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Thursday, July 28, 2016

The First Cucumber!

After last year's cucumber fiasco (some creature came by and sheered them off at the ground, twice!) I really really wanted to have the cucumbers succeed this year.  (This is only our second time growing cucumbers....)I used the hay bale garden model with a little bit of trepidation but went all out.

For weeks we have had lots of cucumber blossoms.  Such a pretty yellow blossom on the end of tiny little cucumbers BUT no big cucumbers.  On Saturday I finally broke down and went out to see if I could pollinate those little guys.  It seemed like there were no male blossoms, and no bees flying around.  When I looked at them again, I thought I saw that the tiny cucumbers had plumped up a bit so I decided to wait a while longer before that hand-pollination effort.
Baby cucumber fattening up, with several sisters hanging further down the vine!

Today I went out and looked at the plants from about a foot away instead of three feet away.  THERE WAS A CUCUMBER READY TO EAT!!!  So exciting.  I picked it, scrubbed it, sliced it thinly, and ate it in salad for lunch. 

This cucumber was hiding behind a leaf.  Do you wonder that I did not see it before?!

I would like to say that cucumber was "so good" but I really don't like cucumbers that much.  I wanted to raise them for the challenge, for fresh food with no pesticides, and for any  health benefits that might exist.  It appears that cucumbers are healthier than I thought!  I DO love dill and other pickles and relishes  though with all the sugar and salt they are probably not man's best friends....

First picked cucumber 2016...half the size of the Klean Kanteen insulated bottle.  Notice the Bug Baffler above and below the Klean Kanteen.

It appears that cucumbers should be eaten skin-on.  I did not know that except I really like to keep skins on most foods that we eat.  I think they are better for you that way.   SO, by a fluke, we had unpeeled cucumber in our salad.  The whole cucumber went into the salad except for a good slice off each end. I have not eaten cucumbers by choice for fifty years or more.  I had some bitter slices a long time ago.  At my sister's house  last year I learned that you need to slice off both ends before eating.  No bitterness!

You see those two Klean Kanteens in the basket of my stroller.  One we have had for several years.  In May when I was visiting Son #1 he showed me his new insulated Klean Kanteen.  He said that he filled it with ice and water in the morning, left it on his car seat in the hot sun all day while he worked and when he got back in the car to drive home at the end of the day there was still ICE WATER!!  I decided to believe that...even without him swearing on a stack of Bibles.

When I got home I mentioned these containers to Dear One.  On our way home from the temple we passed by an EMS store which had one in stock according to their website. Dear One had printed out a discount coupon just in case.  When we got there we found there were TWO and they were both wide mouth which is what I wanted.  With the coupon it was still a good amount of money but Dear One was happy to see me home and very generous.  IT IS TRUE!  These keep water ice cold for many hours.

The Bug Baffler is another great piece of equipment.  Many years ago a friend who owns Country Woolens in Lebanon, NH  and I were talking. I had stopped walking because I hated the mosquitoes and other bugs flying around me and  landing on me.  She told me about bug bafflers. I purchased one right away.  Now it is just laziness that keeps me from walking.  One problem with it is that people don't really want to be seen with you when you are wearing one.  I just think they are sorry they don't have one, too.....

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