Grow Your Own Food: {2022}

“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.

– Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm


Are you busy filling your larder, mothers and wives?

Now is the time!

This summer has been such a busy one – as we expanded our garden and grew more food this year. With possible looming food shortages and inflation, it only seemed prudent to grow more and preserve more food
This year, in our garden, we are growing all the usual for us that will tide us through the winter months until the next growing season – strawberries, carrots, lettuce, spinach, garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, beets, potatoes, a large variety herbs, beans, peas, corn, cooking beans, along with summer and winter squash.


As August has just begun, we are in the midst of harvesting more of our vegetables, which is a wonderful feeling, although somewhat exhausting.  It is such a pleasure to garden – it seems the past 10 years of gardening has been a learning curve for all of us, but especially me, as the main food organizer of a family of 11. It is a large responsibility, one I was not prepared for but became prepared over necessity.

With canning, freezing and dehydrating, our freezers, pantry and Provision Room will soon be filled to the brim.  If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I plant enough vegetables and food to get us through the winter – so my vegetables are on a rotation of from October-April – the vegetable rotation would be carrots, beets, squash, cabbage, corn, beans and zucchini. We also eat a lot of potatoes! When I plant the garden, I need to ensure I will have enough per week for at least seven months of the year, seeing as we live in a cooler climate than, for example, the southern states.


“Food security is not in the supermarket.
It’s not in the government.
It’s not at the emergency services division.
True food security is the historical normalcy of packing it in during the abundant times, building that in-house larder, and resting easy knowing that our little ones are not dependent on next week’s farmers’ market or the electronic cashiers at the supermarket.”

Joel Salatin

Today, the younger girls and I  pressure canned zucchini and picked cucumbers. Yesterday, we were canning and freezing green beans and making pickled beans. Tomorrow, we will probably do the same. Earlier this week, we were canning pickled beets. Next week, we will be working on dozens and dozens of corn, along with curing our onions and potatoes (which I made sure we had enough to get us through the winter – last year, we ran out of onions). Right now, my husband is drying our garlic harvest in our barn.  Soon, it will also be honey harvesting time, along with butchering our meat cow and then followed by bushels and bushels of tomatoes, Lord willing. It is wonderful to know such a harvest is here and rolling in!



Of course, in our garden, we always plant flowers – as it brings beauty and joy into our gardening tasks. It also encourages the friendly bees to stop by!


We also planted a second garden -a market flower garden. The girls have been selling flowers at the local farmer’s market on the weekends. It is a wonderful addition to our gardening and it is so much fun – who doesn’t love to garden with brightly coloured flowers surrounding you? It’s rather dreamy, to be honest.



Earlier this month, we picked raspberries and strawberries as a family. I froze some, turned some into jam and am making a second batch of jam in my crockpot right now. Use all your kitchen maids, ladies – they come in handy! The dehydrator, the crockpot … all those goodies will help you out in this busy harvest time. I’m dehydrating huge batches of lemon balm for tea in the winter, as that was one of my tea harvests.


A few weeks ago, my husband stopped to look for a specific herb for me that I was missing in my garden. He came home with the trailer filled with herbs that the greenhouse was throwing away – what a gift! It immediately doubled the size of my herb garden … I cannot think of a better gift for someone! I gave some of the herbs to my neighbour, who recently planted her first garden. Herbs are a gift that keeps giving, as they come back every year. Not only are they amazing for cooking, they are a medicinal garden for the family!

With the world talking about food shortages, famines, seed shortages, meat shortages, now is the not the time to lazy and complacent, mothers.

I feel the Lord has prepared for me for this very moment, after years of gardening and trying to live off our little piece of land – I’m so glad I do not have to panic and rush about, wondering what to do. However, if you have not grown your own garden, harvests are coming into farmer’s markets and there is no excuse to go get some good food and can or preserve for your family. Here on the island, there is a bulk food produce business, as well, where you can get bags and bags of vegetables when they are in season. I have peaches on order from a local Mennonite and also plums, which I will preserve for the Provision Room. Blueberry season is approaching and we, as a family, will be picking blueberries, as well.


Be prudent, dear mothers, and you will hard work will pay off. Do not be weary in this season – encourage one another and keep working hard at providing for your families. xo


Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

August 15, 2022 - 8:22 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Gigi,Hey! Ive canned soups and ready meals as of lately. I have canned butter from the freezer as well. As for veggies the normal stuff green beans, salsa, squash, apples, and pizza sauce. I hope to put up more as time goes on. How about you? The girls went to several youth camps and I have been busy with puppies this summer.
Email when you can !

August 14, 2022 - 3:59 am

Gigi Hello Danessa, how has your summer been? I still look forward to possibly one day meeting up! Regarding your garden, do you have ducks? (As in farm ducks) They are great for eating up slugs. I know you can use crushed-up egg shells around your border of your garden – it will prevent the slugs from crossing (or at least around the problem areas).

August 13, 2022 - 9:05 pm

Danessa stride You have a beautiful garden! I too grow some vegetables, on a much smaller scale as you. I do have a question, I’m struggling with my crops getting eaten up by slugs, my peppers, kale, lettuce my Brussel sprouts, beans etc, it is so discouraging, I was just curious do you have any advise?

August 13, 2022 - 4:22 pm

Gigi Stacy, you are so sweet! You are posting on the blog – my email is I hope you and hubby are doing well! Are any of your children married?! 😀 I think of you often – oh, it was SO long ago, wasn’t it?! A lifetime ago! I think of you lots though and treasure our times together! xoxoxoxox Love you!

August 13, 2022 - 2:21 pm

stacy murphy I am not sure if this is actually commenting on the post or just sending you a message… but either way I hope it reaches you!!! I still look at your blog regularly and I just always smile. I loooooove how you are choosing to live your life and raise your family and you never cease to amaze me with all you do… and that you do it with such a positive, loving, open heart. Your garden is EXQUISITE and the kids are getting so big!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your posts and I miss you dearly. HAPPY HARVESTING!!!! Love, Stacy

August 13, 2022 - 4:34 am

Gigi Teresa, that is great about your garden. what have been canning? I always love to hear what others are up to! Hope you are doing well! Summer is flying by!

August 12, 2022 - 11:47 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Beautiful garden, photo’s and children. In uncertain times, a person is very wise to put up all they can from the garden. I put out a good size garden this spring and I have been canning. I look forward to your pantry tour! Hugs to you sweet friend. Thank you for the encouragement.

August 11, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Gigi Laura, Praise God! That is good news! Do let me know when you have time (I just received your letter and am working on a reply!). That is a wonderful answer to prayer!
Yes, working within your limits, especially with health concerns, is important. My dear friend says “Here a little, there a little”. and I like to quote Patch the Pirate … “Little by little, bit by bit, by the yard it’s hard, by inch it’s a cinch!” One step at a time! xo

August 11, 2022 - 2:41 pm

Gigi Hi Liz, ohhhh, garlic is a whole different post for me! I am writing it up this week. I will share soon!

August 11, 2022 - 12:06 pm

Liz Would love to see a photo of how you dry your garlic. Also what do you do with your garlic scapes? We tried just frying them and eating them plain but didn’t like it. This year I tried scape butter. Just always curious what others do with their garlic scapes.

August 11, 2022 - 11:33 am

Laura Jeanne What beautiful photography (as always). I hope some day I can have the chance to stroll through your lovely gardens. <3

I too, love pickled beets. I use the same basic recipe as you do but I like to add peppercorns, red onion or sweet onion, and a bay leaf in each jar. I love having a jar of beets in the fridge to add a bit of extra colour (and nutrition of course) to my plate when I have lunch. Unfortunately, nobody in my house but me likes beets! Oh well.

I agree with you about the importance of working hard right now to put food away. I do what I can, but unfortunately I haven't been able to do a great deal this year. I did make several batches of blueberry jam and some beets, and I'm just about the do the peaches and pears from our trees. I have to work within the limits of my energy. However, to make a long story short, God has recently revealed to me the root cause of my chronic illness, and I'm tackling it right away with herbal medicine and hoping that in the not too distant future, I'll be able to do more!

August 11, 2022 - 7:11 am

Gigi You’re welcome, Katie! Happy Harvesting!

August 11, 2022 - 6:19 am

Katie Taylor Thankyou always for your encouragement Gigi ❤️
Love and blessings
Katie x