Celeste in the Garden

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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!

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

July 1, 2015

In this blog, we are going to explore many various opportunities to raise and preserve our own or locally grown food. Today, let’s talk about freezing corn! Food safety has become a hot button issue—spinach scares and ground turkey contamination are asking us to take a closer look at where our food is produced, by whom and, perhaps most importantly, how. The very best way to have control over the items we consume is either to grow them ourselves or get to know the farmer who does. Eventually,... more

June 2, 2015

Whether you live in the South and are well into the vegetable gardening season or you live in northern regions and are finally starting to plant, I hope these planting tips will provide some timeless advice. If you get frost in your area, tomatoes, peppers, basil, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, paprika and summer and winter squash are all very sensitive to frost (for a free complete list to download, go to my website at: www.celestelongacre.com). In my northern climate, I started planting the... more

May 19, 2015

I love homemade whey, that cloudy liquid that remains after milk has been curdled or strained, and it can be used in many fermentation recipes. Whey contains probiotics which are “good” bacteria that is good for your health, especially your digestive system.  I add whey to all of my fermented foods such as sauerkraut, ginger ale, ketchup, and pickles. Our ancestors always fermented their condiments; this gives them not only probiotics but digestive enzymes as well. After two years of drinking... more

April 19, 2015

It’s incredibly easy to make crème fraiche, a cultured or fermented milk product that tastes a bit like sour cream but has more health benefits and is delicious in countless recipes. What is Crème Fraiche? Crème fraiche is a fermented milk item that provides us with many beneficial bacteria and lactic acid. This is delivered right to the digestive tract. These friendly bacteria help to keep pathogens at bay as well as aid in the fullest digestion possible of the foods that we eat. The vitamin B... more

April 9, 2015

Bees and butterflies have been experiencing drastic declines in the past few years. Many believe that it is because of the neonicotinoids (a pesticide) that were introduced in 2006. These creatures are actually essential to our survival so it behooves us to pay attention to our purchase choices and give them a little support in the garden. Stay away from toxic chemicals; we don’t actually need them. Even some flea collars contain these dangerous compounds. Try something different. For decades,... more

March 8, 2015

Avocado is one vegetable that is quite good for us—and easy to ripen with my trick. According to Dr. David Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain), they are one of the three best brain foods. He believes that avocados, grass-fed beef and coconut oil are essential for healthy brain function. He recommends eating ½ an avocado for breakfast as it supplies 15 grams of unsaturated fat and 150 calories. Avocados are also one of the cleanest vegetables. Their thick skin keeps pesticides and other poisons... more

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