Urszula’s pickles and story

Urszula is in love with the colours and flavours of our Maxwell garden! When she found out about our free weekly harvest boxes she became a regular. Here is Urszula’s story and the recipes for the pickles she loves making.

Urszula arrived from Poland to Dundee 11 years ago. She promised her grandson Jacob who was 8 at the time that he would join his father Jacob who was starting a family in Dundee. She packed their suitcases and moved to Scotland. Urszula says ” I have made very good friends here, Scottish and Polish” .

Learning the language was her first challenge, and she remembers her ESOL first years at college as “the best years” learning so much and meeting people. Now she teaches Polish at the Dundee Saturday Polish School. For Urszula, moving to Dundee was a positive thing in her life “I took it as a fine life experience”.

Pictures taken by Urszula in the Maxwell community garden and at home: harvest box produce, foraged berries, pickled veg and fruit, and a very fresh and healthy breakfast!

Lockdown brought big changes for Urszula, living alone and all her college and Saturday School activities cancelled she bought a bike and learned how and where to forage along the Tay. Her friend Marta told her about the Maxwell garden and the harvest boxes and she jumped at the opportunity “I always dreamed about garden. Before I didn’t have this opportunity. Now I have more time and I think it’s my passion.”

Now she comes weekly to the MAX hour at the park to help with planting and litter picks “it’s a good job in park. Also to listen to others. Chat is better than being by myself at home” and she is planning to join the Outdoor cooking classes in the garden too”.

Urszula says: “At home I make syrup with herbs I dry, pickle vegetable and flowers, I have a little home “herbapol” (herbalist).

She is sharing with us a tried and tested pickled beetroot recipe her friend Aga from Perth shared with her. She would also like to share this online recipe she is still experimenting with that pickles many vegetables and flowers. 


1 and 1/2 litres of cooled boiled water

5 medium beetroots

1 tablespoon of salt

Half a head of garlic

6 bay leaves


  1. Wash and slice beetroots
  2. Completely cover in a glass or ceramic jug with all other ingredients and mix
  3. Cover with a cloth
  4. Mix daily for 7 days and keep covered

Your pickles are ready!

Published by manuelagrows

Community garden mentor at the Maxwell Centre

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