I've had great luck with open pollinated Wisconsin SMR 58 here in zone 6B/7. Here's what they grow like on my 8' tee-pees.
I make fermented garlic sours and fermented garlic hot sours out of them. My wife makes bread and butter pickles, sweet relish and dill relish out of them, all are delicious.
Bread and butter pickles
Yard cart of Wisconsin SMR 58 and my tomato theif.
I think most of us can remember fishing out a big ole garlic sour dill out of a 55 gallon wooden barrle at the store, when we were kids. This is the closest i've been able to come to reporducing those tastefully cruncky memories of my youth.
Fermented hot garlic sours. Wild black cherry leaves, dill heads, garlic, dried habenero flakes & mustard seeds. Wild black cherry leaves are the secret ingredient to keeping them crunchy Garlic sours are the same recipe just don't add dried habenero flakes.
Food grade 5 gallon bucket and saltwater brine. (Use spring water - clorine added to tap water will spoil the ferment) wash the pickles in spring water to clean and remove the spines so the brine penetrates the cuke during the ferment. Now aren't those some awesome looking pickles? That's what you can expect with Wisconsin SMR 58
pickles are held under salt water brine with a dinner plate, 1/2 pint canning jars and the screw top food grade lid while fermenting.
excerpt: Events In the contiguous states and Hawaii, 102 foodborne botulism events occurred, which affected 160 persons; a median of 9 events (range 4–13) and 14 cases (range 4–30) took place per year. The median number of cases per event was 1 (range 1–17). The median age of case-patients in the contiguous states was 50 years (range 4–88 years), and 83 (52%) were female. The overall case-fatality rate was 5%. No clear seasonal pattern was observed.
A food was implicated by laboratory detection of toxin or epidemiologic investigation without laboratory confirmation in 77 (76%) events (Table 3). Of these events, 68 (67%) were caused by homemade foods. Home-canned foods accounted for 47 (69%) of the homemade food events, affecting 70 people, while other types of homemade foods accounted for the remaining 21 (31%) events, which affected 27 people. Of the nine events caused by nonhomemade foods, five (56%) events, which affected 10 people, were caused by commercial foods, and two (22%) events, which affected 25 people, were caused by restaurant-prepared foods
I thought it was interesting that Alaska was given it's own section while Hawaii was included in the rest of the country.
The way I break those numbers down that's 160 people over 10 years or an average of 16 a year. If 5% die, that's 0.8 dead people per year.
I looked up the numbers at the CDC a few years back but over a different time span, can't remember the details. It may have been just one or two years. The numbers I came up with were more like 2 people a year actually die thanks to modern medicine. Instead of 5% the death rate used to be closer to 50%. Those that do recover can still have long lasting effects, like weakness.
These numbers are only food borne botulism. They do not include infant botulism or wound botulism, both of those are more prevalent. And this is only botulism. These numbers do not include food borne illnesses like salmonella or e. coli. Proper handling, storage, sanitation, and heat are all tools to make our foods safer.