Tag Archives: garden

Easy Homemade Pickles.

I specifically chose to grow pickling cucumbers in my garden this year for one reason. I wanted to learn to make my own pickles!

We grew regular cucumbers last year and they didn’t do particularly well. We got a few, maybe, but not an over abundance.

But this year? Our garden is doing amazing. And over this past weekend we had our first harvest of cucumbers. There were 7 cucumbers “ready.” By ready, you want them to be about 2 inches around and no longer than 4 or 5 inches. Any bigger, and they will become seedy and a little bitter — not the best for homemade pickles. So we picked our 7 pickles and brought them inside and rinsed them with water. That’s all the “cleaning” they need — but you do need to make sure you clean them, if not your pickles are more likely to go bad quicker.

In order to give credit where credit’s due — I searched ALL over the internet for “pickling” recipes, but ultimately ended up following the one that I found on this blog.

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Gardening & Backyard’ing.

Our newest project around here lately includes lots of work out in both our front and backyard.

The front is relatively easy… I wish I had some before pictures to post — and if it wasn’t POURING outside right now, I’d go out and take some. We’ve recently done some easy things — like removing 2 HUGE bushes from in front of our house, including a rhododendron that was as tall as the house and covered such a large portion of the house that you didn’t even know there was house behind it. That area is extremely empty right now, maybe a little too empty. So I’ve been brainstorming on what I could put over there that isn’t going to need a ton of maintenance and won’t cost us a lot of money to put in.

I think we’ve decided on a wooden bench, a bird bath, and a few bird feeders. I love putting out bird feeders and then watching all the birds — cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, varieties of wood peckers… That’s a relatively easy project that we should be able to complete. Along with the possibility of adding a few flowers (marigolds, maybe) around our mailbox, and a hanging pot from the well in the front yard. Add to that a few rose bushes that just need to be planted, and a few of my lillies that need to go in the ground and we’re good to go.

It’s the backyard that causes the most trouble.

We’ve recently cleaned off the back deck which is looking nice now with our patio furniture and grill — and since have added a toddler picnic table, which is pretty darn cute. Next to the deck — a sandbox that we built. We were able to build it and fill it with sand cheaper than it costs to pick up one of those $40 plastic sandboxes (you know the ones — those darn turtle sandboxes they sell everywhere).

The biggest current project out there is the removal of trees and bushes. We took down a HUGE pine tree ourselvesĀ (what can I say? My husband likes chainsaws) and next are the bushes that line our fence along the entire backyard. We’re going to use that idea to stack wood to burn through the winter, and then put in a chicken coop (and yes, chickens!). That’s a project that may or may not be done by the end of the summer — we’ll see.

But the project that WILL be done is the trash that’s lined along the backside of the house. An old grill, some very LARGE old cardboard boxes… we need a dump run ASAP. Once that’s all cleaned up, it’ll be great.

And of course, our ongoing always-fun project of the summer — our garden.

Our 8 foot by 8 foot raised garden bed — prepped — before planting. And the bushes behind it that will be coming down!

We did end up planting the entire garden over this past weekend. We planted 2 types of tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant, beans, sweet peas, pickling cucumbers, basil, and parsley. We had so many plants, some of them had to be planted in 5 gallon buckets along side. We also have strawberry plants in pots in the front of the house.

Will be posting updates as we make more progress in the yard — and as the garden starts growing and hopefully yielding lots of produce!

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