I wanted to share part of the secret of our low grocery bills: our garden. Our main garden patch is about 50 x 100 feet, and produces cabbage, peppers, corn, cukes, squash, pumpkins, and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. This year we have 95 tomato plants (left, under a black plastic shade).

Last year our garden had a banner year. It produced 150 quarts of canned tomatoes, plus all the fresh ones we could eat from August till November. We grew about 3 dozen cabbages, a bunch of peppers (mostly hot), cukes enough for several dozen pints of pickles, and over 400 ears of corn. (left, cabbage, tied together with string to encourage better heads.)

In other areas of our property we have:

— 2 mature apple trees– we got about 3 bushels last year, which made MANY quarts of applesauce and were good eating fresh all the way till Christmas. (Right, baby apples)

— a plum tree and an apricot tree that are young and just getting started producing but have lots of fruit this year (below, young apricots).

–A 20 foot long row of raspberries– they’ve died off some and we planted some new this year. The little kids love to browse in the raspberries in the summer.

— 5 grape vines –1 Concord for grape juice (we got about 7 gallons last fall) and 4 Red Flame grapes (the kind most grocery stores sell). Below you can see our grape arbor.

–10 new strawberry plants that we’re getting in today or tomorrow– we haven’t had strawberries for at least 5 years, so they should be nice.

–John also built us a really cool greenhouse (left & below) which has supplied us with all the lettuce (below) we can eat for the past several months.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!


  1. wow! you must have quite the green thumb!

  2. That all looks great!

  3. Gorgeous! I get so excited about gardening. It's so satisfying to grow your own food, isn't it? Fabulous pix!

  4. Ummm…can you give me some pointers?

  5. WOW! And to think I was proud of my 4 tomato plants, hahaha.

  6. It is mostly my husband's baby. The kids and I do a lot of weeding in the summertime, but my hubby starts everything from seed in the spring, and does the vast majority of the initial work each year. he does an awesome job!


  7. I am amazed. And you guys sleep when….?

  8. How beautiful!

  9. That is so impressive! I wish I had a yard…

  10. This is my first year for a garden. Not quite as big as yours, ok ok not even close. But it is a start. I would love to have the extensive one you have. Looks wonderful!

  11. So, I'm coming by your house for dinner tomorrow. 😉

    Now seriously, at the risk of sounding nosy, I would love to see more pictures of your house–the way you live, the way you keep all your ducklings in a row with a large family!

    It all looks wonderful. What a great teaching experience for your kids, to deal with all that gardening!

  12. wow, if only to have the space, talent and energy sor something so impressive!

  13. okay, wait. 50×100?
    our whole yard is less than 50×100. We've got to get out of the suburbs.

    sorry to spam your post.

  14. Beautiful garden. We live in wooded hills, and could never manage that.

  15. Oh, it looks so much like what we had when I was growing up.
    Nobody else could direct a crew of "gardeners" (children, cousins, neighbor kids) the way my dad always did.
    All that work seemed like fun!
    And then Grandma organizing the canning from a six burner stove in the kitchen.

    I do wish more of their leadership skills had rubbed off onto me. Resentment built up a bit too high here in my house, and we are a long time getting over the past.

    The pictures are beautiful. Like someone mentioned above–when does sleep happen?

  16. Growing up in a large family we did a lot of gardening too. Always had lots of fruit trees and a good size garden. I haven't been able to translate that into my life yet but your post is an inspiration. Tell you husband we think he's impressive with the gardening too.

  17. I KNEW there had to be something to that grocery bill!

    Your garden is beautiful!!!

    What a man it is that tends to his family in such tender way…

  18. Fantastic. If only more could do that. 😉

  19. Oh I am soooo jealous!

  20. That is FABULOUS!!! Joe has promised to build me a hot house when we get up there. I figure this year a garden is a bust. I dug up everything we had and gave them to people at church… I love teh way you did your grapes!!!

  21. Simply amazing!!!

  22. My father is like that too, he loves his garden! Starts everything from seed, and then plants them all over the place. I just live off HIS hard work! LOL And forget lowing the grocery bill, although I'm sure it does that, it's soo healthy for you and your family to eat all those great fruit/veggies!!

  23. Oh I am SO jealous! That is a beautiful garden, Mary.

  24. This is awesome! Did you see my tomato plants?

    Any advice??

  25. Wow – I am very impressed with your garden. I was going to say jealous – but realized I didn't want to have that much work. My garden is about 3/4 the size of yours and I have 1/2 the tomato plants – that is enough work for me to keep up with, thank you! You still have an awesome garden.

  26. that is SO fun, and you've made it not only fruitful and practical, but SO beautiful!!!!! I'm impressed! : )

  27. My hero!

  28. How gorgeous! I totally have garden envy!

  29. Wow that is really wonderful!