The Provision Room {an Update} – Part I

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell


As it is now in the dead of winter, so they say, I thought it would be a good time to update how the Provision Room is holding up.

For those who may have missed the post, our Provision Room is an extension of our regular pantry – it is much more. With the goal in mind to be as self sufficient as possible on our little bit of land,  it holds hundreds of jars of home-canned goods – from spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes to carrots, green beans, apple sauce, pie fillings, jams and jellies, canned fruit and applesauce. There are rows of homemade soups and chunky stews and homemade chili, preserved and put up. Onions are strung from the ceiling, dusty potatoes are stored in the makeshift cold room attached to it and cabbages and squash line the shelves while sweet potatoes are nestled in a bin of wood shaves.

Dry goods are also stored in our Provision Room. Bulk wheat berries for our flour grinder, bulk flour (as our grinder is electric, I like to have both on hand in case of a power outage or for when the grinder is not able to be used), coconut oil, barley, different kinds of pasta, rice and dried beans of many kinds are stores in large totes.


Upstairs in the kitchen, there is the regular pantry (more to come on that later), which holds more of the everyday necessities. Between the two rooms, I am finding it an incredible blessing! It is helping me be more prepared at home, it means there has been a definite decrease in the need to visit a grocery store. Fewer trips to town saves time and money – and random purchases that are not needed. It means I need to think more about the meals I am preparing, use what is on hand and be a little resourceful and creative. It means I can come up with meals in a pinch, even if I have not planned out a week of meals. [This still takes creativity but at least I know the ingredients are available.]

Keeping cabbages in their whole state has proved to be just fine. They are now just beginning to wither and therefore, I will either make sauerkraut with them or spend a day and can the rest of cabbages.

Potatoes are doing splendidly – in past winters, they froze in our cold room, but my husband insulated the room this fall and they are not freezing.
The apples, which we picked from a local orchard and from our own little source of apple trees, are storing well – we wrapped each apple individually in paper and that has stopped some of the rotting if one apple goes bad.  I would like to have more fruit in the Provision Room next year.

I try not to freeze our vegetables because for one, our freezers (we have three) are full of meat {turkey, chicken and beef} and various items {cheese, butter, locally grown corn, etc.}, and two, vegetables in the freezer do not last as long. I also find it challenging to keep the freezer organized and tidy. I would rather line jars up and have them ready in a moment’s notice. [Does anyone have tips on keeping a chest freezer organized?]

From our labour in the late summer and fall season, we have enough canned goods to definitely get us through the winter and spring, when the canning sessions will begin again. I truly feel as if all the hard work paid off. It was worth every morning of sowing seeds, early evenings of weeding and more weeding, afternoons of canning and more canning.

I will be encouraged to plant even more varieties of vegetables this year, as I can see how it truly has benefited us – not just providing us vegetables for a few meals, but literally providing a winter supply of food.


Our weekly vegetables rotate with a cycle of cabbage, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans and sweet potatoes. All of those vegetables are in the Provision Room, ready for the dinner plate. What a blessing! There are no trips to the store to purchase vegetables when they are high priced over the winter.


For side dishes, we have rice, pasta or potatoes and beans. There are lots of variations to be made from those options.

Dried beans, which are a fabulous source of fiber and protein, are often utilized as they are just so healthy and cost-effective – and my family loves them! They can be added to  soups and stews to make them more hearty and “stick to your ribs”, they can be a side dish or a full meal, depending on how you prepare them.

Nearly every lunch is a serving of homemade soup {either canned or made fresh with the ingredients that are in the fridge} with homemade bread. Often we will buy bagels at the store as a treat I have not mastered the art of bagel making.  I love to serve soup at lunch time as they are loaded with vegetables and nutrients for all those little children who need it ever so much.

We choose to not buy fruit other than oranges and bananas in the winter. Our whole fruit supply consists of the locally grown apples stored in the basement, along with canned peaches, apples, blueberries and even some apple cider to drink on chilly days.

Having the Provision Room stocked has proven that yes, indeed, our trips to the store are fewer and further between over the long winter months. Having bulk baking goods, such as baking soda, has helped, as well. Late last year, a friend organized a bulk buying program which I then purchased many goods through her (such as chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, along with pasta noodles etc.).

If any one has thought about having a Provision Room or a deep pantry, I would encourage you with great enthusiasm to plan for one this upcoming year. There are so many ways it will bless your family.

How can you start this journey? Does the task seem unattainable?
Perhaps you feel you do not have room in your house or enough storage in your basement. Or you do not know how or where to start …

This Provision Room journey has been an ongoing journey for a few years for our family. It all started with a little canning with my mom and my grandma quite a few years ago in our home in town. After a lot of hard work and effort, it has shaped a lifestyle and a work ethic that I cannot shirk. I would love to encourage any mother or wife out there to look into ways of preparing and preserving their food for future times. Not only will it bless your family, it will bless you in return and create a healthy lifestyle.
If you are interested, Lord willing, I hope to do a series of posts to help you on your Provisional Way.

Stay tuned …

{Linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims}








January 27, 2017 - 2:09 pm

admin Jes, I have and that book is one of our favourites! We call our littlest girl, Lavender, “Phronsie” as she just reminds of her so.

January 27, 2017 - 12:22 pm

Sherry Wow! Your provision room is beautiful!

January 27, 2017 - 7:58 am

JES P.S. I am hoping you read the FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS? If so, Mamsie would be amazed at your provisions! 🙂 Such a sweet book!

January 27, 2017 - 7:56 am

JES To have such a room!! I always love peaking into your home! I will be featuring this next week. Thank you for linking up with us! 🙂

January 26, 2017 - 8:22 am

admin That is so true, Leigh! It does make it easier to help others with meals without a trip to the store. Good point.

January 24, 2017 - 12:00 pm

Amanda Omgosh! This is a dream! I wish we had a garden or enough space for this! Currently, (today actually) I’m trying to figure out how to best maximize space in our one room cabin’s pantry! How I wish I could sit and watch how you do it! I love your site, and your photography and will be sure to stick around!

January 24, 2017 - 11:53 am

Leigh I think there is just something about a provision room (I call it my deep pantry) that speaks to a mother’s heart. How comforting it is to see the shelves lined with jars of home canning (or economical bulk purchases) and bins or buckets of dry goods. It also makes charity easier because it’s not necessary to run to the store in order to provide a meal for someone in need.
Blessings, Leigh

January 24, 2017 - 8:22 am

Annabel Smith Just wonderful! I found you through the link up at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth. Your provision room is amazing! I am striving to have something half as good! Love

January 23, 2017 - 12:54 am

Lynda Lu Gibb You are a true inspiration!What a peaceful wholesome provision room you have created..

January 22, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) Gillian, such an encouraging post! I canned alot too but certainly nothing like you have done …. and I LOVE the provision room. Saving trips to the stores and also not paying high prices for fruit and veggies, is a wonderful economical idea .. think of all the impulse shopping you are NOT doing!!
Everything looks great … thanks for inspiring other moms and women to have a PROVISION ROOM. xoxo
PS, I too used boxes with cut off lids, for separation in the freezer. Or milk crates are good ideas too. xoxo

January 21, 2017 - 10:36 pm

Tara Amazing!! Love it! As for organizing the freezer, that was one thing that bothered me about stocking up. I used old boxes and cut the top flaps off. I put them in the freezer and separated things into categories in the boxes. I love it! So much more organized!

February 2, 2017 - 7:31 am

The Provision Room – Putting Up Jams & Jellies {part VI} » Gigi Blog […] Part I – The Provision Room Update Part II – The Pantry Part III – Make Your Own Mixes Part IV- Buying in Bulk Part V – Growing your Own […]

January 31, 2017 - 5:59 am

Growing your Own {Provision Room series – Part V} » Gigi Blog […] Part I – The Provision Room Update Part II – The Pantry Part III – Make Your Own Mixes Part IV- Buying in Bulk […]