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Cukes and More Cukes

This has been the best year for cucumbers and tomatoes. They just keep coming. Ironically, they also take a while to get established, but when they do – oh boy! This season I planted an early crop of cukes in the greenhouse and then direct seeded a crop outside in early June and with another planting in mid-July. The greenhouse cukes are done, the June cukes are slowing down and the July cukes are hitting their stride.

Look for Klesick Farms cucumbers till the first hard frost. We absolutely love the flavor of the Silver Slicers. Those yellowish white cucumbers have great flavor and provide a nice break from the traditional green slicers that come most of the year.

However, we also plant the classic green slicing cucumber “Marketmore”. Whenever Marketmore’s are brought up in grower circles, you should hear the poetic waxing, “Those are beautiful.” or “The disease resistance is incredible.” or “They just keep producing!” or “They taste great!”. Jeesh, all this gushing about a cucumber! It is well deserved.

And when you plant a Marketmore or Silver Slicer in organic soils it tastes even better, but, really every crop tastes better when it is grown organically. The healthier soil combined with ample water and sunshine is a recipe for a bumper crop bursting with nutrition and flavor!

This week I am switching gears in the “boxes of good”. Our friends at Highwater farms have some excellent Fennel and I have a good quantity of beets, so we are pairing the two together and offering a roasted fennel beet salad for the recipe. Fennel isn’t on the dinner plate often, but every so often I like to stretch a few taste buds.

You can follow the recipe here or google how to use Fennel, or you can do what I do. I grab every root vegetable that has been hanging around waiting to be eaten (think: carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, potatoes, garlic, onions, and fennel), chop them up into 1″ chunks, coat them with olive oil, sea salt and a little pepper, toss them into a pan and roast them all at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. YUM! The tricky thing about eating good vegetables is that you have to eat them to get the nutrition. I know the produce is beautiful and you just can’t bring yourselves to cook them, it’s okay, but their beauty really shines when you eat them.



Farmer/Health Advocate