June 28, 1995
About the only good thing I can say about our weather is that the cucumbers seem to like it. This recent mixture of sledgehammer heat and humidity may make us feel lower than a snake in a wagon rut, but for cucumbers, it is propagation time. They are popping off the vines.There are not a whole lot of folks who care for the weather, or for cucumbers. Cucumbers do not have a large, vocal following. Unlike the broccoli legions, cucumbers can not claim to able to prevent cancer, clean your arteries or even give you curly hair.
July 3, 2005
Writer Gertrude Stein, who famously asserted that all roses are alike, could as easily have said, "A cuke is a cuke is a cuke." And been just as wrong. But then few people know how many kinds of cucumbers we could be slicing into salads, putting pickled on hamburgers or sauteeing with haddock and herbs. "There are 270 varieties of cucumbers here at Heritage Farm," says Kent Whaley, founder of Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. There are pickling cucumbers and American slicing cucumbers, the thick-skinned waxed ones usually sold in the supermarket.
June 29, 2006
Hilmar Helgason, a Dorchester County farmer, figures he was right in the worst of it - he said he got about 18 inches of rain. That's a disaster for his cucumbers. "It's totally wiped us out," he said, talking on his cell phone as he checked out the damage yesterday. "The ones that are ready to pick, we're not able to get in the field to pick them, and the ones behind them ... disease is getting into them. And a lot of the ones even after that are just drowned - they're under water." Helgason, 47, who farms 900 acres in the Dorchester towns of Eldorado and Hurlock and in Seaford, Del., has about 250 acres in cucumbers, not counting the 20 acres he's already picked.
December 9, 2001
The market may have taken a dive since the horrifying events of Sept. 11 (a trend only lately reversed, and we shall see how long that lasts). But if you had your money in liquor futures you should be sitting pretty. According to The New York Times last week, imbibers have been packing the saloons of the city in unprecedented numbers. "At a few places - a diverse list including Pravda, the Regency Hotel and McSorley's - liquor sales were 25 percent higher last month than they were in November 2000," the Times reported.
June 20, 1999
Q. I'm noticing some small, strange bumps on my pecan and peach trees. They are white and black and I can scrape them off with my nail. What in the world are they?A. You're seeing the adult female form of calico scale, a common soft scale that can be observed on many different landscape trees. They cause little damage, and are controlled by beneficial insects such as lady bird beetles.Q. My cucumber plants are big and loaded with blooms. But I'm not getting any cucumbers. Is something wrong with my plants?
April 1, 1997
Throughout my childhood summers, a crop of cucumbers dangled from my grandmother's fence. Even when I was a toddler, a pick-your-own trip to her back yard was the highlight of any visit. I could wash and eat that cuke, skin and all, while it was still sun-warm and juicy.I've been a cucumber addict ever since.For me, cucumbers make a salad. Their sweet, delicate flavor eased my transition from iceberg to the stronger-flavored salad greens.And when my parents' garden produced fresh cucumbers, our family indulged in a delicious, fat-free, simple-to-make cucumber and onion salad:Peel and thinly-slice any available cucumbers.