We alternately work with metal and raise vegetables as they say “in the dirt”. Today we were over run with cucumbers, but that’s ok because we have been planning a pickle making day for a while. When we harvest more cucumbers we plan to make more sweet and dill relish and some bread and butter pickles. It is hot outside to can, but doesn’t heat up the house and we will be glad in the winter when we open jars of home made pickles. Today’s hot pickles are a slightly sweet version with a smokey essence.
We raised these particular cucumbers in straw bales and it has been quite the experience. The bales have to be prepared (composted) for about 2 weeks before you plant. We don’t have weeds to deal with and have not had fertilize at all. The plants are huge and the cucumbers are plentiful.
We had already put up 7 jars of sweet relish and some hot sweet pickles, but these were to be something very different.
We have been growing jalapenos and smoking them for our own chipolte peppers. The peppers were grown in raised beds and have been one of our best performing plants in the raised beds. The peppers were smoked 12 + hours very low in our Komodo oven (like the Green Egg cooker).
The dill relish and sweet relish came from Old World Garden Farms. If you are interested in gardening, canning, self sufficiency or minimalism visit Old World Garden Farms They have so much practical and usable information on the site and a great newsletter.
So we got the cucumbers all cut up (8 lb. cubed for dill relish and about 3 . for pepper pickles). We brined them in the shower in pots (salted and chilled them for 2-3 hours).
Meawhile we set up our canning kitchen on the porch. We are very lucky to spend our canning time on the river watching the water. It all went pretty smoothly once we got the pickles ready to can and while the dill relish was processing we prepared the pepper pickles. Can’t wait to see how they taste in a few weeks!