Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My First Cucumber

This past week has been difficult. Our family lost a very close friend. He was only 44 years old. Oh, right, I am going to write about my cucumber plant. And plants remind me of life and there we go - Jon is gone. But my cucumber arrived.

My poor Amira cucumber plant has had come problems this year. The Master Gardeners that I spoke with attribute it to the lack of bees for pollination. My plant looked very good to start. There were lots of little cucumbers. But each one got yellow and then shriveled. I had almost given up hope of having cucumbers although I noticed that a few of the most recent ones had finally grown a bit larger. For that, I am thankful. While examining the plant (you can tell that I am a small scale gardener not a farmer), I felt under one of the leaves and there was a perfect 8-inch cucumber. It became part of my husband's lunch.

I am so glad that I continued to water, feed and talk to my plant even when things were looking bad. Now I am anticipating more cucumbers in the future.

I also picked my first Copia tomato. It is an orange and yellow striped medium-sized (at least for me) variety. I had to verify the color with Cliff, the farmer that sold me that plant. The tomato didn't look like it would turn red but I just didn't know. Copia was tasty but not the best tomato that I've had. This year the black Brandywines seem best but the season is still young. And there are many more tomatoes on the way.

We are at the height of the season for fruit and veggies here in Sonoma County. My friend Cynthia saw me at the farmer's market and asked what I am into these days. And I answered, "Melons." "Not veggies?", she inquired. Of course, those, too, it goes without saying.

Last year at the market I introduced Cynthia to Romano beans - the flat Italian green beans. Now she eats them and has also bought the yellow ones and likes those, too.

A big part of my enjoyment comes from introducing people to new foods, especially new vegetables. Try them all, I say. And remember to enjoy life; you never know how long you have.

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