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.