The Convent of San Matteo belonged to The Order of Saint Clare which was established by Saints Clare of Assissi and Francis of Assissi. The Clares, or Poor Clares dedicated themselves to the strict principles of Saint Francis, never able to leave the grounds of the convent and living in extreme poverty far severer than that of any female order of the time. There, their hair was cut round and they wore rough habits of dark brown with black linen veil and knotted cordbelt. They were always barefoot, slept on wood boards covered with a straw mattress, and were seemingly always fasting and praying. Viginia named herself Maria Celeste honouring both the Virgin Mary and her father with her name.
Maria Celeste proved to be an industrious woman for she had little free time to herself. The day was spent cleaning, cooking, and producing articles for sale on the outside such as fine embroidered handkerchiefs, lace, herbal medicines and bread in the summer when it was too hot for most other people to bother. She directed the choir and taught the novices to sing the Gregorian chant. In her few spare moments at the end of the day she wrote letters to her father. In these letters she enquired after his experiments and his poor health.
The convent did have a farm that was tended by outside labor. They grew wheat, millet and other grains, grape for wine and kept some animals. It is not clear if there was an orchard but fruit trees were grown around a central well at the back of the church. There they grew pears, plums, quince, almond trees, pine trees and olive trees. Rosebushes were plentiful and said to bloom even at Christmas.
At the convent apothecary Maria Celeste assisted the visiting doctor by fabricating remedies in pill or tonic form and nursed the sick nuns. Rosemary was grown for nausea, rhubarb was dried and used as a laxative, and rue to staunch a bloody nose or to drink with wine for headaches. A syrup made of rosebuds was used as a purgative: 'prepared from several hundred roses, picked when the buds were half open, then steeped a full day and night in sugar and hot water.'
Galileo's own garden grew lettuce, bitter oranges, portuguese oranges, lemons, grapes for wine (which was made on the premises). There were white beans, chickpeas, broad beans, capers, plums, pears, an orange tree in a pot, a mule for transportation and a dovecote.
Galileo and his daughter Maria Celeste lives were intertwined in inumerable ways and linked by letters. If you are interested in knowing more please read the book Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel for a fascinating look at both their lives.