Saturday, June 8, 2013


Do any of you remember the pickle jug at the general store in Oklahoma? I do, but I am not quite old enough to recall the wooden pickle barrel sitting on the flood. That was the only way to buy pickles around the turn of the century, my century.

So, we have tried this in the past, and it is a great place to keep extra vegetables from the garden. This last winter I kept my greenhouse, actually officially a "hoop house," in operation. I also tried adding more fertilizer to the buckets the plants grow in.

Back up please-- I have a good number of 6 gallon buckets I use in the greenhouse. At the end of the fall, before the plants freeze off, I transplant a few into buckets. They die back some, but they always come back. If you do this, prune them so the transplanted plant does not have as much plant to nourish.

So, I fertilized the peppers, egg plant and so on. I also used natural phosphorus for the first time, including guano (bat manure). The peppers went wild. All the flowers set on instead of the usual, which is about half are cast off. 

Setting on all flowers then resulted in smaller fruit, especially since they were in under plastic and had less light than they like. So, we started a pickle jug and had more pickled peppers than Peter Piper ever saw.

Well, the spring is nearly past, and the Armenian cucumbers (technically a melon) are over producing. So, into the pickle barrel. I now use a big stainless steel pot we found at Big Lots. We are adding peppers still because the peppers are outside in partial shade and still producing. 

I am about to experiment with Swiss chard. If you cannot produce too much chard, you need to see a doctor. Something is wrong. Well, I have too much chard as usual, so I will cut rings from the Armenian cucumbers, spoon out the seeds, and insert a tight roll of Swiss chard in the hole. If it does not work you may never hear about it again. If it works well, I will come back here and brag on it.

For pickled barrel recipes here is a site with some good ones.

Remember, the pickling ingredients preserve the veggies. Do not cook it. But, be sure to go generous on either salt of vinegar, or a balance of both. Otherwise, your pickle mixture will allow mold to develop. When you replenish the liquid, be sure to follow the same proportions as you did up front.

You can add various flavorings like dill, turmeric, mustard seed, garlic, wasabi powder, horse radish and so on. Set the pickle crock or jug on the counter and let the kids snack on it. The nutrition is fantastic.

Monday, February 20, 2012


The first entry on this blog is about WHY?

First, there is nothing like picking your own vegetables from your garden, carrying them into the kitchen, and cooking them at once.

Second, if you grow your own veggies you can control what is used on them to keep them growing. I strongly encourage you to NOT buy hybrid seed. If you use heirloom seed, you can save seed from your garden and use it next year. The first year the heirloom seed it pretty expensive, for from then on, if you are careful, you will never have to pay for seed. If you use hybrid seed, you get freak veggies, and you cannot reuse the seed.

Third, you can avoid the very dangerous GMO seeds which are turning out to be rather deadly. Some GMOs actually switch on or off certain genetic processes in your body and can raise cholesterol or other such tricks. Monsanto denies it, but they have been sued in various nations for their tricks and lost the case.


So, stay near the earth, and you will live longer and healthier.

Finally, growing your own veggies will make you very popular with friends in the city who cannot grow their own garden. Share, and make friends.

Soon, I shall debut my page on the greenhouse I have built. I still have to get some photos for you so you can understand the tricks I did.