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Jul 14, 2010
A taste of success – our first cucumbers!
Jessie Atchison  Burpee Home Gardens Brand Manager, 2008-2010

A few weeks ago, I gave you some ideas about gardening with kids, and I mentioned that my son, who is 5, is an enthusiastic veggie gardener. While our garden this year did not live up to his (extremely grand) vision, he does love taking care of our veggie containers and watching their progress. We’ve got the basics: a couple kinds of tomatoes, several varieties of peppers, strawberries, and my favorites from the garden, cucumbers. He’s been faithfully counting the number of flowers and developing fruit for weeks.

After I came home yesterday from several days of traveling for work, he took me out to inspect our containers: “Mom, come see! There’s a cucumber that’s ready and it looks delicious!” (This is a direct quote. I promise I didn’t make up the “delicious” part.)

One of the things that makes cucumbers fun to grow with kids is that the big leaves and fast growth often hide the fruit, so you have to go on a bit of an exploration – even with just a couple plants in a big pot – to find the ones that are ripe. Upon careful examination – and lots of “oohing” and “aahing” over the great job he and his dad did taking care of the plants while I was gone – we found that we had not one, but two cucumbers ready to harvest. To commemorate our first official veggie harvest of the season, I took a photo of my very proud son with his first two cucumbers. After a day of chilling in our fridge (they are best cold!), they’re on tonight’s dinner menu … and all of us are ready to dig in!

What have you harvested so far this season, and do you (or your kids) have any favorites?

Reader Comments (3)
Love to see kids getting involved in gardening! It is amazing how engaged they can become and how that leads to them trying vegetables they might otherwise turn their little noses up at.

With all the rain and sunshine we're having in the Milwuakee area, my garden seems way ahead of schedule for our area. My tomato plants are now over six feet tall in their straining tomato towers. Reading your post about hunting for cucumbers under the big leaves compelled me to want share my little discovery yesterday - I decided to try growing zucchini this year for the first time since I was a kid. Now, I'm an attentive gardener and pride myself on making a thorough inspection each morning, but my thoroughness was called into question when I discovered two enormous zucchini - way past optimum harvesting time. I swear these things are ten pounds each - now what to do? Anyone have a suggestion for making use of over grown zucchini? I'd appreciate the advise!
Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Larry
Never turn your back on a squash!

If it's really big, you can core it, grind it or grate it, and separate it into 2-cup portions to freeze and use later. Be sure to drain it first, 'cause they're so full of water.
Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Kate
Yes, those run-away squash/zucchini can get big really fast! When the harvest season is in full-force, you could be picking 2-3 times a week!

Regular harvesting will keep your vine producing all season. But if you've missed one, don't worry! Larger-sized zucchini are perfect for stuffing. We have lots more recipes here at our website, like Curried Summer Squash Soup or Zucchini Cookies:

The Burpee Home Gardens Team
Friday, July 16, 2010 | Burpee Home Gardens
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