When Life Gives You Lemons
emon cucumbers that is. You just deal. One of my gardening prompts is that I alphabetize varieties in my garden, since I don’t care for tags. Say I allot 20 row feet to carrots but I want to plant two varieties, Napoli would be planted first then Nelson, and then to add more idiosyncrasy I stick a rock in the row where the break is. This simple method has worked well for me over the years and makes gardening life pretty simple when I need to transfer the information to my garden plan. I can just look at the seed packets of what I planted that day, and recreate the garden in my notebook.
So much for the “plan.” Way back in June when I was trying to get some garden planted in between raindrops, I prepared my cucumber row and direct seeded my cukes. I don’t remember now what the distractions were that day, but there were many. Needless to say, as I got to the end of the row and grabbed the next seed packet out of my pocket, I discovered (insert gasp) that I had just probably planted 15 row feet of lemon cucumbers instead of my pickling cukes. The lemon cuke seed packet was open and smudged with dirt, and the National Pickling Cuke packet was still in its Fedco- scented unopened glory
Not that lots of lemon cucumbers is a bad thing, but I like them to snack on and they tend to be pretty prolific so a few plants along with some slicers can give you your fill of cukes. I usually succession plants zukes and cukes anyway, but the first planting is always the highest yielding. So I am going to improvise and try them in my bread and butter pickle recipe. My second planting of pickling cukes is coming along but not too fast and these cold nights are really slowing them down.
Food is expensive whether you’re purchasing or growing. Seeds, labor and fuel all need to be figured in. I have more than a full-time job just growing, storing and cooking up our food. Shame on me for being a baby and even thinking of not using this bounty! And I did think of it Pickles are just a condiment anyway…and I am sure that once the bloom is off the garden and the dark days are here those lemon bread and butters are going to taste pretty good. I’ll let you know how they turn out.