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Cucumis sativus is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. Cucumbers are commonly harvested while still green. They can be eaten raw or cooked, or pickled. Although less nutritious than most fruit, the fresh cucumber seeds are still a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium, also providing dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. Cucumbers are used in the decorative food art, garde manger.

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      07.05.2009 18:25
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      A vegetable that can be interesting and varieties worth trying

      For most of us a cucumber is a long green thing that we can slice, or chop and eat pickled, or with salad. However, there is a lot more to this much underrated vegetable.

      Cucumbers are very versatile and widely cultivated. They are in fact gourds of the family cucurbitaceae. This is a creeping vine that grows up trellis and fences clinging on with its on tendrils for support and its big leaves protect the fruit. There are several different varieties which are normally in their 'green' unripe state because ripe cucumbers turn yellow and become too bitter to eat.

      The Armenian cucumber is snakelike in shape and crisp, mild. It has a very thin skin and so it doesn't need to be peeled. This particular variety is probably more closely related to the melon in flavour. It isn't easy to get hold of.

      English cucumbers grow up to about 0.60cms long and have very few seeds. The skins are very delicate and can be eaten. These can be grown in all but the coldest of climates, under glass where required.

      Japanese cucumbers are mild in taste with a rough, bumpy skin and are used for salad and pickling. They are not seasonal and can be harvested at any time of the year.

      Mediterranean cucumbers are mild tasting and thin skinned, these cucumbers are almost seedless and used for a variety of culinary purposes.

      The Persian cucumber has long been available in Canada and the Dominican Republic and has recently been grown in Britain, although it needs extra warmth. It is a very small seedless cucumber and grows to about 15cms long. The flavour is mild and it is easy to slice.

      Dosaki is a yellow, Indian cucumber used in cooking and to make chutney, while the lemoin cucumber is usually eaten raw.

      Cucumbers are grown and eaten in almost every country of the world and their variety is amazing. If you want to grow cucumbers you don't have to stick with the plain green English variety. These plants are not easy to grow but a little extra attention really pays off.

      Or, if you don't fancy growing your own you could always keep your eyes open on market stalls and in speciality shops, for different kinds of cucumber.

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        30.01.2007 16:36
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        delicious to eat

        Cucumbers

        Cucumbers are a half hardy annual trailing plant, which are best grown in the greenhouse for a good crop of deliciously tasting salad vegetables. The cucumbers can be grown from six to 12 inches long depending on soil condition and the climate they are grown under.
        They love temperatures of around 21 centigrade which can be kept constant in a greenhouse with the right equipment however they can also be grown with good results under a cold frame in the garden.

        The smaller types of cucumbers are called gherkins and are not as large as the popular salad veg, these can also be grown outside and can be pickled when ready to store over winter and used as a compliment to cold meals and snacks.
        I find that you can buy the packs of seeds in all garden centres and D I Y stores, the price will vary from different types of cucumbers to others, but the best places to buy is boot sales and garden centres which have already started them off for you in pots. I find it much easier and quicker to get a plant which is already a good size from the pot and re-plant in the green house instead of messing around with the seeds, as cultivation can take a while before they get to the right size for re-planting.

        If you prefer to use seeds then now is the right time to sow them, in pots of seed compost, which can also be bought at the garden centres. They usually germinate after four or five days, then once they are at a suitable height you can re-plant them in the position in your greenhouse and feed them and watch them grow. This is usually done when they have about three or four leaves on the small plant. They like soil which has been treated well with manure, this also gives a good crop.

        You have to remember that they love water and removing the male flowers will help you get a good sized cucumber when harvesting your crop. Be careful if your growing outside under a cold frame as the spider mite and the woodlice loves cucumbers too. These can be kept at bay with sprays from the garden centres.

        On the whole they are quite easy to grow and every year you will get a better crop as you get used to the conditions they need to grow.

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          12.11.2001 16:48
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          Hello, I bet all of you are wondering how I know so much about crops. To tell you the truth, like all the other "cool" farm kids in my hometown, those of us with purple "FFA" (Future Farmers of America) jackets, who got to drive our dads combines to school on one day each year, I studied Agriculture. But more important than that education was what I learned when my father was killed in a horrible accident when I was 7 and I became the head of our farm. Dad took us to the fair and I was going to show my prize fryer that day but he got drunk and fell out of the ferris wheel when his hat that held two cans of beer on it slipped off his head and he reached for it. He fell out of the Ferris Wheel onto a dumpster that had all sorts of wasps flying around it. It didn't kill him, but after he sued the carnival company he bought a brand new convertible instead of paying off our land and equipment. He was driving and he got hit in the face with a golf ball and His car spun out of control and dashed into a bowling alley and his face smashed right into a video game. But it did not kill him. He got taken to the hospital and the put him in traction with all those pullies and during the night he basically got drawn and quartered by his traction equipment. It is horrible to even think about. And no one could hear him since his shouts were muffled by all of his bandages. Anyways we sued the hospital. At first I was hestitant to learn farming. I was making good money catching dew worms at night to sell to the visiting fishermen but my mother explained that this was not going to feed 6 people I had better grow up and face some responsibility. My uncle put wooden blocks on the pedals of our tractors and my mom signed me up for home school so I could work all day. I farmed a total of 360 acres by my self. Most of it was beans and corn but I had some acerage next to a creek that I planted pickles. Just so you know, and ev
          erytime I got to the store and see these things called, "English cucumbers" long and skinny and wrapped in plastic I can't help but think you people don't know anything about pickles. See cucumbers are just pickles that you didn't get to harvest and they got big on you. Lots of times if I could not contract my pickles then I would let them grow into Cukes and then I would have to figure out how to sell them. Once they got to big for jar pickles or relish I was basically screwed since there wasn't enough women around who wanted them great big Cukes (for their salads). I don't know what I ought to say on here. I mean you are probaly just a bunch of city slickers with gardens thinking you know about agriculture. You buy little fertilizer sticks while I am taking about pouring out 35 pounds of nirogen per acre with my spreader over 10 acres of pickles. Then I don't put on dainty little gloves to pick them either I got 6 mexicans that can pick 80 bushels a day. If you people want to talk about farming i can teach you anything but if you want a tale about how to waste time fooling around with two plants I am not your man. I am talking acerage OK?. I do not understand people and their do it themselves attitudes, do they think they can out do a pro? Sure I pour lots of herbicide and pesticide all over the ground but growing that stuff yourself won't do you any better. So take notes and learn how to grow pickles at home. For my climate I need to disk my land about 3 days after a good rain towards the beginning of may. Then within the next week I plant the seeds. It took me a while to learn how to do this right and for the first two years I farmed I ended up having to go to the salvation army shelter to get coats for my siblings, and my mom made me walk in there and tell them that my younger siblings needed coats since I was a stupid boy, meanwhile she stayed out in the car and smoked cigarettes. Basically you
          need to hang out at a diner with all the old farmers who are no longer useful around the family farms and whose grown sons make them go up town and drink coffee all day instead of interfering with the operations. Well you go there and eat lemon pie and listen to them predict how much rain you are going to get that year. If the rain will be heavey you do an 18-6 or so but if the season with be dry you go 24-8 or so. Now you don't get many chances to screw this up before the bank pulls the shingles spelling out your family name off the roof of your barn and has the sheriff kick you off your land. Once you plant your pickles you might spray for bugs. Usually the duPont man is pretty well informed on what you should do and then you try to low ball him and buy about a third of the crap he is trying to sell you. So you spray after the pickle plants are about 5 inches acrost and then you might dust them again if the beetles are out. Then you sit around all summer writing editorials to the paper and letters to your MP telling them about the plight of the small family farmer. Basically what farming is about any more is just looking busy all summer, having tractors out on the highway blocking the tourist traffic and going to the dentist office reading "Successful Farming" with your work boots smearing manure all over the upholstery. The fact is you just have to give the impression to the neighbors and the cops flying around that you really are a farmer. Meanwhile you grow Grass in between your corn plants. I know it sounds bad but we have to eat too, well that ain't right cause we raise our own groceries, but I mean we need cash flow and with beans at 2.37 a bushel and corn at the lowest in has been in 10 years it is much easier to let the hippies come out and plant dope in the corn field. The funny thing is the crows, geese and deer leave the mari-jar-wannah alone. So anyways now you know how to grow cucumbers. If you can ge
          t some acerage on a hillside facing the sun. What you want is a readily accessible field with good air and water flow to protect against frost damage. You want a sandy loam to clay loam soil high in organic matter. For most cukes try to have a PH between 6 and 6.5. And another thing don't go planting your pickles on land that you grew curcubits on last year, that means your cukes, pumpkins and squash. I know you stupid people have no idea what I am talking about and it pisses me off. You would just as well dick around with a couple little plants in your back yard and it irritates me that you people are all content going about something the wrong way and then you will be all proud to feed your guest this rubbish and boast that you grew it yourself. I hate you city folks. Now you gotta figure out what kind to grow.You got to choose betwen slicer cukes or pickling cukes I mean if you are contracting your pickles to a canner and are more worried about belly rot control or Root knot nematode resistance you may want to go with a Fanfare or victory. But if you are just into plain cosmetics for the shop trade you should get an Eureka or Wellington. You also got to think about what your growing season will be like and how long your season will be. If you are going to have a short season after a spring planting go for something like a centurion with a 59 day turn or maybe a Dasher two with only 58 days, I went with a general Lee with a 66 day cycle this year. If I was in England I would grow Fancipak or Calypso if I knew I could have a good 75 days. It all depends on if you have to worry about angular leaf spot or mildew. I had trouble with anthracnose last year...... I just realized you people are not listening to a single thing that I am trying to say and you do not take pickle farming seriously so go to the hardware store and buy a cute little packet of seeds and grow your own cukes per the instructions on the seed
          pack. I just hope all your cukes get Cucumber Mosaic virus you are just laughing at my overalls and the fact that I am chewing tobacco.

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            02.08.2001 04:53
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            Dear people of UK and Ireland (where between seven days I'll be happy guest), I am an Italian member of dooyoo.it. I hope that you excuse me for my orrible english and many mistakes you'll find in my opinion... In Italy this is named "Inglese maccheronico". (I speek how I eat... You also, but Italian food is better, sorry!) I (and my friends and nephews), arrive in dooyoo.co.uk, from dooyoo.it for spend a little happy time... how great Roberto Benigni teach us! Now I approfitt of this occasion for send a supplication to all cooks, waiters and waitresses. I'll go to display to you. I went in GB in 1978, 1984, 1986, 1999... every time in Scotland. I love Scotland... probably in another life I was a seagull or a seal... or a Duncan McLeod's wife... Well: I love everythink, everybody, everytime in your beautifool and green country! Only three thing i don't understand. 1)Why I cannot drink a cup of tea with lemon? Tea with milk is a very ciofeca... for me. Why, when I ask a lemmon piece for my tea cup, all the waitresses look at me like a martian? Why? Pecchè? Do you like a cup of tea? Yes madam, with lemmon please! She don't understand! Why? 2)The water: I drink only water. What I have to do, or to say, (or to pray?) for a caraff of water on the table near my glass? Give to eat to the hungry people! Give to drink to thirsty people! I pay! If this is the problem! No! It is impossible! Do you need a special license for give to me a caraff of water? 3) Cucumber: I don't understand your maniacal love for cucumber!!! In every food you put cucumber. I DON'T LIKE CUCUMBER! What I have to do, or to say, or to pray? The cucumber's smell make overturn my stomach! Please don't put it in my salad dish! I have a project: I print for me a t-shirt with: "I don't like your cucumber!" <
            br>Perhaps the waiters will be enraged with me? THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMPREHENSION! THE AUNT OF DOOYOO ITALY

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