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Baby Cucumbers on the Vine

June 28th, 2009

This is my first year for growing cucumbers, mostly because I don’t particularly like eating cucumbers. I do however like pickles, so I decided to grow cucumbers to make pickles. I chose Boston Pickling Cucumbers from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They’re described as: an old heirloom dating back to 1880, vigorous vines give large yields of smooth green fruit. It is excellent for pickles, very crisp and good quality. A very popular variety at the turn of the century.
I love the tiny little cukes that are at the base of the female flowers, of course these won’t become cucumbers unless they’re pollinated. I’m looking forward to a good harvest to make pickles. I don’t have a favorite pickle recipe since I’ve never really made them (only zucchini cucumbers), so I’m looking for one of those. I have dill growing in the front garden for the pickles, and I’ll be using some of my homegrown garlic as well.

Anyone have a great pickle recipes?

18 Comments to “Baby Cucumbers on the Vine”
  1. kristin on June 28, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I was just thinking about pickles myself. Not because I have any cucumbers coming anytime soon, but because I came across the recipe I used last year to make refrigerator dills. I like the refrigerator kind because they’re not canned, so they’re crisper, and they keep months and months in the fridge. But I remembered the brine in the recipe I used as being too strong. I fiddled with subsequent batches until I got it right, but then I, uh, didn’t write down my adjustments. Which means I have to do it all again this year. Real smart, Kristin.

    Thankfully, I discovered that if the refrigerator pickles are too strong, you can always fix it when you open the jar by pouring off a little brine and replacing it with water. After a few days, the pickles will have leached some of their brine out and be perfect.

    Reply to kristin's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2009 at 9:41 am

      Don’t feel bad about not writing down your recipe, that’s the way food artists are. I do the same thing all the time, I adjust recipes or invent them from scratch and never write anything down.

      I too like refrigerator pickles, that’s the kind I want to make (although I may not refrigerate them). I was also thinking of trying to make lacto-fermented pickles like Nourishing Traditions.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Pampered Mom on June 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

        Eek! I’d personally skip the recipe in Nourishing traditions. Don’t get me wrong, Sally has some fantastic recipes, but her lacto-fermented ones leave quite a bit to be desired. I’ve had some pretty rotten luck with them in the past.

        When it comes time to make fermented foods (like sauerkraut, pickled beets, and pickles) we go with the recipes in “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz.

        We grew the Boston Pickling cucumber last year – very tasty!

        to Pampered Mom's comment

  2. islandgardener on June 28, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Sorry, no recipe to share! I have thought about growing some pickling cukes; perhaps next year. My grandmother used to make THE BEST pickles. Not too sour, and very crispy! She kept them in this big aqua glass jar in the fridge. I have the jar, so if I make some someday, they will need to be stored in the jar!!!!
    .-= islandgardener´s last blog ..Anticipation…It’s Making Me Wait! =-.

    Reply to islandgardener's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

      That’s very cool that you have the jar. I have a few aqua glass jars as well, perhaps I can use them for my pickles.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Maureen on June 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    No recipes….but I’ll be waiting for one with you! We are also growing pickling cucumbers for the first time. I’d like to find a good relish recipe too, can’t have hot dogs without relish :)
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Peanuts =-.

    Reply to Maureen's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      I like relish with tuna – MMMM. I have heard you can also use your cauliflower stems in your relish.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Kelly on June 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I’m making my first foray into pickling this year myself, although it’s going to be with beets and not cukes, so unfortunately I don’t have a good recipe for you. However, I will be looking forward to your adventures with the cukes.

    What I WOULD like to do is make some kosher dill pickles though, I heard it’s a long process (5 days I think?) but oh they taste so much better!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..The Tamale Adventure =-.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  5. Matron on June 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I always find it difficult to pick cucumbers for pickling so that they are all the right size. Do you pick one picking, keep them in the fridge for a couple of days until there are some more the right size? surely they can’t all ripen to the right size all at once? I have always wondered how to do it.
    .-= Matron´s last blog ..Six of the Best! =-.

    Reply to Matron's comment

  6. Julia on June 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I just discovered the joys of making pickles last year, and planted an extra large swath of cucumbers this year. Ed Bruske has a great primer on pickles. My favorites are the bread and butter, and the dill.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Urban Gardening at its Best! =-.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  7. stefaneener on June 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I need an “add as they become ripe” recipe because two picking plants doesn’t provide enough pickling-size cukes all at once!

    I’ll be watching your experiments with interest.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..New patio visitor =-.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

      I think refrigerator pickles will be a good “add as they ripen” recipe. Since you don’t can them you can just keep a couple jars in the fridge and add cucumbers as they ripen. I have 4 pickling plants and 2 eating plants (I suppose I could pickle them as well).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. pam on June 29, 2009 at 6:37 am

    This is my first year growing cucumbers too. Last year I made some freezer cucumbers which were wonderful. I have one jar left and they are still crisp and taste fresh.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell =-.

    Reply to pam's comment

  9. ANDREA on July 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm



    Reply to ANDREA's comment

    • Susy on July 8, 2009 at 10:09 pm

      You can pick the cucumbers whenever they get to be the size you want your pickles to be (so if you want gherkins pick them small, if you want spears pick them larger). I would imagine though like many plants you don’t want them to get too big because that often triggers the plant to quite producing fruit. I’m going to pick mine soon, they’re about 4 inches long.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Connie on August 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I have a wonderful 14 day sweet pickle recipe that was handed down to me from my grandmother.

    Wash 75-100 cucumbers
    1st day – Put in 10% brine for 7 days (1 cup salt to 10 cups water)
    8th day – Drain and cover with boiling water and let stand 24 hours
    9th day – Slice and put in 1 heaping Tbsp. Alum and pour boiling water over it, let stand 24 hours.
    10th day – Drain and make syrup. get syrup boiling and pour over pickles
    11th – 14th day – Drain syrup into pan and get it boiling and pour over pickles.

    2 qts vinegar
    10# white sugar
    1 oz mustard seed
    1 oz celery seed
    Handful of whole cloves
    Handful of cinnamon bark.

    Can after the 14th day.

    I so love these pickles! They come out so sweet and crisp. I hope you enjoy them.

    Reply to Connie's comment

    • Susy on August 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm

      These sound delicious. I’ll have to give them a try next batch of cucumbers I harvest.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Sarah on June 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Awww, what a cute little cucumber. :) I totally agree with you though – I can’t stand cucumbers, but I love pickles. I especially love fresh, homemade pickles.

    I think Connie’s recipe is pretty good for making pickles.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Samsung RFG293 Refrigerator Review =-.

    Reply to Sarah's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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