Gigi's Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

Black-Eyed Susan

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.
In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements,
let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worthwhile.”

-Laura Ingalls

 

I’m sorry things have been quiet here on our little blog space – with the gorgeous, but hot, summer weather, the gardens that need tending, the children that are growing and the lifestyle that cannot be ignored, our family finds summer time a very busy season.

However, I did want to share some news … as this is a dream of mine come true …

Folks, we’re not moving forward; we’re moving backwards.

Meet Black Eyed Susan, our new milk cow.

FINALLY. While we have had meat cows in the past (and present), we have not had a true milk cow. After years of begging and dreaming of a milk cow for our family (as we consume a lot of milk and milk products) … we have our special friend … who came to us from a Jersey farm here on the island. She’s lovely, she’s amiable, she’s halter trained and gives the most delicious creamy milk ever.

Welcome to the family, Suzy. You are a WONDERFUL addition!

Our 16 year old has taken on the tasks as milk maid – and she’s doing a fantastic job at it …

 

 

{Lovelyn is in charge of raising the beef calf that came with the dairy cow}

We’re milking twice a day, and so far, so good … we are so blessed with this new addition …_

 

I have had a few people stop our family recently, or visit our little farm, and comment on the children versus their own children … teenagers, they say, are always stuck on their phones, won’t wash the dishes, will NOT help around the house … can I send my children to you to raise?! they jokingly say. “I’ll just drop her off here for a week for boot camp and I’ll take one of yours home!” said one mother, laughingly, as her 15 year old sulked in the car behind us, glued to her cell phone, refusing to come out and meet or talk with us.   Well, I wish more parents would see that hard work and a simple life style of non-worldly-flashiness will bring contentment … it will bring out hard work ethics in your children and it will unite you as a family. Start with the little things (which should have been started when the child was young) like making sure your child *IS* doing the dishes, cleaning the house, taking care of the duties at home … and regarding cell phones … if you must give them to your children (of which I would highly advise against — read this article), then I would be setting some *severe guidelines.

Our children are only young once – and we only have one chance at raising them. Let’s give them the best childhood, set with Biblical guidelines, building up hard work ethics and a moral compass that is in tune with their Creator.

Now … back to that cow I was talking about …

… just look at that glorious cream line!

 

And of course, what does one  do with all that delicious cream?
Why, make butter, of course. [Have you noticed the cost of butter lately?]

 

Thankful for this butter machine, which was a gift from my midwife many years ago.

_

And of course, we’re making ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, ricotta, milkshakes … all sorts of treats!

 

We do also have a few beef cows that we are raising, but nothing can compare to that daily fresh milk.

I must go – we just heard our momma Lowline cow, Fairlight, had her calf! Farm life is never dull and boring … I’m so grateful for this way of living.

August 3, 2022 - 2:31 pm

Gigi Michelle, feel free to send me a personal email if you want to talk (gigigauthier@protonmail.com). I’ll be praying for you. I’ll think up some tangible ways to make life “simple”, but it’s not always easy to be simple! 🙂

August 3, 2022 - 9:49 am

Michelle P.S. if you should have any advice on how to live this more simple life I would appreciate that as well. I can’t change things overnight and if I try to incorporate too much it may be overwhelming, I know everyone’s situation is different but I SO DESIRE THIS! I guess a good starting place with be with the Lord and His Word uh? Thank you, thank you Gigi for your godly example!!

August 3, 2022 - 9:29 am

Michelle Thank you so much Gigi for sharing what works for you. Your attitude, outlook, way of living is so encouraging in MANY ways. I appreciate all that you share. Again, I so desire this simple living for me!! I still struggle with fears/anxiety and honestly get too involved with other things besides what I should! Appreciate any prayers! And yes, sleep for me would be nice and I don’t eat as healthy as I should so I am sure that does make a difference. I am encouraged by your “energetic life”. You are a blessing to me!! Thank you and have a blessed day!!

August 2, 2022 - 6:32 pm

Gigi Laura, good dresses are SO hard to find for little girls! This one is from a Mennonite store – not sure if it was a thrift store (Ontario) or made brand new. We used to live near the Mennonites (funny thing is there a large group of them here that we are dealing with now, also from Ontario) and they would sell their dresses used or new. They make fabulous every day dresses!

August 2, 2022 - 3:15 pm

Laura Jeanne Another comment here from me…I forgot to ask last time Gillian, do you remember where you got Lovelyn’s floral dress? It’s so pretty. I struggle mightily finding feminine clothes for Amy and myself. I never see anything like that in the stores or even online…I must be looking in the wrong places.

August 2, 2022 - 2:02 pm

Gigi Thank you, Monica! I know you feel my joy!

August 2, 2022 - 8:47 am

Monica Dearest friend, I LOVE that you have a milk cow. It just completes your farm! (Well, maybe you need pigs! Haha!) She is a beauty, truly! The milk is priceless. That cream line is amazing. I get about a two inch cream line. I’ve gotta have a talk with Ellie! :S Love to you, loving and believing your words of wisdom. xoxo, Monica

August 2, 2022 - 4:19 am

Gigi Michelle, so good to hear from you. How are you doing? I hope things are going well for your summer.
I kinda giggled when I read your comment- yes, I was an energetic young person, but now, I’m not so energetic, but having nine children, so many animals, a big garden and large family responsibilities, well, I suppose my energy has gone into different venues! I go to bed early now – with the sun! I eat well (although I did not when I was in my early 20s), work when I can and rest at night (Lord willing). When I go to bed, I pray that the Lord will double my sleep. 😉 Maybe that helps!

August 1, 2022 - 7:49 pm

Michelle Hello Gigi! I just LOVE and appreciate your posts! You are so encouraging in so many ways! The “simple life” that you and your family are living is amazing and not that I covet, but I DO desire this way of living for me and my family! I really appreciate what you said about children and work and the phone/technology issues. It is very real and so sad to see both young and old so wrapped up in it instead of doing the things we should as members of our families. I think it is an addiction! And I agree with EVERYTHING you said,..VERY WELL SAID!! Thank you for helping me!!
P.S. please know I’m not trying to be nosy but you seem to have so MUCH energy. Do you take any supplements or vitamins or are you just an energectic person? I admire the energy that you and your family have as well!! Thanks again Gigi for sharing!!

August 1, 2022 - 6:20 pm

Gigi Teresa, so lovely to hear from you! I would have loved to read your mom’s journal, as well. I bought the Walton’s real life story but was not impressed with the book (would not recommend it), and I would have loved to have read it from the mother’s perspective (she seemed like such a role model!). Hope you are having a great summer!

July 31, 2022 - 8:18 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Dear Gigi, seeing a post from you brightens my day and gives me much to think about. What a sweet cow! I loved the way you raising your children,that is how I was raised. I look forward to all the videos. Yes,I love beets! I have planted some in the garden this year. My mother had nine children,I wished she kept a journal on our daily life raising us kids. Have a lovely day, I think of you and your family often. Blessings!

July 31, 2022 - 5:06 pm

Mom Love this progress and all the perks of fresh milk. Way to go, Lyla!!!

July 31, 2022 - 12:18 pm

Gigi Laura, it has been a dream for quite a while now … I’m so grateful it is happening now! Suzy is a good cow to us already. We are not overwhelmed with milk because I’m making all the products, so we go through it all without fail. I wish I could share with your family!

July 31, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Gigi Hi Rebecca, yes, canning … I will never stop! Sure, I can do some more videos … yes, I have a new pantry and cellar! I will try to show you on the blog. It’s time to clean it up for all the canning coming in! This week will be pickled beets. Is anyone interested in pickled beets anymore? Well, we are!

July 31, 2022 - 1:26 am

Rebecca Oh my gosh that is SO awesome! Maybe someday when I’ve got some older teenagers I can get one. For now some goats are all I can handle! I love seeing your posts, keep them coming! Are you doing a lot of canning right now? I miss all your canning videos and posts. And do you have a new pantry/cellar? I would love to see it!

July 30, 2022 - 5:38 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh wow, how amazing! I’ve always dreamed of having a cow because we too, go through a lot of dairy products…but with only 3 children still at home I don’t think we could use up that much milk. But for your family, a cow is perfect. That cream is indeed amazing and what gorgeous bright yellow butter it makes! Just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing, dear friend. 🙂

July 30, 2022 - 11:56 am

Tara C Oh I LOVE that you finally have a cow!! I can’t wait to hear about all the goodness that comes from her Your farm definitely is growing!!

July 30, 2022 - 10:24 am

Regina Shea What a sweet cow! I’ve always wanted a cow, whom I wanted to name Mabel but our subdivision isn’t zoned for large livestock. Its so sad that teens today are stuck on their screens. Its sad adults are stuck on their screens.
Well Gigi, you have a wonderful weekend and coming week!

Life is Beautiful

“Your dream house, close to nature, close to the seasons, doesn’t have to expensive or big or costly to run.
Either look for the house of your dreams or turn wherever you are into a romantic setting.
Don’t put up with living in gloomy places. Anywhere can be beautiful.
It simply needs a little thought and imagination.
In the midst of all the rush and bother of this century, your home should be your sanctuary,
somewhere to be at peace, somewhere you can feel sane again and can connect with your family.”

 

{sea glass hunts on the beach}

{I had a thought to hatch some quail eggs … they are so pretty … I can’t wait to see the little quail when they hatch!}

 

 

The quiet of home life suits me.

Not being one to like big crowds, I am so happy to have no reason to visit big box stores or travel too much into the city …

The more time passes, the less draw the outside worlds has on me. Not that I ever felt at home in the big world (college years were a nightmare- I really did not enjoy being out alone in college life) … but now, it certainly feels like, if we are smart enough, we can make home an enjoyable, interesting, self-sufficient way of life. The lifestyle of growing your own food, quiet afternoons by the sea, reading good books while watching the ducks at the pond, rain drops falling on the roses in my garden, the daily chores of weeding and tending our gardens … leaves me quite fulfilled and satisfied.

 

 

 

{a project I worked on this spring – putting up this trellis for the climbing roses, along with a cute picket fence for garden courtyard}

 

 

{planting so many bulbs in the fall is always worth it – it was such a lovely way to start spring …}

 

This summer, I want to grow more food, plant more flowers, learn new skills (cheese-making?), put away food for the winter and save seeds for the next garden, watch my roses and children grow and listen to the summer breeze as it passes through our poplar trees …

 

This home life is for me.

 

 

{little ones are always mothered, never neglected in a large family}

 

{… planting more roses … because what women would not want roses in her backyard? I just love them …}

 

{the most stunning Japanese cherry tree blooms gloriously in our front yard in the spring – it’s a magnificent sight}

 

{spring’s natural crop of dandelions in the field}

 

{our new little gosling – one of six – getting some attention from Loyal}

June 25, 2022 - 5:45 pm

Teresa My thoughts exactly, the more I am home, the less crowds I want to be around and the less the stores have a pull on me. I am so content at being home. Season of life come and go things changes for a moment, but the roots of being home reminds deeply planted. Beautiful photos my friend. I love the trellis and the white picket fencing what a beautiful addition to your lovely home. Email me, Teresa

June 23, 2022 - 11:23 am

Erin Lynn Such a beautiful childhood your children are blessed with.

June 23, 2022 - 4:16 am

Gigi Mrs. Cox, you are so lovely. I miss your posts and look forward to ‘hearing’ from you soon! God bless your summer!

June 23, 2022 - 4:15 am

Gigi Thank you, Laura! I have messaged you. 🙂

June 22, 2022 - 5:56 pm

Mrs. Cox Every post is more precious as your family grows and your hard work reveals the beauty of a well kept home and well nurtured family.
You are an inspiration.

June 21, 2022 - 11:11 pm

Laura Love your pictures as always. Message me!

June 21, 2022 - 1:11 am

Mom Love the addition of the white picket fence and trellis xo

June 21, 2022 - 1:10 am

Mom Love Love Love this. Can’t wait to visit you SOON!! xoxox

Home: A Sanctuary

“It’s amazing how lovely common things become,
if one only knows how to look at them.”
~ Louisa May Alcott

 

 

“Looks like we’ll be without a truck for a while,” my husband said, as he hung the phone after a long and frustrating conversation with several vehicle parts supplier. Earlier this week, our trusty but somewhat-un-reliable family vehicle decided it was time for a slight mechanicl makeover, leaving our family of 11 driving at walking-speed after church service.

Stranded at home ?… well, that doesn’t sound like the worst possibility to me, especially during the month of May – a month filled with new projects, delightful garden tasks and spring blossoming on every lovely corner of the farm property.

 

Let’s see … where would I start with all my projects on my list?


Plant more roses. (How can I ever have enough roses?!)
Prepare more vegetable beds and plant many, many seeds for the future.
Plant out the flower garden with seeds.
Spread more seeds – wildflower seeds!
Clean up the homeschool/little library room.
Paint and put up a picket fence.
Plant 50 lavender bushes from our neighbour.
Plant the 20 currant bushes we received for free from someone re-doing their yard.
Make dandelion salve with the harvest of cheerful dandelions in the field.
Celebrate our one year anniversary in our new home by having a picnic by the ocean and searching for sea glass.
Bake a humming bird cake to celebrate the arrival of our little friends.

Yes, the hummingbirds have returned! It was a delight to fill the feeders and watch the calendar to see when they arrived – early May. What a long flight they take for such tiny birds! It is a miracle they survive each migration and return to this lovely little island on the east coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, a week of home-bound solitude did sound like something we all would truly enjoy.  In fact, the most joy I find is being home with my family, surrounded by our familiar sights and routines, our silly troubles and joyous occasions. My heart does not desire fancy traveling or incredible excursions – the happiness of home brings me much contentment.

 

 

Thankful I had managed to pick up some new roses bushes for my garden earlier this month, the week of somewhat social solitude stretched itself gracefully in front of me. The merry month of May certainly does fall under a category of one of my favourite months … with apple blossoms bursting forth, fresh forget-me-nots and gentle breezes from the ocean, filling the air with a now familiar scent of the sea …

 

Last fall, the girls and I planted  1,00 bulbs for this spring – and now, our patient wait is over as we are entranced by glorious colourful display of beauty in so many areas of our humble property.

 

 

 

As a special treat for May, we have also been making homemade ice cream and homemade waffle cones (after reading shocking ingredients in store bought goods). In Ontario, we were able to buy somewhat healthy ice cream, but have yet to find such a treat here. So, we have been making our own for afternoon treats after being in the garden. Not only that, but we find as a large family, it is not very cost friendly to take us all out for ice cream … so making ice cream at home only made sense to me.  Just because we are a family of 11 does not mean I want my children to miss out on the fun treats of each season …

 

Are you interested in making homemade ice cream? If so, here is the recipe:

 

Homemade Ice Cream

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup maple syrup (or you can use sugar)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups heavy cream

flavour of your choice : chocolate chips, mint (essential oil), strawberry jam swirled in – just think of the possibilities!

Beat egg yolks and blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into shallow dish and mix with a hand immersion blender. Store in freezer. Every 1/2 hour or so, for three hours, bring out the dish and stir again with the blender, being sure to include the sides of the dish where it will freeze first. It might require three times of immersion blending. After the third time, just place in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

For the cone recipe, here it is:

 

 

Waffle Cone Recipe:

1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (we reduced this)
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp. of cornstarch (I did not have this ingredient and I made it without and it worked just fine)

 

I ordered this cone maker from Amazon. The children basically made the cones and had a great time preparing such a fun treat for the family.

How are you enjoying your month of May?
I hope you find your home and your family life filled with the simple pleasure of every day blessings. xxo

 

 

June 11, 2022 - 1:43 am

Ruthie I’ve never made homemade icecream let alone the cones!! What a special treat!
What is a wee hummingbird’s cake made of? Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate them.❤
I’m trying to be more of a list maker and intentional on completing my tasks. It seems to help me stay focused and not side tracked.
Many blessings to you, Gillian, and thanks for this glimpse into your family’s life.

June 4, 2022 - 3:27 pm

Gigi Thank you, Teresa! The garden is in full swing now, with just the tomatoes to plant out … how is your garden coming along?

June 3, 2022 - 9:10 am

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Such a lovely post, yes, home sounds like a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing the recipes! I hope your car part comes in for you. I look forward to many post on your flower gardens, vegetable garden, canning and your lovely thoughts on home and family. Have a very blessed day my friend!

May 31, 2022 - 9:45 am

Kristal Those waffle cones look yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’m glad to hear things are going well at the new home this spring. I would love to see current pictures of your different gardens. I’m sure they look wonderful. We are just finishing up our last week of school. Then I too will be cleaning up and organizing all the school materials. We just spent the last few weeks working on outdoor chores/planting. It’s been a really cold/rainy month here. It hasn’t been great for crop growing and we have had a lot of seeds not germinate. I plan to try again for just a bit of a later crop. Best wishes to you Gillian!

May 29, 2022 - 2:59 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh, my goodness – your tulips are so pretty! You are surely turning your new property into a little piece of heaven on earth. And those ice cream cones look quite amazing…I just may have to try that ice cream recipe one of these days. It sounds delicious, and I agree with you about the ingredients of commercial ice cream being somewhat sketchy!

May 29, 2022 - 2:40 pm

Regina Shea I love making homemade ice cream. Our weather has been quite warm so I think its time to bring out the electric ice cream maker. Have a blessed week.

Spring on the Homestead

The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes,
and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

“They’re back …. the frogs are back!” I heard the children call through the kitchen window.

With the dishes finally finished and the kitchen put back to order after a morning of school and meals, I donned my boots and tossed on a sweater. Frog hunting is something not to be missed!

 

 

 


 

 

“Let’s go, children–  come, show me where they are!” and off we tromped to the pond in the middle of our field … hush now, everyone be quiet (as quiet as you can be with toddlers and anxious and excited four year old boys) or else the big girls won’t find the frogs … shhh, wait until you can hear them croak.

 

“There’s one!” one enthusiastic hunter squealed, as all the children made a mad dash for the edge of the water. Boots slipping in the mud, arms desperately reaching for their capture … finally, yes, one frog – a bit one – and one missing half his foot! – was detained — and released after a few minutes of investigation by the younger crowd.

 

 

 

Spring – a promise of beautiful moments, fresh air and a clean start … new beginnings and unknown adventures … what will you accomplish this spring and summer, I ask myself … life slips by so quickly – every spring is a miracle and every summer to come is a blessing.

 

 

 

Yes, frog-hunting is sure sign of spring for the Gauthier family … finding tadpoles and chasing frogs is an annual event around here… muddy boots, chilled fingers from dipping into the pond’s cool winter waters, happy little ones and mud streaked overalls …

 

 

Yes, spring is here on Prince Edward Island.

And for that, my heart is glad.

 

 

May 1, 2022 - 3:18 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Have you begin your garden yet? What are your plans for your Tea Garden! May your gardens be blessed and your pantry full!

April 28, 2022 - 6:25 pm

Mrs. Cox How wonderful!

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

I wish all children could be loved, nurtured and guided like these dear children.

I feel like putting on my boots and hunting for frogs!

April 27, 2022 - 11:12 am

Gigi Laura, yes, I agree – I had the same childhood and I would not want it any other way for any child! I love the freedom of the outdoors!
So glad you are hearing the frogs; Spring!!!

April 26, 2022 - 9:33 pm

Laura Jeanne What a very beautiful childhood your children are getting to experience…it’s sad to think that many children today aren’t outside enough to experience the joys of frog hunting. Oh, and the frogs are here in southern Ontario too! Amy told me yesterday there were 5 frogs in our small pond. I love the sound they make…when you hear the frogs you know spring has arrived for real!

April 26, 2022 - 12:29 pm

Teresa SF Happy Spring!

April 25, 2022 - 7:34 pm

Tandi Sypolt I love your new post. I’m new to your blog but have been reading all your posts for the last couple of weeks. I’ve learned a lot! You’ve inspired me so much. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

April 25, 2022 - 5:45 pm

Laura We love tadpoles and frogs. We don’t see many where we live, due to little wet areas. We also love the sound of the spring peepers, one of the first sounds to hear in the spring. What blessed children you have to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors!

April 25, 2022 - 5:28 pm

Monica So lovely! Spring has come!

We’ve been hearing toads croaking at night as we sit on the porch (another springtime favorite!). Music to the ears. Love pictures of the Gauthier children. ((Hugs))

{Victory} in your Gardens

 “The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946.
That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food?
Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests.
It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides.
It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”
-Joel Salatin

 

“What are your plans for the garden this year? Are you expanding?” asked my husband, one evening, while we gathered around the dinner table.  “Maybe we should …”

My eyes lit up. Usually I a met with heavy resistance from the Man of the House whenever I wish to expand our gardens. However, with this new encouraging attitude coming from his seat in the house, yes, I will most certainly enlarge the garden plot!

 

 

The little room off our kitchen has turned into an indoor garden, as we ready ourselves for the upcoming summer of growing food for our family. Furniture was moved out and shelving was move in, along with all our seed supplies. We will not be able to plan to outdoors until May but we can begin our seed planting indoors.

God truly took care of our family last year, moving us in time to plant our important vegetable garden which would feed us through the winter months and until the next gardening season – and now the journey continues, as my daughters and I plan out this year’s vegetable garden.

For the past 8 years, we have tried to grow as much food as possible for our family – to eat seasonally and eat locally. We grow our vegetables, raise our own meat and do our best to find the rest that we may not be able to grow locally. We even have been blessed with two hives of bees that will supply honey for our family.

Eating seasonally and ‘within the natural limits of your garden gate’ definitely changes your menu plan; you will not find strawberries *unless they are frozen from the summer picking* at our meals in March, however you will find cabbages, carrots, farm-raised chicken, applesauce, pickled beans and dried or preserved fruits. You do NOT have to rely on outside sources for your food needs. However, you DO need to adjust what you eat to fit what can grow in your zone.

 

Taking our inspiration from so many gardens throughout history, George Washington’s garden still thrills my gardener’s soul, as it incorporates beauty and practical needs together. If our family visits a historical home, I’m always keen on seeing the family’s vegetable garden, curious to know what they grow and how they grow it. I also love to watch documentaries on Victory Gardens – a time when people were not afraid to dig in the soil and work hard for everyone, including their neighbours and their country.

 

 

 

Growing flower borders in our family vegetable garden has certainly beautified our days working the soil. I am adding an edible floral section to the garden this year. If you can grow flowers, why not make them edible or medicinal?


Fairlight -our Lowline cow with calf behind her

 

This year, yes, we plan on expanding and growing more – as our family grew over the past few years, we need more cellar-worthy vegetables that will tide us over through the long winters. We will increase our onions, carrots and dried beans section. I plan on adding a larger pea section, as well. We have recently run out of carrots in our home and we ate our last cabbage, which means I should have planted some additional last year. Keep a mental check on what your family’s needs are will help you decide how of which vegetable to plant.

 

 By growing your own food – by planting a garden – this is how you begin stocking up your pantry. It requires good old fashioned work, but it is worth it.

Growing our own food and preserving our garden harvest has been a little bit of a passion of mine — and we have learned so much over the years, through success and likewise, failures. Last year, while we purposefully left half our carrot harvest in the soil to harvest in March, we were pleasantly rewarded with crisp, beautiful carrots early spring, grown the previous summer. This past gardening season,  we left our carrots in the soil again — but instead of being preserved by the frost and cold weather, they rotted away. And so, we learn and we grow and we try, try, try again. We do not give up.

 

Have you ever tried growing your own cooking beans? Kidney beans, brown beans, black eyed beans – yes, you can grow them all in your garden! — and quite easily. We grew them last year and throughouly enjoyed them this winter. (The hardest part was shelling them – does anyone have any suggestion on a time-efficient process? Perhaps the good old fashioned way of sitting on the back porch, popping the beans out of their pods, is truly the only way.)

Have your thoughts recently turned to preparing your pantry for your family — or to grow extra food to help others in need?

Buying in bulk, if an option, is a wonderful way to supply your family with dry goods and grains.

Do you have access to flour for your family?

Do you have a grain mill? While we had a grain mill for about 10 years, I recently checked them out online – a lot of them are out of stock, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to save to purchase in the near future?  Bread, good healthy homemade bread – oh, it’s so delicious, fun to make and such a good comfort food for your family!  The nutritional value of milling your own flour is astounding. Plus, it feels old fashioned and I like that feeling. 🙂 We are blessed to have a neighbour who grows wheat – we will have a good supply for a while yet. Not only that, but grains are storable in their original form – so we have buckets and buckets of grain stored for us. My favourite grain so far is Kamut.


{homegrown herbal tea mixed and ready for steeping}

 

Have you thought about growing your own herbs or a tea garden? This is one of my favourite aspects of gardening – not only are they delicious and beautiful, but the herbs are medicinal, as well. It would be prudent to build up your herbal garden, which will serve as your family’s pharmacy, as well.

There’s so much to be said about growing and raising your own food! Even in a small plot of land, it can be done! I recently came across a neighbour who grows 80% of their own food on .69 of an acre.  We, as women, need to return home, grab a shovel and find a place to grow your food. Carrots, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers … these are all very easy to grow. As one of my friends would say – there really is no excuse – you choose to do it or you choose to not do it.

 

 

Growing your own food, drying your own herbs, canning and preserving your vegetables, stocking your pantry and freezer are all ways of prudence and preparation. It does not matter what is going on in the outer world, as you, dear homemaker, will be busy, minding your own business, working with your hands and, with God’s blessing, providing for your family.

So, ladies – what will you grow this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2022 - 11:46 am

Gigi Hi Amy, yes, we have one! We are so blessed! Such a great use of space!

April 14, 2022 - 7:09 pm

Amy Have you tried a cold root cellar for storage.
A friend of mine has hers under a chicken coop.
When they built it, they put a basement under it,
poured a cement foundation and she stores her carrots onions, apples, etc. down there for the winter. I think my grandmother used to store them in barrels on sand in her cellar

April 11, 2022 - 7:03 pm

Lynnea Springtime greetings!

We will be planting more snapdragons and dusty millers in our garden pots and on our “observation” deck. I love their beauty and they do so well in our area as they tolerate dry hot spells and the deer leave them alone. Our daffodils look like they are just waiting for a warm sunny day to burst forth their cheeriness!

I have a grain mill just like yours and love it! I grind mostly spelt berries but also want to try einkorn berries. It is very satisfying to grind the berries into flour and then make a fresh loaf!

April 11, 2022 - 2:00 pm

Gigi I agree, Danessa! Your garden will be lovely!
It’s nearly time… 🙂 our violets are up and our bulbs are peaking forth … such a wonderful time …

April 10, 2022 - 7:23 pm

Danessa stride Another lovely post! I am longing to get my hands in the dirt. I wish our winters weren’t so long. I am growing potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, tomatoes, peppers, peas and for the first time will try growing Brussels sprouts, my seedlings are growing beautifully and I am eager to get started! And looking forward to some fresh eggs from our chickens soon, there is no greater joy then preparing food for your family that you have grown with your own hands, it’s a blessing indeed

April 7, 2022 - 11:45 am

Rebecca Love reading about your garden plans! We expanded our garden several summers ago and last summer put up a moose proof fence (the one downside of gardening in Alaska — moose!). I just realized yesterday that we are out of potatoes (other than ones that will be used for seed), so we are gonna increase our potato crop this year. I started my onions, tomatoes, herbs, and peppers already, and this week I hope to start many flowers. We also can’t plant until May, but the “garden” has been going in our house since February!

April 5, 2022 - 2:30 pm

Cathy Bray Hi Gigi!
It’s too bad we never met when you lived in Ontario. I’m sure we would have been great friends 🙂 We also grow most of our food and have filled the shelves with canned goods (also learned to pressure can last year), the cold room with root crops, the freezers full of home grown meat. We just recently bought a freeze dryer. I love it! It brings me a sense of peace that we can feed ourselves. 😀

April 5, 2022 - 9:51 am

Laura Jeanne Gillian, this post is so inspiring, as your posts always are. I look forward to seeing the photos which are sure to come of your beautiful garden this year. Thank you for the reminder that I need to start some tomato seeds as soon as possible! I have been feeling very poorly the past month or so and so I’ve fallen behind on this year’s garden planning. But with my health issues I’ve had to learn to just go with the flow and do what I can, when I can.

By the way, I’m going to send you a letter very soon!

April 3, 2022 - 12:04 pm

Mrs. Cox I love the three little farmers by their tractor….so cute!
I live near Joel Salatin and his Polyface farm I hope to visit them this year. They have an open farm where anyone can come visit anytime or take a tour.
I am planting a smaller garden this year as the deer have destroyed the last three years pretty much.
I am blessed to live near many U-Pick farms so until we get better fencing in our garden I will be picking other folks produce:)

April 2, 2022 - 11:47 am

Gigi Monica, you are so cute. I love your love language! Plants and flowers!
Regarding kamut, fresh ground flour contains more moisture — so you may need to add more flour as you need – I can add in a cup while kneading – it is definitely a learning curve and yet so healthy! You are right. It is certainly NOT white flour bread! We are accustomed to the white flour that using whole grains is so different for us. Try doing half and half until you get what you like. I love Bread Beckers (youtube) tutorials for help. xo

April 1, 2022 - 9:16 pm

Monica Yes, dear friend, I am growing more this year! The garden will be where I am most of this spring and summer and I’ll be as happy as a lark! Peas: I grew up having “pea shellings”. My aunts or grandparents would come over and there would be sheets laid down on the floor full of peas and or beans. Before the nightfall, the sheets would be empty and we would have had a blast shelling peas together…ah, so fun.

Question about kamut: I’m struggling to like this flour for bread making…I’m fine with pancakes but the bread doesn’t rise that much and isn’t soft and fresh…not sure how else to describe it…do you mix it with any other flour? Or perhaps add some gluten? Do you use your same bread recipe and just sub Kamut for reg white flour? I’ve been using my same recipe and we just don’t love it. Perhaps we’ve just gotten so used to the (bad) but tasty white flour homemade bread?!

Beautiful pictures! You know you’re talking my language. I love gardening more than any other hobby! (PS. Bought more seeds tonight at Tractor Supply and two fruit trees/bushes! I can’t get enough!)

Loyal looks so much like you!

April 1, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Gigi Yes, nettles indeed! So good for you! We had loads at our last place but I have not seen as many here. Drying is better, in my opinion, as I “lose” things in my freezer! 😉

April 1, 2022 - 7:13 am

Miriam I forgot to mention nettles! They grow without my attention and can be used almost in any dish. This year I plan to dry more of them instead of freezing 🙂

April 1, 2022 - 7:12 am

Miriam Another lovely and important post, thank you! I do plan to increase our garden, and I’ve been looking for ideas using less water while gardening, ie permaculture and hugelkultur. Living in Finland, I can’t wait for a month or two when the snow has left us and the joys of summer chores are to be enjoyed. As to having a grain mill I think it’s essential to anyone who bakes bread. Flour is fresh produce in a sense that it begins to lose it’s nutritional value the minute it’s ground. Fresh flour has stronger rising power as well.

April 1, 2022 - 5:29 am

Gigi That is so good, Susan! I’ll be praying for your husband and your family. I’m so happy to hear you are getting your gardens ready! ((hugs))

April 1, 2022 - 4:17 am

Susan We have land here to grow it is such a blessing, my husband is ill with cancer and we are still shielding, but my daughter and I are busy getting things ready to grow, our victory garden, as we call it too, it is good to work together for both our families. It is such good work, the verse from 1 Thessalonians is one of my favourites. Such a lovely post, thank you. Sue