Finer Things Friday: Summer Bounty


The kids and I headed out to the garden after lunch today.  I returned… 4 times… for 4 buckets… and quickly became both overwhelmed and filled with gratitude.


How fun is this?! But, now what? (Besides returning to the garden for this same amount of goodies tomorrow — it’s there!)

After ignoring my produce for much of the afternoon, we saw some friends at a volleyball game.  I told them what was waiting for me on my table.  One of the football moms insisted “You need to make sauce and can it.  I’ve got jars.  I’m headed home in a bit to change clothes.  I’ll bring you jars and a funnel and my recipe.”

Yes, that’s just how people are around here!

When we got home from the game, I had a message from my sister.  A co-worker of hers was wanting to get rid of her large canner for free.  Coincidence?  That’s just God’s way of remaining anonymous.

It doesn’t end there!  A few weeks ago my friend Laura offered me a copy of her ebook, Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving. I read through it, enjoyed many lightbulb moments (crop rotation, what to plant — or NOT — next to each other, etc.) and filed it away for “later.”  Later has arrived, folks!


So, who wants to learn to can with me? Laura is offering one of you a copy of her ebook, too!  All I need you to do is leave a comment telling me a tidbit that you are really hoping to learn about in Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving. What do you want to know?

My Finer Things list is long this week: garden produce (and happy helpers to pick it), generous friends, free canning supplies, and a guide to show me how!  What Finer Things are you celebrating?  Link up so we can share in your joy!  (Don’t forget to leave a comment to win the ebook!)


  1. Well, I don’t know much about gardening as I’ve had a black thumb for so long. I was able to grow cherry tomatoes this year though and have some beautiful morning glories. I’d like to have some info on container gardening if possible. 😀

  2. Oh, all those tomatoes look so yummy! This is the first time I won’t be canning tomatoes and it is going to be a sad things come mid winter when I can’t pull out jars of fresh canned tomatoes!

  3. I would love to learn more about growing vegetables in containers.

    Your produce looks wonderful! Let us know how the canning goes.

  4. I would love to learn more about crop rotation and what to plant next to each other. I’m learning, but always have things to learn;)

  5. I just went and picked an abundance from our garden too, which is amazing because I had kind of given up on it!

    I love what you said…that’s just God’s way of remaining anonymous!

    I don’t think I’ll have time for canning this year but will enjoy following along with you! Laura’s book is of the best I have ever seen on canning!

  6. Wow, that’s a great harvest. It’s been so cold here in NW Indiana that our tomatoes won’t ripen 🙁
    Thanks for hosting!

  7. Crop rotation! 🙂 It’s our second year of gardening and I moved things around a bit, but it’d be nice to really know what I’m doing.

  8. I would love to learn how to begin canning. I always just put the food in the freezer, but that takes up alot of space when I only have one small freezer!

  9. That’s awesome! I have Laura’s book too, it is WONDERFUL! Happy canning!

  10. I love gardening but have never canned so I need to know everything : D My cherry tomatoes always do well, sometimes not so much with my regular tomatoes. What can you can cherry tomatoes?

  11. I’d love to get tips on preserving fresh herbs.

  12. I’d love to learn anything; I’m starting at square one here! But we do go through a lot of canned tomatoes, and I’d rather grow and can those myself than continue buying them. Thanks!

  13. Have you been doing a Beth Moore study? That’s the exact definition that she used for coincidence! 🙂

  14. Just some basic gardening tips. I’m hoping we’ll be settled enough next year to have one.

  15. Oh, do I need help right now! Or should I say next spring! I had a total flop in my garden this year and am hoping to learn about what to do to help actually get some veggies. I’m thinking this is BAD soil since I’ve had success in the past. But any and all tips will be appreciated!


  16. I am just like you! I have an abundance of blessings from my garden this year. This is my first year doing any vegetable gardening, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am not sure what to do with all the cherry tomatoes, and summer squash that I have, and I am afraid that it will go to waste, which I DO NOT want to happen. I want to can it, I even bought cans, but have no idea where to start. I’d LOVE to have a copy of this e-book! I am so excited.
    What a tremendous God we have, to take care of our every need, and he walked you through step by step to get you to the canning process – I LOVE stories like that!
    God bless!

    Jen Reisinger

  17. I have canned only jam, and it was a messy undertaking but I loved every second of it. We love soup at our house so I’d love to learn how to can soup. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting!

  18. I want to learn which food I need to put in the water bath and which ones I need to use a pressure cooker for.

    I would also love to learn how to make salsa!

  19. My mom has a garden and she shares a lot. I would love to start my own garden, but don’t really know where to start. I would also like to learn to can. My freezer is overflowing…especially since I make all my 9 month old’s food.

  20. I would love to learn how to can. We are novice gardeners, but I want to learn how to make the most of our small plot of garden.

  21. I’ve always wanted to learn how to can — particularly tomatoes and applesauce…. I hope to one day learn with my grandma, but right now I live too far away. This book would be great!

  22. Well I generally have a black thumb. From our square foot garden this year we have harvested one handful of green beans, 2 handfuls of spinach, 6 baby carrots and there is currently 1 cucumber on the vine. Such bounty. What will I do with it all? Umm. Yeah. A little help is definitely in order for us.

  23. I’ve been wanting this for a while! I really want to make our own tomato sauce & soup when we finally plant a garden.

  24. I would like to learn even just the basics in the e-book! I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening, but I’m so curious, and really want to learn! I would love to win.

  25. I am participating in a farmer’s market this year (along with my 4 year old). I make soaps, lip balms, salves, sugar scrubs, etc. Since we are looking for a new home and have added this venture to our lives, we did not put in a large garden this year. I was somewhat concerned about this, but realized that I can only do so much. As the season progressed at the market, fellow vendors started trading soap for produce and even bringing us bags of pepper, tomatoes, squash, cukes, etc. So now our freezer is full and so is our pantry, but 90% of it was given to us or traded for…God is good.

  26. I need help with my gardening for sure! And with canning if my gardening ever “bears fruit”. My poor garden is…. poor and sickly. We want to grow our own veggies so bad but have had horrible luck so far! This book would be great!

  27. Would love to win! Laura rocks!
    I want to learn more about crop rotation and canning. We’ve had a small garden for a couple of years and I hope to make it bigger next year, in hopes of having enough to can!
    Thanks Laura and Amy! 🙂

  28. I would like to learn more about what to plant where. We are about to start a home garden after sharing a large garden at a friend’s house for several years, so now space will be more of a consideration and things will be closer together out of necessity. Thanks!

  29. I would love to learn more about canning. We started this year but found that we really didn’t know what we were doing. Next year we are hoping to more successful.

  30. kate Walser says:

    I wanted this book when it first came out for the special price and I let it slip by…:( thanku for a chance to win it!! This is our 2nd year gardening, 1st though year around and we have LOVED our square foot gardening- with not much space we have still had enough produce to feed our growing family of 7 now:)but I really would like to know how to can everything- have all the tools but not a clue as what or how to do!! lol thanks again

  31. I planted my very first garden this year (nope – never even had one as a kid at home!) and would now love to know the next step in preserving the lovely things I’m reaping. Thanks for the giveaway.

  32. I have never canned but as my family size increases, I see an ever growing need to do so. I need the basics – all of them.

  33. I’m not able to garden in our small apartment where we live now, but I hope to someday. I can now can though – when I see produce on a cheap sale, I often wish I knew how. I now have some jars and supplies I just need to know where to start! I’m looking forward to learning it AND THEN getting the garden!! :o)

  34. I’d really love to learn more about gardening in general. Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Free canning supplies…that’s how I got my 65+ jars!! We stopped at a garage sale a few summers ago and I asked the guy how much he wanted for his jars, and he said “Do you want ’em??? Take em’…please!!! I can’t stand looking at them anymore!!” We’ve been using them ever since!! People are that generous…if you just give them the chance! As for Lauras ebook…I know a little about canning fruit, but little else. (Don’t tell my Italian mother-in-law!!)

  36. Ooooo…I want to learn about crop rotation!!

  37. I canned a bit this year for the first time but skipped the garden, which I’ve only done successfully once! Let’s say I have a LOT to learn from Laura. Organic pest control. Safe canning. The perfect sauce recipe. 🙂

  38. What would I like to learn from it? Everything! I spent a lot of time this year searching Laura’s blog (and wondering why she doesn’t have a canning category!!) so I could get my start on canning. It would be wonderful to have everything in one place!

  39. We were unable to plant a garden this year b/c we were getting ready to move and next year it will be a MUST! I would love to learn what to avoid planting next to each other and what provides good company as well. Your baskets of goodness are so lovely! Have fun canning!

  40. There is so much I could learn! We had a garden for the first time this year and it started out well but then everything kinda seemed to die off. Except for the okra…it’s growing out my ears! I don’t know what to do with it all!

  41. I’m a newbie canner and always looking for instructions! (And Laura always has helpful stuff on her blog!)

  42. What a beautiful bounty!!! I just love it when we see God work in our lives. Even if it is about something as daily and routine as what we will do with our veggies… Seriously, I love when people acknowledge God’s hands in those moments. He put that mom at the game who was willing to help with cans and recipes…then the phone call from your sister. I totally see that as God. I feel sorry for people who can’t see God’s hand in everything.
    Have a great weekend.

  43. I would love to learn about the whole process of gardening. May start one next year.

  44. We started gardening ‘seriously’ this year, and have learned a lot–and made a lot of mistakes! We would love to be self-sufficient in a few years, but have a long road ahead of us to get there! This would be a huge help! 🙂

  45. I would love to know more about crop rotation! I’m a new-ish gardener and I don’t know much yet. lol Also knowing what to freeze and what to can would be great.

  46. I would love to begin a vegetable garden and know nothing about it!

  47. I’d like to know what to do with all the green tomatoes I’ve been left with as it’s starting to get frosty here at night and I don’t think they will ripen any more.

  48. Oh, what beautiful produce! I have my first small garden this year, which was a wonderful experiment, but I’d like to make it much larger next year and will need all the help and information I can get! I would also love to learn how to can, and other methods of preservation. Thanks for the offer!

  49. My grandmother always had a fabulous garden (and also canned a tonne of stuff!) and I truly wish that she was still with me today to explain the processes to me … so, I’d like to know everything about gardening and canning!! 🙂

  50. I’m just starting a garden this year (yes, in AZ we start now) and am so excited! My mom used to can with the same method but I never learned it from her so this book looks great!

  51. I’m definitely interested in learning the how-to’s of preserving.

  52. I would love to know more about crop rotation. Also, different methods of preserving the harvest of our gardens.

  53. I’d love to win the ebook. Would you also share the sauce recipe and secrets to go with it?

  54. I would love to learn some helpful tips on gardening, and well… actually learn how to preserve, something….anything 🙂

  55. Oh, my! I would absolutely love to win! This is the first year I’ve ever done some preserving. I did some frozen fruits and a couple different pickles. I would love to do some pickled beets too…and I would love to read about what other kinds of things can be preserved well. I’ve never done jams but want to try my hand at those as well. Thanks!

  56. Does part of her e-book give us hints as to how she gets it all done?! PLEASE enter me in this contest – I’m a big fan of Heavenly Homemakers! I’ve learned so much from Laura over the past year and I’m ready for more tutoring – thank goodness for the internet and blogs! My garden is pumping out lots of produce and this book would really be helpful about now.

  57. Well, I don’t even know where to start! I have been trying to read as much as I can about gardening because I am planning on starting my own in the winter (seeds) and spring (planting). I need all of the basics! Starting, harvesting, the whole bit! I would love to read Laura’s book.

  58. This is the first summer I’ve had a garden (with a LOT of help from my neighbor). Would love to have more education on how to do more next year and preserve what we harvest. How exciting!

  59. I just started canning two years ago and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some tried and true canning recipes.

  60. I’m hoping to streamline the canning process, and prepare for having a garden… someday when we have a yard!

  61. I would love to win this!

  62. I am a new gardener so I would love to learn all of the basics of gardening! I want more out of next year’s garden than I got this year! 🙂

  63. Well, I’d like to learn everything!! I badly want to garden. However, I really don’t know how to prepare the land, what to plant when, and what to put on it (or not put on it) so that it will thrive! I can make flowers and other plants grow without a problem, but vegetable gardening has stumped me.

  64. Krystle Hummer says:

    I will be starting my first garden next year and would love to learn about what works well together and then how to can it after it grows!!

  65. Understanding canning techniques and learning more about gardening!

  66. Please enter me in your giveaway!! I would love to learn more on gardening and canning!!!Thanks!!!

  67. Our tomatos did well but everything else was a bust. I could use help with it all. I would love to have so much produce that I actually had some to can!

  68. I want to learn all of it….from the seed to the can! I hope to have a working garden and canning and preserving going on at my house by next summer. 🙂 High hopes, huh?!

  69. I would love to learn more about vegetable gardening. I have canned some, but never produced enough in my own space to can. I would love to win this ebook!

    Great Blog!

  70. I just want to learn to can anything! 🙂

  71. I’ve tried gardening and everything usually dies. I would love to learn how to can my produce. I’ve always wanted to know how to do it. It seems so frugal! And I love being frugal!

  72. I need this soooo much. We have a large garden spot, but just can’t seem to make this turn out very well. Maybe this book could help fix it all.

  73. I know a little about gardening. But don’t know anything about canning and preserving. I really would love to learn more to better feed my family and help reduce spending.

  74. I would really love to know more about canning and preserving. We garden (or try to) and I can but I certainly don’t know much. Everything I know I’ve learned from the internet!

  75. i am not very good at gardening! (is that grammatically correct? ) BUT i would like to be! so any tips i can pick up would be great!

  76. I would love to learn to can fruits and make jelly, they are just so yummy!

  77. Anna Peterson says:

    I would LOVE to win the e-book!!! We just purchased 2 acres and my garden will greatly expand next year! This book will come in very handy! Thanks

  78. I’d love to know how to can applesauce. I’ve always frozen it but I’ve got about 150 lbs of beef taking up my freezer space this year!

  79. I would love to read more about crop rotation, something that I know that we haven’t done very well.

  80. I would like to know how to and what are the best foods for drying. I recently bought a food dehydrator and the instructions aren’t very clear. And there’s always room for improvement in my garden:)

  81. I would love to know more about preserving.

  82. I’m tired of making soup with leftovers from the garden. My husband hates soup but I don’t know what else to do other than feed it to the chickens!
    I really would like to learn how to preserve some of what we grow so I can stop buying things like canned tomatoes.

  83. I already love canning but would love some gardening tips. Also you never know what I may learn that is new!

  84. I would love to win this bbok b/c I have finally fond a hooby that I will be good at. But, I just need to know how to do it. I’ve acquired a sincere interest with gardening anc canning.

  85. Jessica in KC says:

    Having only grown tomatoes, I have plenty to learn about gardening. I know next to nothing about preserving/canning, so that’d be awesome knowledge to gain, too. 🙂

  86. I have always wanted to learn how to can!!!

  87. I am into my second year of canning & ending my first year of gardening, and let me tell you I had SO much fun this year! However, I’m still a novice and have MUCH to learn. This year’s garden was quite small (peppers, onions, and melons with some potted tomatoes, lettuce & more peppers), and next year I plan to try even more veggies! My biggest conquest? Fruit trees! I want to plant a couple fruit trees at least (one pear & one apple?). Got any info on that, Laura? 🙂 Oh, and squash and potatoes (in a container) and… this could go on for days. lol

  88. Mrs. Team S says:

    Canning seems so intimidating! I would love to learn how to can. We are expanding our garden every year and have now planted spring, summer, and fall gardens. It would be great to know how to can! 🙂

  89. I really want to learn to can!

  90. this was my first year gardening. i feel very blessed with what i was able to grow and keep alive. ive read you shouldnt plant tomatoes in the same spot but mine did wonderful. id like to know what i should plant where they were and if i can plant them there again in two years.


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