Monday, July 11, 2011


This weekend was our first harvest out of the garden - cucumbers!  To be more specific, pickling cukes.  I wasn't ready yet so I need to get an order in for pickling supplies ASAP.  I've decided to try the Pickl' It system.  It's a bit expensive but I like the design better then cheaper versions that were recommended.  The use of airlocks with the Pickl' It system is what really drew me.  I'll post how I like them.  Once I get the supplies I won't have to worry about this next year.  Nonetheless, I sliced these beauties and put them in a mason jar with a bit of salt, red wine vinegar, and a touch of water for a mild brine.  They made for a mighty tasty snack when I got home this afternoon.  I have some beautiful dill growing in the garden that Matt jokingly called the dill tree this weekend.

The pickles sort of exploded in size very quickly due to the amount of rain we had.  We had bought trellises two weeks ago but were not able to get them up until Sunday.  I wove the vines through the lattice and also used Velcro tape to support them.  Isn't this baby cuke absolutely adorable!  I did decide to cut a couple vines off after seeing how many there were.  Matt and I can only eat so many cucumbers and pickles.  I'm sure we'll still have an abundance of them but they make great gifts right?  I still have a couple jars of bread and butter pickles on hand from last year so I'm debating on whether or not to do another batch this year.  I definitely want to make dill pickles.  A friend of Matt's gave us some dried Thai chilies last year and I plan to use those to make spicy pickles.

We bought two trellises and screwed them directly to the raised beds and then screwed them together for more support.  I seriously doubt a storm will blow these babies over and considering the storm that went through today I think that was proven out.  These are the trellises that I'm using to grow my cucumber vines up so they don't sprawl into the yard or strangle the tomatoes.  There are two broccoli plants in the front of the picture that were from our broccoli last year reseeding itself.  It was a nice surprise when I found it growing.  This is also my lettuce bed which is just getting started. 

It won't be long before I'll be simmering up pots of marinara sauce.  Aren't these baby tomatoes adorable!  I can't wait to make them into sauce.  There are 9 tomato plants in one bed plus 3 plants in the right bed so I will have plenty of tomatoes and hopefully don't lose as many as we did last year to weather damage.  Eight of the tomato plants are Roma's, which make excellent sauce.  I bought Matt one lone grape tomato plant so he can use it for salads and to snack on as desired.  I'm sure it will out produce even his appetite though.

My oregano has gone wild!  It takes up almost the entire front of the bed now.  I have a cilantro plant next to it.  As soon as the tomatoes ripen I think some homemade salsa will be in order.  I have two basil plants growing so I think we'll be okay for sauce making this year. 

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