I'd have to say that honestly I am pretty content living in Iowa. There is a lot of cool stuff here. Incredible pork. The world famous state fair. All the corn you could ever want. One hundred wineries and growing, plus an impressive collection of breweries. Gourmet restaurants and foodie events. Templeton Rye. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Yes, I would say that this is my happy place. Recently I heard about a very unique business in Washington state that spoke to my heart and my love of home canning and quick pickling. How about a cucumber farm that not only sells cucumbers grown on the premises but offers pickling parties? I am sooo there !!! Well....I wish anyway.
So what is this farm called? Where is it? What is this all about? Tamara Harden, who lives in Puyallup, Washington, shared this story with me, about Duris Cucumber Farm, a very unique business that's part farm, part store and part pickle factory in Puyallup. I visited the company's website and learned all about the history of this business and how it all started back in the mid-50s when Hazel Duris asked her husband Al to help her get a garden started. She wanted to grow cucumbers for pickles, as well as other fresh vegetables. Like so many gardeners experience, Hazel soon had cucumbers in abundance and began selling her extra produce. Little by little their garden plot grew into a farm, now operated by their children. The farm's chief crop is pickling cukes and with that, everything you need to make pickles. The farm also features a shop where you can find everything you need to make fresh quick pickles- spices, jars, cookbooks, vinegars, and of course, the cucumbers. They even have cute labels and twine for your finished pickles, as well as pre-made canned and pickled foods and other cute canning-themed items for you to purchase.
|Customers make their selections from different sizes and|
varieties of farm fresh pickling cucumbers.
|The shop features pre-packaged spice mixtures for|
different types of pickles- so easy!
|What an awesome setup, all ready for the Pickle Partiers|
|Shaking those pickles!|
|They even sell commercial mixes for people who want to|
make pickles with a minimum of fuss and measuring.
(add in order)
1 grape leaf
1 stalk fresh dill wound in a small circle
3 peeled cloves of garlic
1/8 sliced white onion
3 teaspoons pickling salt
2 teaspoons mustard seed
15 whole black peppercorns
1/2 to 1 dried red chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon alum
1/4 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 slice sweet red bell pepper (place against the side of the jar)
5 medium cucumbers, blossom end removed
2-3 small cucumbers, blossom end removed
1/2 cup of 5% apple cider vinegar
Fill the jar to 1/2 inch headspace with tap water. Top with a lid and ring, tighten, and shake to dissolve the powders. Store in the refrigerator. Pickles will be ready to enjoy in 3-4 3 weeks. Enhanced flavor is achieved by allowing them to cure in the fridge longer.
|Pickle jars in every size and color!|
Tamara is a big supporter of local producers and frequents the produce stands all over her area. She tells me the Puyallup Valley has some of the most fertile soils anywhere as well the areas surrounding eastern Washington, which is a huge agricultural area. Tamara likes keeping in touch with local growers so she gets a heads up on great deals so she can preserve fresh foods for her family at home, and is an avid home canner. She really loved sharing the Pickle Party with her granddaughters. Maybe they will be the next generation of home food preservers!
|Abby and Tamara show us each step|
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."