Tag Archives: organic gardening

“Commence ‘ta pickling!”

A few years ago, we thought it would be neat to try and grow everything for salsa. That was a great experiment and taught us a lot in preparation for this year where we’re figuring out how many things can be pickled. The answer is almost anything. We use a refrigerator pickle recipe from “All Day I Dream About Food” with a bit of heat from jalapeno (although you can do with most any pepper, we’ve tried with Thai chilies with good success.)

Open pint jars of vegetables to be pickled.
Pint jars of cut Chinese long beans and Sumter cucumbers with spices waiting for pickling brine.

We’ve been harvesting the Chinese red noodle beans about every other day and had a good stash built up. We had thought to freeze them (and will with the next few batches) but really thought a good pickling may be fun.

Pickled cucumbers and beans in glass jars.
Pickled cucumbers and long beans, so lovely, so spicy!

The Sumter cucumbers matured very quickly although a bit oddly shaped (which in reading seems from uneven pollination so going to try some hand pollination for the next ones growing). One we left in it’s cute small form and the rest we sliced a bit on the thick side.

Cucumbers in a bowl.
First cucumber harvest, July 16.

We were excited to be able to use dill from the garden but left some to grow for the next batch. It’s likely we’ll have to buy a bit more though since we didn’t get a ton.

Cucumber tendrils latched onto dill plant.
Cucumber loves dill!

How do you pickle? Spicy or not? What else have you pickled? Peppers? A peck of those peppers?

Grow babies, grow!

Once the watermelon vine began to escape the raised bed and flowering profusely, we started to watch it closely and LO yesterday a super tiny adorable melon has appeared!

Small watermelon on the vine.
Just a tiny melon right now…6/29/2017.

Also, the Tsungshigo Chinese tomatoes are growing more vigorously (aka taller) than we expected but loads of flowers last week and now super tiny adorable fruits!

Small tomato fruits on the plant.
Where there were flowers, now there are small tomato fruits, 6/29/2017.

The image at the top are the poblano pepper seedlings now transplanted to peat pots so not really any fruits yet but they are still adorable babies yet.

Roll that beautiful bean footage…

We have a feeling we’re on the edge of a beansplosion with the Chinese red noodle beans. We counted 40+ pods dangling from lightly scented purple flowers that are likely to be ready in just a couple days. But also, yes, we picked the first one yesterday at 14-inches long! We picked the second one just now and it’s even longer by a bit. The plan for this first harvest is a quick stir fry.

First Chinese red noodle bean at 14 inches long.
First Chinese red noodle bean at 14 inches long.

Cherokee Purple Tomato (Heirloom)

Sometimes when people say they are growing heirloom tomatoes, they are referring to an “open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar” of tomato. Like other non-hybridized things they sometimes suffer from particular weaknesses or even strengths.

For us, these particular tomato seeds were literally heirloom as they were saved by our cousins back in Missouri from our maternal grandmother’s Cherokee purple tomatoes. I had almost forgotten about these and found them going through seeds this year. Of course I had to see if they would sprout even though they were from 2013.

Every single seed germinated and thrived. We planted 3 and still have 5 that need homes. They are indeterminate and apparently can get quite large, like up to 8-feet tall.

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