Monday, June 15, 2015

Overloaded after vacation

When school finished last week, we took a vacation to the beach. We had a great time playing in the sand and ocean and having family time Wednesday through Sunday. When we're gone for more than one night, I always make sure to have folks come over check our animals and garden. I'm thankful we have good family and friends who will do this for us. As payment, I always tell everyone to pick anything they want from the garden and keep the eggs they gathered.

I'm assuming those who came picked and gathered...but when we came home, we had a TON to in buckets and buckets of cucumbers, carrots and green beans. 

Levi (who turned 7! today) is a great harvester and is so helpful in the garden. Ashley and I have made a point to not "make" our boys garden with us, instead seeing it as our hobby that we want them to enjoy along side of us. I hope they'll grow up to have gardens or farms of their own.

I was most excited about our first few pods of okra. Yay!!!

Remember the stroller I've been using, once for hauling a baby and then kale? Now it's making a great produce hauler. Who needs a fancy garden cart when you have a leftover stroller?! Seven years old and still going strong!

Our purple green beans are doing great. We're loving our stringless green beans this year. Loving them.

And raspberries...oh my! These bushes won't stop. They're delicious!

Ashley and Levi went ahead and dug the potatoes because our green beans are blocking the irrigation from hitting them (and they were starting to die, especially in this hot South Carolina heat). We got a nice bunch!

The boys are always in the garden with us, sometimes helping and sometimes creating their own inventions...

This is Levi and Mason's science lab. Of course you already knew that, right?! 

Purple beans. Green beans. We all scream for yummy beans!

We have an extra fridge down in our metal building below the garden. It's been great to stick beans, cucumbers and carrots in there until I'm ready to use them. 

Although I'm getting a ton of cucumbers this year, I'm not sure how many pickles I'm going to can. We're eating a lot just soaked in vinegar and giving away others. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pickle time again!

I'm amazed out cucumber vines have already produced enough to make pickles (and for raw eating, too). Last year's garden didn't produce enough cucumbers for pickling so I'm doubly excited this time.

I decided to make bread-n-butter pickles first because we eat a lot of these on BBQ sandwiches. 

I use the recipe from my Blue Book. 

Here's one of the last jars from 2013. 

I love our slicer. 

Covered everything in ice and let it sit for a while.

Spices ready.

Assistant ready!

Levi did a great job adding in the crisper agent and helping place the lids on the jars. 

And I'd say we were successful! We're giving jars to Levi's teachers for the last day of school. Home grown love!