Cool as a Cucumber

Happy Thursday! We survived the hottest day since June 2016! With recent temperatures near 100 degrees, I am so glad to finally have some cooler weather, especially at night. Hopefully, the heat won’t be that extreme again anytime soon. 

The garden survived the heat wave, as well, and things are really taking off! We had a lot of variety at the farm market this week with carrots, string beans, banana peppers, snap peas, herbs, and more! We hope to have tomatoes, tomatillos, chard, and some cucumbers within the next few weeks! Everything is growing great! 

Cucumbers seem to be a favorite to grow in every type of garden, from big farms to small container gardens. They seem to do well anywhere, as long as they’re properly cared for. Cucumbers are generally known for their high water content, but they are also full of nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. Cucumbers are very low in calories, and are a great way to prevent dehydration, constipation, and overeating. Cucumbers also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. Certain antioxidants found in cucumbers have been linked to cancer-fighting activities, including protecting the DNA from damage, as well as inducing cancer cell death. Other bioactive compounds in cucumbers aid the liver in the detoxification process. Interestingly, cucumbers provide a cooling effect against skin irritations, as well as reduce swelling and redness; cucumbers especially can decrease swelling and puffiness around the eyes. Now you know why your spa day includes placing cucumber slices on your eyes – it’s not just for show! Try growing cucumbers in your backyard garden or in a small container on your deck for a wonderful hydrating, anti-inflammatory treat during the hot summer months. 

Cucumbers add a great refreshing crunch to any dish. Try them in salads, sandwiches, drinks, or make your own pickles! Here is a great cucumber salad recipe to add to your lunch or dinner menu. 


Italian Cucumber Salad 

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1/2 pound red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound yellow cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces small fresh mozzarella cheese balls

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. In a large bowl, combine halved red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced cucumber, diced red onion, small fresh mozzarella cheese balls.
  2. Add basil pesto and lemon juice to the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Use more basil pesto, if desired.

Adapted from: Julia’s Album Blog (https://juliasalbum.com/avocado-salad-tomatoes-mozzarella-basil-pesto/)


While cucumbers are relatively easy to grow, even the most experienced gardener can have pest problems. However, there are natural ways to deal with pests. Watch this short video to learn more about what pest damage can look like on your cucumber plants and how to manage it. 

Have a great weekend!

References: https://draxe.com/nutrition/vegetables/cucumber-nutrition/

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