One Hundred Feet of Cucumbers and a Pile of Green Tomatoes

Dilled green tomatoes and cucumbers, dill and sweet relish
Dilled green tomatoes and cucumbers, dill and sweet relish

Last year I planted two 50-foot rows of cucumbers. One row was Straight Eight and the other Marketmore. Both are open pollinated varieties with a long history of cultivation. They make great salad cucumbers, are tender and not bitter. They are also good for relish and all kinds of pickles.

I had planted these in hopes of selling fresh cukes and pickles and relish at farm markets. For whatever reasons, the economy, the June flood that swept through Carlton County that summer which seemed to cast a long shadow especially on people with few resources, or something else, they did not sell well. I barely got my money back on the jars. I have many jars left but these make good gifts and I have plenty of dill pickles and relish for myself, too.

Like I do every year, I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, especially paste tomatoes. I took about 20 pounds of green Amish Paste Tomatoes, sliced these up and made dilled green tomatoes. These are very good with a strong dill flavor but sour.

The ingredients for these pickles are simple: fresh cucumbers or green tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, sugar (not a lot of that for dills), some salt, garlic, dill, hot peppers, and other spices.

I’ll be planting fewer cucumbers of the long green types this season. I have some other types I’d like to try such as crystal apple, lemon (very popular at the farm market a few years ago), and poonah kheera. I also want to use part of the trellis for cucuzzi, an edible gourd from the genus Languinera, and for zucchetta trombolina, a richly flavored summer squash related to the butternut.

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