and so it begins. . .

Here is some of the best of the garden so far. Colin hanging out under the Mulberry tree on the outskirts of the garden.

Our neighbor who is a bee keeper and keeps bees on our property said the honey from the hives on our property smells like grapes, thanks to the about 1/3 of an acre of grapes my grandpa planted in the 1940's. The grapes and the bees are having a great year. We were home when one hive swarmed a few weeks ago and it was crazy. By coincidence, the bee keeper arrived to rescue the swarming bees very soon after it happened. They swarmed a few years ago and took up residence in another neighbor's house. They were not welcome.

Brian and my mom were all excited to put in an asparagus patch. It is a strange growing process and we will not get anything out of it this year.

These photos are a few weeks old. We could take photos of red tomatoes now. Brian was telling me about a brandywine that is about 6 inches in diameter. Oh yes.

Brian braided his garlic and it hangs right outside the kitchen. It over-wintered from last year and are big, beautiful heads. We cook with a lot of garlic and it is wonderful to just walk over and cut off what we need.

Lovely beans.

The leeks that have gone to seed. They are a lovely feature in the garden. The bees love them, and the other bee keeper wonders if they will affect the taste of the honey.

The cucumbers are doing great this year (last year some of them were bitter). When we lived in up state New York, Kathy Buck gave is a great refrigerator pickle recipe. I'll look it up and post it at the end.

I do not think we ever blogged about it I did not take photos (which typically means no post), but the garden tried to kill Brian a few weeks ago. It was a full-time job for Brian to get the garden in before we left for 5 weeks the end of May, and he spent hours renovating the soil with about 2 tons of compost. He must have knelt on something that broke the skin and caused a terrible infection. When Brian finally went to Instacare, the doctor was very, very concerned and thought the fluid on his knee could be infected. Worse case scenario, this could have meant about 6 weeks hooked up to an IV. This was all about 2-3 days before we had to leave for Princeton. He started some strong antibiotics and got a follow-up with an orthopedic doctor on the day we we were scheduled to leave. Lucky for us, it was not as bad as the first doctor thought. Brian was a bit disillusioned that the garden would lash out so violently towards him. He thought it was just all organic and goodness in the soil, not terrible infections. But he realizes good garden soil needs to be chalk full of all kinds of bacteria. Now the garden is giving us good things to eat in an effort to apologize to Brian.

Refrigerator Pickles Kathy Buck

Given to me by Ginny Lund

8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers

1 ½ Tablespoons salt

Sprinkle salt over cucumbers and let stand 30 minutes (or more)

Drain off juice. (I rinse slightly)

1 cup thinly sliced peppers, opt.

1 cup chopped celery, opt.

1 cup sliced onions

1 cup sugar

1 cup WHITE vinegar

1 teaspoon whole mustard seed

Combine sugar, vinegar and mustard see in a saucepan, heat till sugar has dissolved.

Pour over veggies. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Ready to eat when well chilled,

About 6-8 hours.

I use a vadilla or white onion, they are sweeter. I don’t always put celery or green peppers in. The amount of onion depends on your taste.

*Note don’t worry if it doesn’t look like there is enough syrup….it increases overnight.

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  1. GrittyPretty said...
    hi ann, that is pure loveliness. i could look at these pictures forever! i am so excited for your asparagus. we still need to find a spot for ours; at this point it looks like the only space left is in the front yard.
    wow, about brian's knee. i'm glad its better.
    take care!
    pieofthemonth said...
    i make these Stucki Pickles all the time... with different variations, but always with fennel bulb included in the veggie mix.

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