Four days ago, the hearty fella pictured above was about 1 newborn pee-pee length. (Pretty sure that is an actual agricultural measurement, like “bushel” or “peck.”  You can fact-check me on that.)  Tonight, it will become the star of a tasty salad.  Ain’t nature grand?

Whether they’re sliced as a side dish, wedged with a dash of salt for a crispy snack or pickled to puckery perfection, I love me some cucumbers!    Hey, they don’t put a slice of pepperoni on your eyelids when you go to the spa, right?  Besides, they tolerate our hot summers well and are easy to grow.   They do take up some real estate in your garden though, but worth the extra space, I think, and they are good for your health.*

I grow them against a fence or trellis so they can climb. This year, I constructed a three-sided cage of plastic fencing to keep them confined to one section of my little patch.  Growing vertically produces a nice, uniform symmetrical fruit, along with keeping them off the ground where they are more subject to pests and rot-inducing moisture.  Not to mention they may take on some funky shapes as they conform to the terrain.  Of course, I’ve enjoyed many an “ugly” shaped cuke, and as with any garden-variety vegetable, (any gardener will tell you this) they still taste sensational!  A few flaws?  They might just accentuate that whole home-grown goodness thing.

If you do grow a few that rival any offering from the produce department at your local grocer, then give yourself a big fat Blue Ribbon!  By the way, they’re good with blue cheese dressing too.

*Here’s more on the goodness of the good ‘ol cucumber:

Cucumber corral in Cook’s garden

The author, letting it grow…





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