Pickling


I’ve gotten over 20 pounds of cucumbers and they’re still coming so it’s pickle time. Last year I cultured all my vegetables using sea salt and whey. This year, I’m doing a little experimenting. I brined the whole cucumbers in a sea salt solution for 3 days and then transferred them to the refrigerator. They’re nice and crunchy. The spears I also brined in a sea salt solution and I added a starter culture… Caldwell’s. For the relish and beans, I used the starter culture as well. Everything came out crisp and flavorful. The crispiness is due to the sea salt. The starter culture supposedly increases the nutritional value and the strains of beneficial bacteria.
I prefer cultured vegetables to canned because of the nutritional benefits. They offer a lot more in the way of vitamins and minerals and increasing healthy gut microbes. A lot has been written on that subject by Dr. Mercola ย and Sally Fallon. I recently read the book, ‘Brain Maker’ by David Perlmutter, MD. He’s a neurologist and also a big proponent for implementing culturedย foods in the diet. It was a good read and had some interesting cultured food recipes that I’ll be trying soon.

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38 thoughts on “Pickling

      • Sorry about your pumpkins and squash. It’s a brutal disease. I’ll definitely be looking for disease resistant seeds next year. And I’d take that trade!

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    • Hey Dan, have you tried using a spray of 9 parts water and 1 part whole milk? If you spray that every week or so on cukes and squash, it wipes out powdery mildew….don’t know if it can help with downy mildew at all but I always feel better when I think I might have a weapon!

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      • I did try a milk spray early in the season Pat. Evidently it wasn’t quite enough to deter the mildew. Next year I’ll be more conscientious about it!

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  1. Love your cone flowers AND your pickles! I always buy fermented pickles because of the probiotic benefits. I forgot to plant cucumbers this year – how was that possible? – but I had tons of cabbage and wanted to try making fermented sauerkraut. But, not brave enough. Maybe next year, following your example! Thanks for posting!

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    • Thanks! Bubbies makes a delicious fermented sauerkraut. I was really leery of fermented vegetables too when I first started. Once you get going, there will be no stopping you! Donna Schwenk’s website did a lot to alleviate the apprehension I had

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  2. I am terrible at growing cucumbers–my hat’s off to you for such prolific output! (I did get my first full-size cuke this year, actually. Will eat it, not pickle it, since I am so excited to have it I can’t wait!) Enjoy your fermented pickles!!!

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  3. I only got 5 cucumbers this year! lol But that’s okay. I’d never tried growing them before and have better plans for next year. I need way more because my dog eats them too ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you have a post with tips on growing cucumbers? Or any quick advice you can offer?

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    • I noticed I get a lot more cucumbers when I plant the ones for pickling. They are a little smaller but they taste great without pickling them too:)
      Funny about gardens, isn’t it? Some things do great at times and then, not so much. I used to get loads of squash and they bombed for me 2 year in a row.
      My dogs LOVE cucmbers too!

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      • Thanks Cynthia. I’ll definitely keep your advice in mind. I only just got back into gardening this year after almost 10 years of letting it all go horribly south. I’d love to make my own pickles. Organic ones are so expensive ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus I can’t find them anywhere in town.

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  4. What a gorgeous garden! I only made 3 jars of pickles this year, but that’s just about what we’ll use. I’ll have to try using sea salt to keep them crunchy though. I’m always up for trying new methods ๐Ÿ™‚

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