too bad that we have lost our taste for... more

December 9, 2012

Well, the garden is finally put to bed so it’s time to do some serious cooking. I’ve started making this new egg dish that my husband and I both love. I’ve decided to call it a frittata although, technically, it isn’t. I start by stir-frying an onion and some of my frozen pepper pieces in coconut oil with a dash of salt. I generally get this going and then turn it down low while I tend to the chickens. This gives the onions and peppers time to get nice and soft (15 to 20 minutes). After adding... more

November 24, 2012

Peppers are such a lovely fruit. They come in many different colors, sizes and hotness. A green pepper is just an unripe one—give it time and it will turn red, orange, purple, yellow or chocolate brown. Regular peppers are a delicious addition to a veggie dip; they have a distinctive crunch and a beautiful sweetness (if ripe). Stir-fried peppers and onions are phenomenal with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and steaks. They also begin my soups and are a great start for a chicken or steak stir-... more


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