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Meet a Reader | Lindsay, a Canadian sod farmer

Today we’re meeting Lindsay, a sod farmer from Quebec, and you guys, I am so so impressed with how much food she and her husband grow for themselves…don’t miss the list in her answer to question #4!

Here’s Lindsay:

1. Tell us a little about yourself

Hi there! My name is Lindsay from Quebec, Canada. I am part owner and operator of our 6th generation farm. We farm sod (yes, like actual grass) and more recently, we started running a garden centre!

Lindsay with a potato.

My husband and I also have a 1-acre vegetable patch that we use to preserve our own food and help to reduce our grocery bill during the summer.

We have two kids aged 8 and 4 and spend a lot of our time on our farm or enjoying small-town life!

A boy holding a just-pulled carrot.

Growing things is my passion. I love soil and plant science and I feel very blessed to be able to do that every day for work. I also love helping to teach people how to garden on their own and preserve to save money!

Jars of jelly.

A lot of the time, it’s a lot more complicated in our minds than in actual execution.

In the cold wintertime (I mean, Canada, right? Ha ha), I like to quilt in my spare time. I am a 34-year-old who loves some traditional hobbies.

2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?

I have been a long-time reader of The Frugal Girl and originally found the blog from a search engine result of “cheap meal ideas”.

The WIS, WWA quickly became favorite posts. I also loved the simple breakdown of meals and the idea of as little food waste as possible! Discarded food is like throwing away money in my eyes.

3. How did you get interested in saving money?

I had never before had personal debt until after getting married. While a beautiful day, the chokehold I felt by trying to pay it off while also living a newlywed life weighed on me. Once it was paid off, I vowed never to be in that position again. I wanted to be able to tell my money where to go versus the other way around.

As time went on, I loved the challenge of pinching every penny and attempting to do things as nicely yet frugally as possible. Seeing the number in savings grow, became a game. We’d set up “savings goals” for items or vacations we’d want and a timeline to do it.

So began the challenge of achieving that goal as fast as possible with still being able to eat, have a house and enjoy life a little but not go into any debt.

4. What’s your best frugal win?

Easily, our garden!

Homegrown tomatoes.

This beautiful patch allows us to really tighten the purse strings on our grocery budget. We live quite a distance from any large grocery stores so planning our food is of utmost importance.

It is not an option for us to just “run to the store” for a missing ingredient. So we plan our meals from what we’ve grown ourselves (both animal and vegetable/fruit) or what is in season during that time of year.

garden produce.

Some items we no longer buy from the store because we grow or produce ourselves:

  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • dried herbs
  • onions
  • salsa
  • marinara sauce
  • pizza sauce
  • pickles
  • apple chip
  • apple sauce
  • frozen veggies (corn, carrots, and beans for example)
  • maple syrup
  • beef
  • chicken
  • eggs
  • zucchini
  • jam
  • pesto

Lindsay with a chicken.
The other win would be our learning of producing maple syrup!

Maple syrup tapping.

9 years ago, I was dealing with fertility issues. My doctor at the time recommended cutting out all conventional sugar for 90 days. I did this and saw huge benefits in my health. Not only was I pregnant, but I also had cleared up my adult acne, improved joint pain, and just felt healthier.

The only problem is, good sources of local honey or maple syrup are expensive! Being surrounded by acres of land, I looked at our maple trees and declared, “We can do this!”

That spring, we tapped 50 trees and haven’t looked back! Now, we are able to produce all the sugar in the form of maple syrup we need for the year (50 litres) for almost free!

5. What’s one thing you splurge on?

Our side-by-side or as some refer to it as our ATV.

This was saved for and paid with cash but is both necessary and fun. We are surrounded by acres of fields so it is a form of entertainment to take it for a drive around in the evenings.

But also an important tool in making maple syrup, maintaining the garden, and checking crops.

6. If $1000 was dropped into your lap today, what would you do with it?

Not a fun answer but I would stock up on pantry staples!

It’s no secret that the cost of food is much higher this year. I’d love to channel my inner squirrel tendencies and stock up on some of those staples we use but can’t produce like salt, butter, flour, and yeast.

7. What frugal tips have you tried and abandoned?

The cash envelope system! We live too far away from a bank to make this a possibility!

I think it is easier to set a budget beforehand and become disciplined enough to only spend that amount.

8. What is something you wish more people knew?

I think it’s important to learn that to be frugal, also means to be patient. In this fast-paced world, where everything is at our fingertips at the click of a button, there is a sense of peace and satisfaction that can come from being patient in your money decisions. This patience allows you to really decide if the item is not only right for you but also worth that cost.

The big kicker: that practicing of patience doesn’t come overnight and so many elements around you will direct you to do differently. Don’t be hard on yourself, take it one day and one dollar at a time, and know that little money savings do add up to a lot!


Lindsay, thanks so much for participating in this series! I am amazed at how much food you produce, especially given that you have a short-ish growing season up there in Canada.

And I love what you said in your last answer: that patience is such a key part of making good money decisions. I agree 100%!

One question from me: do you sell your sod directly to consumers? Or do you sell it to landscapers and retailers?

Readers, the floor is yours!

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Wednesday 19th of October 2022

Fellow farmer here! I want to congratulate you on a job well done.


Wednesday 19th of October 2022

Wonderfully expanding my view of North America! I would like to hear about your childhood, teenage years, parents, the five generations before you, etc., if you have time. Great photos and great insights!


Tuesday 18th of October 2022

Hi Lindsay, I'm across the Ontario/Quebec border, well, a bit of a ways, just northwest of Kingston. I live rurally also and I can't really imagine living any other way. I have two children, both adopted from China. The eldest is 22 and just graduated from university and living/working in Toronto now. The youngest is 15 and in grade 11, French immersion. Are you francophone? Bilingual? Most Quebecers have much better second language skills than Ontarians, I find!

Thanks for sharing about your life, I think the sod farm is a very cool thing. We also have a vegetable garden, it's small but I haven't had to buy tomato sauce of any kind or canned tomatoes for a long time. This year I put in one acorn squash plant and I have 7 acorn squash to cook/freeze! It's amazing how much you can get from even a small bed.

Also, I love the picture of your son with his very dirty jacket, it's a lucky kid who gets to grow up getting dirty!

À bientôt!



Tuesday 18th of October 2022

@Leann, Bonjour! We actually have gone that way (past Kingston) to ship sod to a customer!! I was born and raised in a very english part of Quebec. I even attended English school here but french plays a very heavy part of the schooling and life. I am very thankful to be fully bilingual in both languages. Yet to talk to me, have no french accent!

It is so true! I try to remind many who ask about gardening to start small. Because not only is it less overwhelming, but also rewarding! You can grow so much in a small square footage! And, any little bit helps!

Merci pour votre commentaire!


Tuesday 18th of October 2022

Thanks for telling us a little about you! I love to can, and put up many of the things you do! We have two garden beds in our front yard because our back yard is too shaded. From that we grow quite a lot of food that I put up. I can only imagine the work involved with a garden that spans an acre!


Tuesday 18th of October 2022

@Tammy, Love that! It's such a fun hobby. Especially when your hobby can give you something like delicious food. I love finding new recipes to use canned goods or garden fresh! It feels very rewarding.


Tuesday 18th of October 2022

I’m wondering, do you sweeten your jams with maple syrup? I make berry jam from foraged berries, it takes a lot of sugar. Definitely not fit for low sugar diet. And about chickens. Do you grow their food? We had chickens for 2 years, until a fox devoured the whole flock. It was nice as a hobby, fertilized my garden, and I loved watching my kids collecting fresh eggs. In terms of money it definitely didn’t save us any. Store bought feed is expensive. Maybe there’s other ways around it, we just didn’t look into it.


Tuesday 18th of October 2022

@Natasha, Great questions! For the Jam, I use maple sugar. So it's a process of boiling down the syrup extra and making it into a crystalized sugar. It is then used just the same as regular sugar. For our meat birds, they only live for abour 16 weeks before they are processed. They eat a lot of scraps from the garden and food they find around the farm. The layer/egg chickens only live for 13 months, in which time, they are turned into meat birds as the egg production drops. Again, same feeding system. We do have to buy food but getting it from a co-op is much cheaper than a traditional feed store.

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