Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Pantry, Greenhouse

I love to grow vegetables.  My hubby and I have had a vegetable patch since we got married 21 years ago.  And in those 21 years, I have dreamed of having a greenhouse so I could grow our veggies year round.  This past weekend, my hubby made that dream come true.  He bought me a greenhouse for our anniversary.  :)  I will share a photo of it below.

Because I love to garden so much, I have also wanted to learn to can our own vegetables.  I've never done it, but it fascinates me.  I've planned to can the last two years but our extreme summer heat has made it nearly impossible to grow enough to can.  But I'm determined to do it this summer.  There is something magical and satisfying about pantries lined with jars of food that you've grown yourself, isn't there?  I remember my grandma had shelves of canning jars full of all kinds of food in her basement. 

So, how ironic was it that my hubby came home with an amazing wood pantry/locker that he picked up at an estate sale.  It was pretty rough but I thought it would be the perfect thing to store our jars of food that we will hopefully have this summer.  :)

I cleaned it, Kilzed it and added a couple of coats of Simply White by Benjamin Moore.  And because it reminded me of the Pottery Barn white wooden lockers, I stenciled numbers on the front using Valspar Withered Moss paint and a stencil I printed from the computer.  Here is a before photo.  Pretty nasty, which explains why I used Kilz.

Now the inside is as good as new and ready for rows and rows of garden vegetables. 
Hopefully.  :)

I parted ways with the other cabinet that was in it's place that I just blogged about a few weeks or so ago.  I just couldn't pass this cabinet up.  And we need a lot more storage in our kitchen so, it was best.

Here's a pic of the greenhouse my hubby bought for me.

It isn't huge or fancy, but instead, perfect for us and reminds me of one of the reasons why I love my man so much.

If anyone has any canning tips, please do share!  I need all the help and encouragement I can get.

Thank you, friends!



  1. Diana,
    Love this wonderful old piece and you did an outstanding job on the makeover. I would love to have you share it at my party.


  2. The 'new' cabinet cleaned up nicely and will be great for additional storage. Hopefully it will soon hold those full jars :) I have only made freezer jam but I would love to try canning.

  3. You'd be proud of us, Diana. We scrounged a houseful of wood-framed windows when the owner upgraded and are almost finished with our "glass house". Still have to wait until it warms up to paint it white, but it's already super-cute. I've always wanted a greenhouse, too - squeeeeee! The pantry looks great. I can imagine that full of home-canned jars. What I love making the most is unsweetened apple sauce and pickles. Oh, and canned tomatoes - nothing tastes better than those! I freeze most of the other vegetables we grow though.

  4. Where to begin? Canning is super easy but time consuming. Start with hot water bath items - those are the simplest. Find a Ball blue book - loaded with easy and good recipes. The interneet and pinterest are also good places to start. Jam, tomatoes, fruit and pickled items are a good place to begin. Once you start, you will be addicted. I LOVE how the jars all look together - such a pretty sight. Keep in mind that your goods should be kept fairly cool. If your kitchen gets really warm - probably warmer than 70 degrees for long periods of time, it isn't the best for the jars. Good luck!

  5. i can't wait to see jars and jars lined up in that cute cabinet come summertime! i told my husband that i wanted us to put in a little garden this spring...hopefully the oppressive heat won't kill off what few veggies we put out.

    what a wonderful anniversary gift (greenhouse)...you've got a good hubby!

  6. You guys seriously find the coolest stuff. And I'm completely jealous of your greenhouse - and the space to put it. I'd love to erase the mental block I've given myself on canning. I don't know why, but it seems so intimidating! That, and yeast. I run from a recipe that calls for yeast. I need to find a friend who cans and makes bread on a regular basis. :)

  7. Liebe Diana,
    so ein wunderschönes Gewächshaus ist auch mein Traum!
    Ich wünsche Dir viel Spaß bei anbau und eine reiche Ernte :o)
    Der Vorrats-Schrank ist toll!
    Liebe Grüße,

  8. I love the thought of canning...as my momma is amazing at it. :)
    It is such a satisfying job once it is all done. Getting out a jar of homemade applesauce, pickles or peaches just makes a meal that much better. I can't wait to see your bounty in your beautiful cabinet!!! Love to you, sweet friend.

  9. I'm in LOVE with your greenhouse. I've been wanting one of my own for quite some time now. Yours is the perfect size! Canning is a lot easier than you think. You just need to do. I always had my mom do it for me, then one day I just jumped in and tried it, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well it went. It just takes time, and the more help you can recruit, the better!

  10. Oh Wow! I couldn't have passed it up either. It looks like it was made for your kitchen! I also am in love with your greenhouse. What a wonderful thing to have. Sure hope you show us photos with it all filled up with pretty plants.

  11. You will have no problems with canning. Hot water bath canning and even pressure canning are easy to do. Find the small Ball Jar Canning How to Book at Wal-Mart for like $5 and you will be set.

  12. Your cabinet turned out beautiful! A coat of white paint really does wonders. Good luck with the greehouse, I'm not much help there, I usually go right into the ground woth my items. Maye I'll learn right along with you!

  13. Canning is a great hobby. I can about everything and I'd suggest a pressure canner. The
    food is safe for storage if canned properly.

  14. Oh, I wish I had room in our kitchen for a wonderful old cabinet like yours! It looks fabulous and will be a show stopper filled with your healthy canned vegetables.

  15. Hello Diana,

    You made a marvelous job with this pantry!!

    As for canning tips, I can advise you a wonderful blog:


    I think you'll appreciate.

    Cheers from France,


  16. I just found you a week ago and I'm so enjoying your blog and exploring your past posts! This cabinet is something that I would do, too, it's just that my husband would never have been the one to find it, ha :)

    I didn't know anything about canning when I started 15 years ago, either - I started with jams and salsa and I now stick mostly to water-bath canning, 'cause it's just easier for me. Here's a step-by-step canning post I wrote:


    and here's my page of our favorite, easy ways to preserve (dry, can, & freeze) our garden produce:


    (hope it's okay to add the links - I really just want to encourage you to try canning - once you do it, I think you'll want to do more!)

  17. The new cabinet is fabulous...and so is your greenhouse. Love it!

  18. I love your new cabinet and I think it will be perfect for storing canned goods! How lucky are you to have a greenhouse... one of these days I too would like to have a year-round garden. The best advice I can give about canning veggies is... just do it! The first time I canned I had built it up in my mind as being so much more complicated. After a few batches, you'll be on a roll. Last summer I canned tomatoes too many afternoons to count, but we've been enjoying them all winter long. It makes it all worth it! :-)

  19. Your blog is charming! What an making cabinet transformation

  20. How clever you are. I love the cabinet and your whole decorating style. I'd love to get rid of all our rather convential furniture and start over.

  21. I love your cabinet and your greenhouse! This past summer, I decided I was going to get back into canning after many years off. I have found Cindy at SB Canning to be an invaluable resource. She also has a Facebook page, if interested.

  22. I can a lot. Canning is not difficult. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for a pressure cooker or Ball Blue Book or local canning guide for water bath canning. Read the Blue Book (or other source) so you know the difference between foods with acid and low acid foods and what you do for each. When in doubt, I check with the USDA canning guide. It's a great resource and easy to find online. I'd suggest you start with water bath canning before a pressure cooker.

  23. Oh Wow! Lovely vintage wardrobe you made a marvelous job with this pantry. You have shared splendid piece of vintage furniture. Thank you for contributing this informative post.

    Find out more here

  24. This is great! I can't wait to see it filled with whatever you end up putting in there as I know from your other posts every thing you decorate comes out cozy and beautiful.
    I like the other cupboard, though sorry to see it go....hopefully it made it into another room in your house?...it was real nice too. Also, can't wait to see the headboard all put up and together with a bed in your sons room......also, sounds like
    your husband is up and around and doing well, soooooo glad to hear it....always love visiting here, Corinne

  25. WOW this looks fantastic you are so talented I am so happy I get to be inspired by your blog
    Thank you

  26. Love what you did to this cabinet. Old is new again. As far as canning goes...all the tips above are wonderful. However, if you're anything like me, you need to see it and do it with guidance. Our local 4H holds free canning classes that are open to the public. Check around your community. Also, a friend of mine holds canning lessons in her home. Ask around and see if anyone you know knows how to do it...both methods. You'll need to know both depending on what it is you're canning. Hope this helps!

  27. Diana,
    I grew up canning in the summers with my mom and I highly recommend the Ball Blue book or the following website http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.aspx. I wish I lived closer and I would be happy to teach you. My advice would be to follow instructions to the letter especially processing time tables. Enjoy!

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  29. So...I pretty much need you to come and help me decorate my house. :)

    ~Andrea (Blogger who just found your site)

  30. sooo...did you just paint right over the hardware like sarah at abeachcottage.com ?

  31. sooooo...did you just paint right over the hardware like sarah @ abeachcottage?

  32. When we bought our house on the Central Coast of California, I inherited an apricot tree, which, as it has matured, has yielded more and more fruit every year. Buckets and buckets of lovely rosy fruit. I became a jam canner not out of choice really, but necessity. I went to the hardware store and invested in the pot and a rack, bought the pectin, lemons and sugar, read the directions and got to work. Over the years I discovered that I prefer a softer consistency and so I have adapted the instructions to use less pectin. My lids always pop and the results are fantastic. I love to be able to give away lovely jars of jam with handmade tags to friends and family every year.

    If I can do it, anyone can! Have fun Diana!

  33. Diana I love the cupboard and the greenhouse. I wish you much success with canning. I have never canned before - we live in a very humid, subtropical area with hot winds so growing anything is hard! I'm sure you'll have a bumper crop this year!


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