Since Rodney built the hot house, I’ve started our summer garden by growing all the vegetables from seed.  This year I tried tons of new types – over 5 types of tomatoes, many different squash and pumpkins, eggplant, peppers and herbs.

The rule of thumb here is to plant the seedlings out by Labor Day.  As a kiwi-gardening newbie, I always listen to these ‘rules’.

This year I wish I had waited 2 weeks as right after this date, we had 2 freak hail storms that wiped out all the seedlings that I had planted out.  Nothing a trip to our local nursery couldn’t fix and I filled a cart and the garden with store bought seedlings and started again.

The two types of plants that managed to make it were my tomatoes and hot chilies that were still in the hot house and these awesome small kirby cucumbers to make pickles.

There are no pickles here like I remember – they are called gherkins and they in no way resemble the dill or sweet and sour pickles that we ate from the jar as kids during summer on Long Island. So I was so excited to make my first batch using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe with cucumbers from my own garden, that I grew from seed!  (Hmmm, maybe I need to get out more =)

Crunchy, cold and yum!  Onto make the second batch!  Sorry guests, they may have to remain in the servants fridge.