New Week; New Fun!

Cucumbers and Pickles Week

Cucumbers by the Bushel at Minneapolis Farmers Market – August 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Ok, ok, ok…I can hear the grumbling from here.  Monday and Tuesday are hard on everyone, especially when you have had an epic weekend.  I have to admit that I did have an epic weekend, starting with going to the Minnesota State Fair (went to the Toby Keith and Colt Ford concert) on Thursday, a Green Bay Packer game in historic Lambeau Field on Friday and helping my brother out on house projects Saturday.

Lambeau Field - August 2014

Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin – August 2014

Now that those fun events are over, I have a couple of projects of my own to get done.  It’s harvest time here in the Midwest, and it is time to get moving on putting up that produce.  It is no different here at the Small Scale Gardening: we have a lot of veggies from the garden and from Farmers Markets, and they are ready to be processed!

Cucumbers and Pickles Week

Dill Pickles ready for Water Bath – August 2014

Welcome to Cucumbers and Pickles Week (Pickle Fest 2014)!

I am totally focused on Cucumbers and Pickles Week, where we will talk about cucumbers, pickles and recipes for making pickles.  After processing over two bushels of cucumbers in prep for this week, my agenda is to talk about the following:

  • Dill Pickles
  • Sweet and Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles (a family favorite)
  • Pickle Relish
  • Fermented Dill Pickles

I will share the recipes I am using and will take lots of photos along the way.  I am going to can the first three types of pickles in a water bath, and I will be using methods and procedures described in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. 

Sliced Cucumbers - August 2014

Sliced Cucumbers – August 2014

CAUTION: please follow safe practices for canning!  Do your research/homework and use the correct tools, jars and recipes.  I recommend using the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving as a guide and a good starting point.  I would also recommend checking out your Cooperative Extension System Offices as well.  The Extension Offices have  local knowledge and resources  and can help you as well. Other great sites are Pick Your Own and Simply Canning.

I have never fermented cucumbers to make pickles before, but this year I decided to give it a try.  I am following instructions provided in Brett L. Markham’s Mini Farming Handbookand I will walk through the recipe for making these and show how this experiment works out.  I have already set aside two 5-pound batches of cucumbers to ferment in two separate batches.  I am excited to try this method!

Wish me luck!

Cucumbers and Pickles Week (Pickle Fest 2014) Starts….Now!

 

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