{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