It may only be one humble cucumber, but this is a cucumber I have lovingly tended myself, so yes, I confess to being a little excited to pick my first produce.
I grew a crystal apple cucumber in the veggie patch last year, it grew well and produced quite a few cucumbers, but it was unruly and as soon as the fruit got to any size they became full of seed and had very little flesh, and it had a slightly bitter.
This year I am growing the cucumbers in the greenhouse. They are in 30cm pots with three canes training the vine in spirals. I feel much more in control than last year.
The advice I read online said to pick the fruit small, so this is what I have done today. These cucumbers are lovely to look at, little round spiky things, quite different to the usual long green cucumbers we are so used to.
So today, 9th December 2011, I snipped off my first Crystal Apple and proudly brought it in from the garden. Small and neat, just perfect for a sandwich.
I first peeled off the pale skin as it is a little prickly. Cutting into the cucumber I was surprised at how many seeds were inside, but trying a slice proved my concern unnecessary, it was delicious.
Of course my first harvest had to be eaten at lunch time, so a soft bread bap with a slice of Jarlsberg cheese was crowned with my lovingly sliced Crystal Apple.
Now I know this is far from gourmet food, but my goodness my cucumber was superb. It’s flavour was fresh, sweet and refreshing. It’s flesh was firm but so juicy, a true delight.
There is another cucumber nearing picking size, so I wonder just how many cucumbers I will have eaten by the end of the growing season?