January 2022

Pints of Pickles

In 2009 and 2010, I made a serious gardening mistake. I planted, not one, not two, not three, …

… altogether too many cucumber plants!

The result was 52 pints of pickles (and quite a few quarts of pickles as well).

It is 2017 and we still have some of those pickles!

And yet, this year I planted cucumbers. Why? Alas, we had eaten all of the bread and butter pickles.

And so it begins, with a mere 7 pints of bread and butter pickles.

The question is, when, and after how many more pints, will it end?


The 2017 Garden

For a number of years, my gardening endeavors got more and more ambitious.

I started on Vashon Island, WA, with a small strawberry patch and a couple of tomato plants. The strawberry patch got larger. The vegetable garden grew to flank the entire side of the house.

I got carried away my first year in Goshen, IN, bringing home 18 tomato starts from my first trip to a nursery. That afternoon was spent frantically double digging an area in the backyard so that I had some place to plant 18 tomato plants.

In the ensuing years, my garden grew bigger and bigger until I was not only using my own backyard for strawberries, cherries, asparagus, herbs, but also the entire empty lot next door.

In 2015, that empty lot was no longer empty, but filled with all manner of edible plants: perennial and annual vegetables, grains, fruit trees and berry bushes, an amazing hops trellis, and a small greenhouse. The front half of the lot was filled with small fruit and nut trees and a variety of berry bushes some of which I had just purchased from Raintree Nursery. I was at capacity and well underway to becoming a true urban homesteader.

The garden layouts that I had created in prior years no longer sufficed. I purchased an app to keep track of where everything was. With the app, I managed to catalogue the back half of the empty lot.

Layout of the Beriewede Garden 2015

I never did get around to drawing the layout of the front.

That was the year that everything changed. By the middle of the summer, we had purchased a condo in Albuquerque, NM. By the start of 2016, I had moved to the southwest. Living in an apartment, I no longer had a yard of my own to convert into a tiny farm.

But there was a community garden.

In 2016, I had one row.

In 2017, I have two rows.

I’m seeing a pattern here.

In 2018, … ?