Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Biblical Cucumbers

Here are a few pictures of the biblical cucumbers which are going crazy! There are several that are about 2 ft long and they'll keep growing. If you're wondering what makes them "biblical" cucumbers, here is a brief history of cucumbers and the variety we're growing:

Cucumbers are native to Asia and were were cultivated in India as long as 3000 years ago. The cucumber was carried westward from India long before written history as is indicated by the profusion of ancient names for it in: Aryan, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Armenian, and others. Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Torah (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8): The Israelites in the wilderness complained to Moses that they missed the 'cucumbers and melons of Egypt'. Some sages considered this to be the Snake Cucumber (Cucumis melo)- which is the same variety you can know see growing in the Kellogg Garden!  (Information from Eli Rogosa of the Heritage Wheat Conservancy who has been growing and saving these seeds and shared some with WSG)

Our cukes are destined to be served at the Sukkot shabbat dinner on September 24th, so we're going to pickle the ones that are ready now. If you have a good family recipe or pickle hints you'd like to share, please email lmm2@williams.edu. We'd love any suggestions!

1 comment:

  1. Hi There. I have seen this cucumber called many things, including Painted Serpent cucumber and striped Armenian cucumber. These cucumber varieties are often more disease and heat resistant, exhibiting fruit that is burpless and bitter-free. There are many relatives of this cucumber variety that I grow, mostly as heirlooms from Italy by the name of Carosello.

    Best wishes on your future gardening and cucumber-growing exploits.

    Jay Tracy