2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Friday, August 12, 2022

Garden games...

 Picking green beans and cucumbers is an almost daily game of Hide and Seek.  


The above picture doesn't show any of the plant's stem, but the stems that support the main part of the plant look very much like the green bean itself - with something that looks like the dark "spine" in the middle of the green bean.   It's kind of fascinating how similar the two parts of the plant look, but it makes it really challenging to find the mature beans sometimes.  I've been fooled a number of times reaching for a green bean, only to find myself grabbing hold of a stem.


I circle around and search through each bean and cucumber plant two or three times before feeling reasonably confident I've found all that are the right size for picking, and a couple days later I almost always find a giant cucumber I missed.  When this happens, they are always so large (like 7 inches or more), I wonder how on earth I must have missed it several times.  It starts to feel like the plant is playing pranks on me.

While I try to harvest the pickling cucumbers before they get over 5 inches long, it's important, I've learned, to never let a cucumber grow so large it turns yellow.  At that point, the plant will likely stop producing fruit and think it's time to die.  So evidently, as long as I keep picking while the fruits are young, the plants will keep producing.  But if I let just one go too long, and get too old, it's Game Over! 

I have to say when I decided to plant cucumbers, this was not a game I anticipated.  

I also have to say... the Bread and Butter Pickles I canned earlier this week are worth it all.  Mmmmm.  I was so happy with them, I gave some to friends who came over for supper last night who'd never tasted Bread and Butter Pickles.  I hope they like them as much as I now do!  



15 comments:

  1. I chuckled at the "game over" sentence. Never have grown cucumbers or beans so this was interesting to read. Bread and butter pickles are my favorite .

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    1. I'd never had Bread and Butter pickles prior to this summer. I bought a jar just to try them, and I LOVED them. I'm so glad my first pickles of this type turned out well. If I can can enough of them, they will be fun to give as gifts, I think.

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  2. This post brings back memories of when I had a large garden and picked and canned so much. Good memories, but now I just don’t need that much anymore, nor do I have the energy. Thanks for triggering some good memories for me.

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    1. It is a bit tiring, I'll admit. But I'm glad for it getting me outside in the sun for a bit, and it's fun eating from the garden. I also know (for me) this will all be wrapped up in a month so I'm making the best of it while I can. :)

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  3. Beans can hide all they want as far as I'm concerned but I would be scouring the cuke plants for sure. They're like zucchini and go from being too itty bitty one day to being giants overnight.

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    1. It's incredible to me how quickly cucumbers grow. And unpredictably, too. They seem to be small for quite a while, then all of a sudden they're giant!

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    2. Just like zucchinis who are prone to quadrupling in size under the cover of darkness - sneaky things.

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  4. Oh that's interesting because my mother's favorite pickle recipe called for overripe, yellow cucumbers. Have fun with the hunt and the canning and the eating. Yummo!

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    1. I'm enjoying it so far. :) The cucumbers seemed to have slowed down with the slight cool down in temperatures. I hope it's only temporary as I'm eager to pickle some more.

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  5. Your gatden is keeping you on your toes.

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    1. It is! Every day or every other day sees me toting a basket out to the garden to see what's ready to harvest.

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  6. I never realized until this year that growing cucumbers on a trellis is ideal. I also have a hard time getting them before they get too big, we've had some that hide and i see them only when they're larger.

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    1. The previous owners of this house left behind several large round cages and until I decided to plant cucumbers and pole beans I had no idea what I'd use them for. They seemed too big for tomatoes, but probably not. They are perfect for cucumbers and pole beans, and look so pretty as the plants cover them.

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  7. I have beans and cukes that like to hide on me too. The yellow cukes are very bitter. I have found some gigundas-but they add to the compost. Glad your pickles turned out so good!

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    1. I add my unused pieces of all my fruits and veggies (and healthy looking, but dying plants) to the compost, but I'm hesitant to put whole (even unusable) fruits and veggies in there (or anything that looks like it could possibly have seeds). I moved the compost bin this spring, and just a few weeks ago I recognized tomato plants had sprung up where I moved the bin from. I'm not sure they would have produced anything, but the number of plants were astounding!

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