Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cucumber Crazy and Saving Seeds

If you have been reading any of the other posts on this blog, you have probably determined that I like cucumbers. Apparently, my family does too. My kids are always happy to eat them, and if they don’t I am happy to do so also. Most of the time when I grow a new variety of cucumber (often a Carosello) my wife says something like, “These are the best cucumbers you have ever grown”. When I remind her that she has made that claim about a previous cucumber variety she will respond, “Well these are better than the last ones”.

Sometimes we enjoy our cucumbers a little too much

Saving cucumber seeds is also very important to me. No, I am not obsessive and no I am not hoarding seeds. Rather, I am preserving the cucumber varieties that are worth keeping, but are not being preserved because they are better suited for the home gardener than for long-distance shipping to grocery stores. Saving seeds is an important skill that is worth both learning and teaching to others.

Fruit on left is ready for seed saving while the fruit on the right is not

With patience most gardeners can learn how to produce high quality seed from their cucumber vines. With the Carosello, three of the factors in determining when the fruit is fully ripe and the seed is ready to extract include watching for a change in the color of the fruit, smelling the aroma of the fruit and gently shaking the fruit while listening for the slushy sound generated by the inner contents.

By gently shaking the fruit you may hear a slushy sound - be careful when cutting it open!

While I have much to learn about cucumbers, I continue to be fascinated by the growth, color, shape and beauty that are exhibited by each cucumber variety. 


  1. Dear Jay,
    Did you read the answer of Angelo to your comment on "amicidellortodue"? I'll translate it for you. He says that it's a Tortarello Verde Barese. He's afraid you haven't got the seeds of the Mezzo Lungo di Massafra yet. He'll send them to you again.
    P.S. In a few hours I'll send you the pictures I promised you.

    1. Thanks for the update, Giuseppe. I'll make sure to reply to his comment. I really need to do a post about amicidellortdue sometime.

      Angelo is so knowledgeable about these things. I am forever the student.

    2. I agree with you. Angelo Passalacqua is the top expert when talking about caroselli (and not only caroselli) and very kind sending seeds to whoever ask them to him.

  2. We love cucumbers, too! Have you ever tried them in a refreshing drink? Here's our recipe for Cucumber Cooler that your family might enjoy:
    Sorry for leaving a link... I don't normally do this. My grandkids love it.

    1. Dear Carolyn,

      I will definitely check it out. I am fine with links as long as I do not feel like the only reason people are leaving a comment is to advertise.

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