Watermelon Pickles. APRIL 19

On my to-do list: Make watermelon pickles! I didn’t grow any watermelon in my garden this year. But I was reminded about the pickles just yesterday so I went to my sisters to hunt down the recipe. Thankfully, my sister Melissa had it pretty handy. I thought I would post it here for posterity and I will add some pictures when I get an opportunity to give it a whirl.
This is my grandma, Mary Hermenitt’s, recipe…

Watermelon Pickles

2 lbs of watermelon rind (7 Cups cut)
2 Cups Vinegar
2 Cups Water
4 Cups Sugar
1 stick Cinnamon
1 tsp. Whole Cloves
1 tsp. Whole Allspice
1 Lemon, sliced thin
Plus salt for brine as described below

Pare rind and remove all pink (I think this means to take off any pink and any of the dark green on the outside)
Sour rind overnight in brine made by dissolving 1/4 cup salt in each quart of water.
Drain and wash in fresh water and drain again.
Cook rind in fresh water until tender.
Combine remaining ingredients and boil together 5 minutes. Add rind a few pieces at a time and cook until rind is transparent.
Pack rind in hot sterilized glass jars, cover with boiling syrup and seal.
Have you made watermelon pickles before? Do you have any other odd pickle recipes? Post them in the comments!

GARDEN. SEPTEMBER 2
The 2013 summer vegetable garden season is wrapping up. Mine was…. not a huge success. I learned a lot though.
We began the project by producing a 3 foot by 16 foot boxes. We used 1x6x8s and attached them together with these metal plates that were left in our barn when we moved in. In retrospect, I should have used 2x6s as these are pretty flexible and needed extra support, which means more money anyway.
Boxes were lined with cardboard and then some kitchen scraps and composting leaves from the wood-line.
I was going for the lasagna gardening method so I layered cardboard at the bottom of the boxes to act as a weed block. I then put a few inches of food scraps and old leaves out of the wood-line. Then I filled the boxes with garden soil from the local landscape supplier. It was their premium mix. Oh, and we placed some soaker hose in the dirt. I thought maybe it would make them last longer as I have been told they aren’t worth using. What I found was that any line that was outside the box became brittle and I abandoned that water method, but not quick enough. Hence, a slow garden.
It was well into June, maybe even almost the end of June when it was obvious that my garden wasn’t keeping up with my peers’. I added compost and it helped. I changed watering methods and it helped a lot! So, I think I just under watered.