Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Images from my garden

I do not have the room for a complex garden at my home due to all the room taken up by the pool, but I work with what I have got. 

I have been experimenting over the past 2 summers as to what works well in the soil I have.  So far I have determined that peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers seem to work the best.  My cucumber plants exploded this year and are overrunning the garden and choking out the peppers unfortunately.  I need to figure out something better for next year.  Possible using the chicken wire fences I built for my mom a couple years back.

From Garden 2010

Above is the cucumber plants from about a month ago.  They are much larger now.  I need to take an updated snap.

From Garden 2010

One of the cucumbers harvested last week.  They are growing oddly, but taste excellent.

From Garden 2010

From Garden 2010

Some of the cherry tomatoes from the upside down planter.

And below are some of the visitors to my garden.  The birds are long gone now.  But I seem to have a lot of toads lately.

From Garden 2010

From Garden 2010

From Garden 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Garden Fresh Quick Pickles

My garden is finally starting to produce so I made up some brine for quick pickles to have with dinner. Quite simple and very tasty. You can substitute other vegetables as well. As it is not a true pickling, they do not last a long time, but I never had a problem with expiry as they go so quickly.  The recipe below is fairly basic, but using my own gardens produce fresh makes it even better. You can really taste the difference.


1.5 cups of White Vinegar
1/3 cup of sugar
1.5 tbsp of sea salt
1.5 cups cold water
1/2 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of cider vinegar

Mix all the base ingredients with the exception of the cider vinegar into a seal-able glass container. I usually mix with my mini hand mixer as it does a quick job of cleanly.


1-2 chilies
1 large English cucumber
1 medium onion (try the purple ones for a better end flavour)*

The chilies are to be chopped fine. Keep the seeds for a bit of heat.

The onion is to be peeled then sliced into rings. The rings are separated.

The cucumber is to be sliced to about 0.5 cm thick. I usually do it on an angle.

Mix and steep all the vegetables in the brine. Pour the cider vinegar that was set aside over top the brine and veggie mixture. Seal the container and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. They should come out nice and crisp.

*I did not have a purple onion on hand and was not dragging the kids to the store to get one today. So I used a yellow onion instead. Still tasty.