Don’t Waste a Bean

‘Build houses and live in them;
and plant gardens and eat their produce.

Jeremiah 29:5

Bent low, my fingers searched the leafy green bean plant for the fruit of our labour… my young son, only 4, was helping me pick beans that morning.

“Don’t waste any beans – find them all,” I told him, encouragingly.

This year, we are growing Italian beans, bush beans (green and yellow) and scarlet runner beans. It is nice to have such a variety in beans.

Across the garden, several children were picking fat ripe peppers – which were to be cut up and used for salsa and spaghetti sauce, not to mention eating straight from the plant as a midday snack.

One daughter was also collecting seeds from a flower that had past its prime already. Last year, the same young lady saved trays of seeds from her flower collection — thus, expanding her garden section to her own physical garden, shared with her sister. It has been beautiful to see them work together to create their floral display.

We have saved our sunflower seeds from previous years  – why not save other flower seeds? This spring, there was a substantial seed shortage in some areas. It only seems prudent to save as many seeds as we can this year with anticipation of things to come for 2021.

{saving pea seeds}

My thoughts wandered to the previous years in the garden when I would encourage the girls to pick everything that we could eat.

“Pretend it is the Great Depression. We need every bean,” I would often say, as they picked through the bushes.

{bee balm; also called bergamot}

Never would I guess that we would be heading into such a year as 2020 has played out to be. Who would have thought this year would be such an uneasy and shaky season for North America? In fact, just this week, I was warned of a looming  food shortage for the fall and winter months. Is that possible? We surely live in unstable times right now … and I would not be prudent if I did not take extra care and caution to prepare our household for such a possibility. I have all the hundreds of jars I need, the food is growing just outside my door, I have the canning lids (pre-ordered earlier this year from a bulk company – I knew I would not want to go out to the dollar store to pick up canning lids), and I have all the equipment. This year, I know many friends have purchased canning equipment and are re-thinking the way they look at the food storage for their own family. I have offered my daughters and I to a few friends to help out their ‘putting up’ sessions. Despite a possible food shortage, it is always beneficial to learn how to preserve and store your own food for your family. It is a skill you need to pass on to the next generation and the younger mothers, who are just learning how to manage a family. {Friends, if there is anything I can do to help you out on this journey, let me know. I would be happy to help!}

While I don’t know what the future holds, I do know who holds the future.

{Any beans that are too big  for eating will be saved for seeds}

{Canning tip: put your canning jar on it’s side and you will find it a bit easier to place your beans inside.}

Truthfully, my  food preservation work load has not changed too much from previous years, as this is something we have always done since moving to the country. We grow our vegetables and we preserve them. It is good to be prudent and stock up on the food that I can grow or attain. Already we have put away so much into our Provision Room … canned beans, pickled beans, blueberries, jams and preserves, corn (frozen and canned), tomato sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, beef soup, taco soup, cucumber relish, strawberry jam …


There is more to come. The beets are bursting out of the soil and are crying to be picked. The beautiful heads of green leafy cabbages are ready to harvest. Potatoes are ready to be discovered hiding in their brown earthen beds.  The ruddy rutabagas are round and lovely – maybe they will wait a few more weeks before I will pick them. The onions are drying in the wood shed, along with hundreds of garlic bundled up and strung to dry. (My 16 year old is selling our organic garlic this year as her high school job – is anyone interested in purchasing locally grown garlic? Just send me a message.) We did struggle with the tomatoes this year and while there is a harvest coming and tomatoes ripening as we speak, I was afraid there would not be enough – we were blessed to purchase organic tomatoes from a farmer to help us fill out the extra need.

But still … the benefits of a garden are wonderful …

In our garden, we are growing rutabagas and turnips. I happened to go to the grocery store this week – (the first time in four months) – and noticed the price on rutabagas – $5 each! There are about 20 rutabagas (which is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip) growing in their row – that $100 in savings and also one rutabaga a week for our family to eat.

Once we pulled up our garlic patch, it made room for a second start up of seeds – so we replanted another row of rutabaga, carrots, beans and peas. I am praying it grows in time and I can harvest before the frost.

{New rows of vegetables – extending the growing season into phase 2 … a second ‘wave’  for our garden}

Tonight, we will have a vegetable-based dinner, with all food straight from the garden that is growing just outside my kitchen door. Tomorrow, I will be making a vegetable minestrone soup for pressure canning … yes, the soup making time has arrived, as well.

This winter, we will still be eating our own vegetables and will be so thankful for all that God provided in the garden harvest. Today, however, we have work to do.

Don’t waste the beans.


By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,
prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world,
and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:7 –


Here is a link for you, giving great instructions for pressure canning beans. It is very simple to do, however you need a pressure canner.

How to pressure can beans:


September 6, 2020 - 3:35 pm

Gigi Kim, thank you. You are an inspiration to my girls and I!
I have written out the taco soup recipe on the next blog post.

August 31, 2020 - 9:08 am

Kim Robbins Gillian you are such an inspiration to young and older women. Your gardens are amazing. Can you share your taco soup recipe.

August 29, 2020 - 10:19 pm

Ruthie Thankyou, Gigi! That rutabaga recipe sounds delicious! I’ll have to find some and give it a go. ❤

August 27, 2020 - 11:19 am

Michelle Thank you again for your encouragement Gigi. I need guidance in my life. I have been so undisciplined in my life and my family’s life for so long. It’s going to take a lot of work to turn things around. My undisciplined life shows up in my children. I will talk a good talk, but then don’t DO anything to follow. Instead of seeking the Lord and crying out to HIM, I seem to look elsewhere first instead of the other way around. It should be Him first and He will show me what to DO and when. But your points are great, I just need to do it!! Please pray for me, I have failed miserably and I need a change in my life. Thanks for lending a listening ear and giving encouraging words/advice to lift me up!! Again, your blog has been such a BLESSING in my life!! Have a blessed rest of your day!!!

August 26, 2020 - 4:54 pm

Gigi Michelle – I understand it is a lot to do for one person. I would suggest a few things …
1) Get up earlier and go to bed on time. Hopefully, you can get the bookwork done early with a fresh mind.
2) Use your time wisely. Avoid any outside engagements that take you from the home too often. It sounds like you are in a chapter of life that will require 100% of your time and dedication. After God, your family is your first priority.
3) Try to be organized with schooling so that is leaves your afternoons free to do your homemaking chores/from scratch living that you are attempting to bring into your routine.
I hope that helps. Motherhood — especially one with homeschooling, helping husband, baking, creating, cooking, growing — takes a lot of energy – however, with the Lord’s strength, you can fulfill your role. We cannot do it alone; only with God’s help and provision.

August 26, 2020 - 11:07 am

Michelle I also was wandering if I could get some advice. I also take care of the bookkeeping work for my husband’s businesses. So with that added too trying to learn/do more things toward living more “simply” makes it more challenging plus homeschooling and every day life. Any ideas on how to help?? I think i need a GOOD schedule. Thank you in advance!! I want to keep a good attitude with it all as well!!

August 25, 2020 - 11:15 am

Michelle Thank you Teresa. I have went back and read SO MUCH on her blog. It is such a blessing!! I am so excited, but I must put my talk to work and DO! I must be careful to guard my time looking too much though because I will neglect what I need to do spending my time looking but it is so helpful and encouraging. I think I better set a certain time frame to look and then stop. Thanks so much!!

August 24, 2020 - 9:30 pm

Teresa Gigi, your garden is beautiful~ can’t wait to see your provision room once all your canning is finished. A note to Michelle ~ read Gigi back post you will find a wealth of info and encouragement! I plan to visit them again this fall! Take care sweet friend!

August 23, 2020 - 5:07 am

Gigi Great advice, Monica. I would say the same thing about my husband. Our lifestyle change happened, not on his prodding, but on my natural instinct to bring things back to the basics, from scratch, growing our own food, etc. desire in my own heart. I’m sure our husbands appreciate the hard work but they are not the force behind the “simple old fashioned” living values.

August 23, 2020 - 5:05 am

Gigi Ruthie, my sister showed me a great dish – you slice them up and cover them with cheese and bake them. Oh, it was so good! All of my children just loved it! I forget the name of the recipe, but I’m sure if I find it, I will post it here for you. Rutabagas are such an old fashioned type of food – no one uses them anymore unless you eat locally or seasonally or grow them yourself.

August 22, 2020 - 4:50 pm

Michelle Thank you again Gigi for your wonderful blog and for sharing so much encouraging things. And thank you Monica for your encouragement as well!! Very good advice. I am excited!! I want to do so much at one time, but I can’t and I don’t want to get overwhelmed or “grouchy” with trying to do too much or trying to learn because of not knowing how. I need to make some purchases to have some things to get started, but again it can be overwhelming. I do want to do this!! So pray for me ladies, if you will that I will do what the Lord would have me do at the right times with the know how to do it and using the GREAT information from both of your blogs can help me. Thank you both so much, I sure appreciate it!!!

August 22, 2020 - 2:09 pm

Ruthie Dear Gigi,
Everything looks so delicious! I love beans fresh from the garden. I remember eating rutabagas as a child, but how do you fix them? There is something so satisfying in knowing where your food comes from and how it was prepared. I think it can also cultivate (no pun intended) a greater sense of thankfulness to the Lord in providing, which you certainly have done with your children.

August 21, 2020 - 5:10 pm

Monica Gorgeous garden and beautiful photography–what a great blessing your garden will be and is to your lovely family! The hard work truly does pay off.

If I may encourage Michelle just from my own experience…my husband really doesn’t care if I am frugal or not (live simply, etc) and mostly isn’t even aware that I hang our clothes out, make all food from scratch, make bread, etc. Most of these things I do while he’s at work and I guess it’s become a part of us for so long that he doesn’t notice and he really doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t choose the easier route. I guess what I’m saying is can you live simply even if he doesn’t notice or if he doesn’t understand why you would want to? I’ll bet he will enjoy the electric bill being lower by your frugality. But, then again, he may not notice. (mine wouldn’t)…so I say unless he is directly opposed to your decisions to live simply, then go for it! He may not notice or encourage you (it can be discouraging when they don’t notice or show appreciation…sigh) in it (or even get on board with you) but you will be so blessing your family!

August 20, 2020 - 3:04 pm

Michelle Thank you again for your encouragement. We do a few things already such as a few things in our garden, I do can and freeze some. But after looking at your blog there is SO MUCH MORE I would like to do!! A lot of it, I don’t know how or not very familiar with. But I am so excited to do it!! My husband says it not a simpler life, it is harder and I think he doubts I can do it or that I don’t have time to do it. I do stay home for the most part and we homeschool, but I feel like we could make a lot of adjustments to help with this and I want my husband to be pleased with all of it and it not be that I am trying to run things. I just have this desire, I think from the Lord, to incorporate living, at least some, in the old paths. Thank you for listening and for all you have shared. I’m trying to space my time looking at your blog so I don’t take away from what I should be doing, but the blog is so good. I need to manage my time wisely. Thanks again!!

August 19, 2020 - 8:15 pm

Gigi Hello Michell — and welcome! It is so nice to hear that the blog has been a blessing to you.
In regards to learning different ways of living, I suppose it just became a necessity and part of the every day life. We knew food needed to be healthier, for a start, so that began a lot of from-scratch-living. Bread needed to be made, food needed to be prepared, gardens required planted… rolling up one’s sleeves and ‘just doing it’ is the best way to get things done.I suppose I have also eliminated a lot of extra activities in my life. I mostly stay at home, tending to the homefront.
And you are right – we can do nothing in ourselves. It is only through Christ’s strength that we can actually get through the day.

August 19, 2020 - 10:45 am

Michelle One thing I wanted to ask. How would one find the time to learn the “simpler” ways of living while taking care of her family and having every day tasks already? Balance the time, I guess I could ask? I know I must put God first and ask for His help, because I can’t do it. Thanks!!!

August 19, 2020 - 10:23 am

Michelle I found your blog recently and I just wanted to let you know it has been a REAL BLESSING to me. I am a wife of 26 years, mom to 5–ages 17 years to 2 years. I am looking to go back to “the old paths of living and helping my family, so your blog has encouraged me to do so. I have got a long way to go, but I pray with the Lord’s help, He can help me in every way!!! Thank you for sharing to encourage and help me!