Harvesting Cucumbers & Experimenting with Luffa
Village Farm Team,
We made our first cucumber harvest this past weekend! Just like summer squashes, cucumbers are quick-growing. It typically takes around 8-10 days from pollination until they reach harvesting size. Our Diva variety seems a bit behind in terms of overall growth but we were able to harvest a sizable amount from both the Suyo Long and Marketmore varieties. As the name implies, the Suyo Long cucumber is a longer fruited variety. As you can see in the photo below, it bears a much different appearance than the straight and somewhat smooth Marketmore. Suyo Long cucumbers have a sweet flavor that is perfect for slicing and snacking. Use these cucumbers in salads, pickles, gazpacho, or juices.
In addition to our three cucumber varieties, we’re testing out a row of luffa (commonly spelled as “loofah”). Luffa is a member of the Cucurbit family along with cucumbers so it grows in much the same way. Though luffa can be eaten when it is young, they are most commonly utilized as a sponge. When a luffa is allowed to fully ripen and dry out on the vine, the flesh will disappear leaving the fibrous “skeleton” which is then used as a sponge or body scrub. Though these plants were a little stunted after the large amount of rainfall last week, they seem to be climbing up the trellis with ease and are close to flowering. We can’t wait to see how they do over the coming weeks!
We lost a good bit of our Jalapeno crop due to excess rainfall but our other peppers are slowly bouncing back. One such pepper is the Bastan, a poblano variety. Bastans produce dark green fruits that are smooth and about five inches in length. Their spice level is moderate if you consume the seeds and veins, but the flesh itself is relatively mild. Bastan peppers are perfect for making chile rellenos, salsa, or grilling up alongside fajitas. Make sure to stop by the veggie wagon this Saturday if you’d like to try some out!
Please note the veggie wagon is still open on Saturdays from 8-12 but with more stringent sanitary protocols in place!
Happy Harvesting, The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West