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 2, 2016

Ever heard of kimchi?  It’s a very nourishing and traditional fermented side dish made with vegetables. I have my own variation which I hope you’ll enjoy. What are Fermented Foods? In fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, there are large amounts of enzymes greatly aid the process of digestion. Our ancestors traditionally fermented their pickles, ketchups and other vegetables. These condiments, when served with their cooked food, provided digestive enzymes to help the body assimilate ... more

April 25, 2016

Mayonnaise is something that can be made and fermented at home. It’s actually a very good idea to make your own as most of the brands found in the supermarket are made with inferior and sometimes unhealthy oils. Ferments are becoming quite popular these days. As our gut biome is used to the probiotics and digestive enzymes that they provide, it’s a good idea to eat some on a regular basis.  Fermented Mayonaise Recipe You will need a food processor or hand blender and these ingredients: 3... more

April 4, 2016

Fruit kvass is an exceptionally easy-to-make probiotic drink that should be in everyone’s repertoire. For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors used fermentation as the main method of preservation of their food. Without refrigeration or the ability to can, they relied on the workings of natural microorganisms to change their fresh harvests into storable ones. They made and ate fermented sauerkraut, kimchee, grains, pulses, milk, fish, meat and vegetables. This process not only preserved... more

March 3, 2016

Ever tried sowed seeds outside in the hard winter ground? My friend, Jackie Caserta told me about this new idea and it sounded pretty easy so I decided to give it a try.  Granted, this is an experiment on my part, but the woman who wrote about it, Trudi Davidoff, said that these plants ended up being much hardier and healthier than anything started inside. It’s best to use cold-hardy plants so I decided to try some lettuce, broccoli and Swiss chard. The idea is that you sow seeds into mini-... more

December 16, 2015

Here’s one of my favorite Stir-Fry recipes using bone broth. It’s good for you and good tasting! Bone broth soup is really good for us. I noticed over 30 years ago that—if my husband, Bob, and I have at least two servings a week of my homemade soup—we have no problems with our joints. When I forget, my knees really bother me. So I have learned to incorporate the broth into as many meals as possible. Click for Bone Broth Soup Recipe One delicious way to eat it is in a stir-fry! Begin by... more

October 28, 2015

In some places, gladiolas can be left in the ground all winter. In colder climates, though, they would freeze and die. Gladiolus can be saved, though, placed in the root cellar and replanted in the spring. Here’s how. First, gently dig the entire gladiolus plant and place on newspapers in a shady spot that won’t get frosted. A porch is ideal. Let them sit there for a week or two until the stems easily pull away from the corms.  Next, separate the new corms from the old ones. Often, a... more

October 8, 2015

For many years, I have used very dry sand to store my beets and carrots in buckets in the root cellar. However, last year I had a problem getting the sand dry. I used to wait for a particularly dry stretch in August then take some buckets, a shovel and a hard hat to a sand depot nearby. I would drive in and scoop the sand off the top of the many mountains where it was bone dry. Last year there was a new system. The gravel owner had built a box outside of his fence. He had a backhoe put... more

September 30, 2015

Digging potatoes has got to be one of the most pleasurable aspects of gardening. It’s buried treasure! Will there be lots of them or just a few? Either way, there are some critical steps to preparing them for winter storage in the root cellar. Take a pitchfork and dig in quite a bit away from the plant. Lift the soil to loosen it. Then, with gloved hands, gently reach around feeling for the potatoes. They tend to grow close to the now-dead vines. They also form above where the original potato... more

September 12, 2015

Our ancestors knew how to preserve food—they had root cellars, storing large amounts of produce in the cool underground. This allowed them to partake of fresh vegetables through all those cold winter months and on into the spring. What is a Root Cellar? What is a root cellar? It can be created in several different ways, but it mostly is a space dug into the ambient temperature of the Earth (55 degrees) and utilized to store beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes and other root crops through the ... more

August 15, 2015

With canned tomatoes, enjoy that garden-fresh tomato taste in sauces, soups and stews all year long! Here’s how I can tomatoes: First, when it comes to canning tomatoes for the rest of the year, I like to let my tomatoes get super-ripe on the vine. Farmers really don’t have this luxury as the fruit becomes too easy to bruise at this stage. However, they will continue to ripen in the box or on the counter so it’s best to purchase your canning tomatoes a few days in advance of the processing. I... more

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