All of those cucumbers I planted about six weeks ago have started producing. The Monticello inspired teepees have been working well for supporting the vines, they look really lovely now that they’re lush with cucumber and pole bean vines. I have had to train the cucumber vines to grow up the supports. I’m trying to think of a way to improve on this design next year. Last week I started harvesting cucumbers from all three varieties that I’m growing this season. I planted 12 vines of each in hopes of having a large flush of cucumbers for all those pickling recipes that call for pounds and pounds of cucumbers.
So far the ‘Boston Pickling’ are the largest and most productive. One day I harvested enough cucumbers to make a gallon of fermented full-sour dills. I have grown this variety of cucumber from the very beginning of my gardening career. I have always had great luck with them. They even produce a decent harvest is less than ideal conditions, like my shady back garden.
The ‘Solly Beiler’ have been less productive than the Boston Pickling, but the descriptions say they are heavy producers so I’m guessing they just haven’t hit their stride yet. They’re a much fatter cucumber than I expected, even when picked at the recommended small size.
The ‘Fin de Meaux’ seem to be producing nicely, although they’re a tiny cucumber so it takes a lot more to get enough for a batch of pickles (the one in the photo was picked a little big, most of them are much smaller). I’m looking forward to using my recipe for French Cornichon pickles from The Joy of Pickling:. I’m hoping to get enough to to give away small jars of these tiny cucumbers to friends this Christmas. If you have space I’d recommend a few of these as they’re wonderful little cucumbers. I think kids would especially love to eat pickles made with these tiny cukes.
I’ve already been making pickles with my harvests. I have a gallon of full-sour dills fermenting on the counter right now (they smell fantastic). Traditionally fermented pickles are a great way to get probiotics to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption of your meals.
I also have one jar of quick refrigerator pickles in the fridge, they’ll be ready to eat this weekend. They’re always the first kind of pickle I make so I can have pickles to eat right away. My recipe for these quick small batch pickles is posted over on the Your Day blog at Ethel so head on over there if you’re interested. My next batch of cucumbers will be some Crisp Pickles that are a favorite of everyone that tries them, I found the recipe in an old Farm Journal Cookbook given to me by Mr Chiot’s step mom. I’ll post the recipe with photos sometime soon.
I’m hoping that my cucumber vines will keep producing well for the next few weeks, then they’ll be replanted with hopes of another flush of cucumbers come fall. I want to make sure I have plenty of pickles in the pantry for winter as we love eating them with most meals.
Are you a pickle lover? what kind is your favorite: dill, sweet, bread & butter, mustard?
For more detailed descriptions of each of the cucumbers listed above head on over and read this post.Filed under Harvest Keepers Challenge | Comments (26)