Written By:  Jennie Nollette

It is almost exactly a month since the first day of summer, and it is getting to the point where our gardens truly begin to shape themselves. We now have an idea of what will or will not produce for us.

This week I have mixed feelings about my garden; there are many Good things, a few Bad and one big Stinky project. We have so many wonderful GOOD things coming from our garden. Our tomatoes are starting to turn red, we will have more than enough to can, eat & sell.

Our onions & potatoes have been huge and our eggplant plants are looking great. We are so thankful to have such a bountiful garden, but…there is always a “but.”

As always there are just some things that don’t go as we planned; I know that is just part of life.  Thankfully the bad in our garden really isn’t that detrimental, but a couple weeks ago we noticed some of our pumpkins not doing so well.

When we took a closer look, we noticed the stem right at the root was beginning to rot. When we examined the rest of our plants we saw that was happening to all of them. At this point our pumpkins do look good, and we do have a couple big ones already set on.

I am just worried they won’t survive and there won’t be a high yield. I know a majority of the pumpkins we grow are just for decoration, but pumpkins are one of those things that just make me smile.  They remind me of my favorite season…Fall!  It usually means the weather is going to start getting cooler, and that the holidays are right around the corner. It just makes me sad to see them in such bad shape. Not quite sure what to do – any advice?  We just sprayed a little fungicide on them, and are now crossing our fingers that they can pull through!

Now our stinky project!  I am sure a large majority of you will disagree with me, which is fine, but pickles are one of the worst things to can.  They are so stinky!!

Preparing the ingredients!

I am not a fan of vinegar, especially when you are boiling it.  It just stinks up the whole house.  However, my husband and dad love them (apparently these are the best pickles) so I suck it up.  

I usually make my husband can pickles when I am not around, but I made an exception this time.  He is just so cute I can’t say no to him.  🙂  We had some cucumbers ready and needed to get a batch started. Even though they aren’t my favorite it was still so much fun hearing that very first POP! Who knew that canning could be so much fun?!  Does that make me pathetic…I sure hope not!

 Even though I don’t like pickles, they sure do look pretty!

Side note: I wanted to share the recipe for our dill pickles, but I was told it is a secret family recipe. If you are really curious, I do accept bribes.  🙂

What are some of your favorite things to can? Anyone started? I can’t wait to start canning salsa and spaghetti sauce.

Jennie Nollette

I am an Omaha native now living in the beautiful town of Valentine, Nebraska. If you haven’t visited you must! It is a gorgeous town that boosts its natural beauty. I am also a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls, living the daily struggle of balancing all life has to offer. My greatest joy is getting to spend time with my family, whether it's cooking, dancing or traveling, we do our best to take it all in and enjoy every moment.