We Can. Can You?


I LIVE IN RU­RAL MAN­I­TOBA with my par­ents and three sib­lings. We have dogs, goats, chick­ens and cats. Ev­ery year, my mom grows a large gar­den with pep­pers, corn, toma­toes, car­rots and much more.

We pre­serve a lot of the pro­duce, and our mas­ter­piece is home­made salsa from a recipe passed down from my grandma, who grew up in Mex­ico. We wait un­til all our toma­toes, pep­pers and onions are ready to be picked.

We had about 20 tomato plants this year, and my green­thumbed grandpa sent us more toma­toes from his gar­den.

Dad cuts the pep­pers into slices, and then Mom cuts the onions and toma­toes into small chunks. All of us kids get to help, too, and we of­ten lis­ten to sto­ries like Anne of Green Gables or Lit­tle Women on CDs while work­ing. At other times, we just talk and have silly ar­gu­ments about who can cut faster.

I like watch­ing the huge stain­less steel pot fill up with a rain­bow of veg­gies. Some­times we don’t have enough pep­pers in the gar­den to keep up with the toma­toes, so we need to buy some from the store to fin­ish the recipe.

We also work as a fam­ily to put up many other veg­eta­bles. We pick beans, boil them for about a minute, and then cool them in cold wa­ter be­fore freez­ing them. We of­ten can our cu­cum­bers, turn­ing them into pick­les. Be­cause dill grows so well in our gar­den, we usu­ally in­clude it in the process of pickle-mak­ing.

My dad likes beet pick­les the best—Mom makes them with vine­gar, wa­ter, beet juice, pick­ling spice and pick­ling salt. When they are fin­ished, they are such a lovely pink­ish pur­ple color.

My fa­vorite treats, and the ones my sib­lings like best, are canned fruits. We put up all kinds of fruit, in­clud­ing ap­ples, peaches, cher­ries, straw­ber­ries and more. Of them all, I prob­a­bly like ap­ples the most.

I’m glad God has blessed me and al­lowed me to live on a farm where we can grow our own pro­duce. Store-bought veg­gies some­how just don’t taste the same.

The Fehr chil­dren know first­hand that the hard work of har­vest­ing pays off.

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