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Harvesting Cucumbers

Cucumbers don't need much. A fertile soil and a deep soak once a week will keep them happy and thriving! I do spray my plants with Seven to keep bugs away, usually twice a season. Keep in mind to not pick produce for at least 3 days after spraying your plants. Once the days have passed, harvest the produce and give it a good wash before eating. 

Clip the cucumber off the vine just above where the vine and cuke meet, or twist them off carefully as not to tear it. Store in the fridge in a vegetable drawer, I keep mine in a ziplock back, unzipped. Don't wash until ready to use! For canning, it's best to use the freshest cukes, but even store-bought will do if you want a large quantity but do not have enough from the garden.

Sweet Pickles

What you'll need :

mason jars + lids + rings

large pot for waterbathing

1large stock pot - to make brine

Large mason jars for lime baths

jar lifter

strainer ladle

spice bag or cheese cloth

Ingredients

Brine:

1 pt. pickling salt

1 gallon of water

 

Vinegar Solution:

5 pts. sugar

5 pts. vinegar

spice bag of 1 cinnamon stick

1/2 oz. celery seed

Final step:

pickle crisp granules

Directions

1. Make the hot brine. 1 gallon of water (16 cups)  with 1 pint (2 cups) pickling salt - enough to make an egg float, heat through, but not to boiling.  In large mason jars, let the cucumbers set in the brine for 7 days, skimming the top as necessary.

2. Drain the cucumbers, cut the pickles into the desires spear or slice. If you are keeping small pickles whole, prick with a fork.

3. Heat vinegar solution, cover pickles.

4. Drain and reheat the vinegar solution for 3 days and placing it back on the pickles. On the 3rd day pack them into pint canning jars loosely, reheat the syrup and pour over the pickles. Add pickle crisp granules to each jar (follow granules instructions, mine is 1/2 tsp per pint jar). Seal the jars in a waterbath for 15 min.

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This is the recipe I received from my grandma. Pickle crisp granules have replaced the need to use an alum solution, saving you some time and money! It ensures a delicious, crispy bite on the pickles. 

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

What you'll need :

mason jars + lids + rings

large pot 

Ingredients

2 quarts cucumbers

3-4 cloves garlic

3-4 heads dill

3 cups water

1/4 cup vinegar

3 Tbsp pickling salt (or regular)

Red pepper flakes optional

Directions

1. Slice your pickles into medallions or spears. Put 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1-2 heads of dill at the bottom of each jar. Fill with cucumbers.

2. Bring the following to boil: 3 cups water, 1/4 c vinegar, and 3T salt

3. Pour over cucumbers and cover loosely till cool. Refrigerate 24 hours before using and it will keep for several months.

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