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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pickling Cucumbers - Natural Ferment

I am very elated about my cucumber glut this year. I don't know whether it is the current conditions this year or the improvements we made to the soil, but I have two vines producing prolifically.
I am eating them like apples and my boss has been getting cucumber raita for afternoon tea. The link will take you to a recipe that is close to the one I make but I don't grate my cucumber and  I like to use garam masala.

A recent post about Fermented Pickles on Eight Acres is a good step through guide with pictures and a link for a recipe. 
I used the recipe from Oded Schwartz's book "Preserving" which was very similar but I like the idea of blanching the cucumbers for a minute to preserve colour and kill off any bacteria as I have grown them trailing all over the soil rather than trellised.
Unfortunately the dogs excavated my precious dill and I had to purchase some, but otherwise it is very satisfying to be able to supply all the ingredients from one's garden and all things being in season.

And now we weight and wait.....
Do yourself a favour and even if you are not pickling, get a bunch of dill and crush it and inhale for a heavenly fragrant summer crush.


  1. they look very exciting! i haven't tried fermenting yet... it's on my to-do list!
    i was wondering where you got your white rings for your tiny #3 fowlers bottles? i've only been able to get the orange ones...

  2. Hi Virginia, I tried to reply to you yesterday but you do not have email enabled to your profile and you don't appear to have a blog i could reply on either. I got the rings at a second hand shop. The packets were sealed but I still went over them with a fine tooth comb to check for perishing. Pretty much the only place to buy them now is on ebay and you are right, the white ones are even harder to get.

    1. thanks so much for the reply :) i figured they were getting hard to find! oh well at least i've got some orange ones to get started with! i was just gifted an enormous bag of cucumbers today- so i guess i'd better get pickling!

  3. Yum! Great photos. I have lacto-fermented dill pickles in the fridge, must eat them...

  4. Hey Tanya, I didn't expect to see whole cucumbers pickled, thought they would be sliced........

    We only got 3 cucumbers from our plant this year......... the season hasn't been the best for lots of vegies.

    Had a storm and a nice drop of rain this afternoon, save us from watering for a day or two.

    Claire :}

  5. Hi Tanya, thanks for the reference to my blog! Just wondering what you used to start the ferment if you blanched the cucumbers first. I know its a scary thought in our over-sanitised world, but that soil bacteria actually contributes to the fermentation process, especially if you don't have access to whey from cheese making (for example, Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation doesn't use whey in his recipes). It feels really wrong to me to preserve something by leaving it on your kitchen bench to grow bacteria, I have to hold back my urge to put the jar in the fridge, but they taste really good if you get it right! I love the smell of dill too.

  6. Hi Farmer Liz, I am using grape vine leaves as the starter to the ferment.

  7. Thanks Tanya, that makes more sense! I hope they taste great :) Cheers, Liz


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