Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heirloom Cucumbers





My mother always used to say, " There is nothing like your own". I don't think I really understood the statement until I decided to start growing my own food. In the beginning growing my own food seemed like a small personal achievement, or hobby that
was fun and simple to do. Eventually, I began to venture into understanding where food comes from and how it is grown. I was floored when I discovered that the food that I eat everyday was being engineered and tampered with for someone else to gain.
Many foods have been Genetically Modified so they are easier to transport, grow faster, or for a so called  "improvement of flavor". So, what are the what are the effects of genetic engineering? Does genetic engineering effect our genetic make up as well? We may never know or at least the information may never be made public. However, I decided that I didn't want to be part of the science experiment and employed myself as a full time urban gardener.
I started my journey of botany at the age of four. I grew a simple avocado seed, which grew into a lovely tree (I hear) , Since I never reaped the benefit of watching my tree fully grow. I planted the pit a friends house and since my family relocated to another
state, so I was not able to keep tabs on my little tree. However, the little avocado was the start of something big. A matter of fact I have a very hard time throwing away a avocado seeds, since I value the avocado tree so much.

The next major plant of my  life was the cotton seed. I had a classmate in fourth grade bring cotton in it's raw form to show-and-tell. I was fascinated by the concept of fabric that can grow from a plant. I was not concern with my classmates story of how his families cotton plantation
was not burned during civil war like most plantations were. I discovered the seeds in the cotton and was able to achieve a small cotton garden. I saved my seeds and continued to grow cotton for a few years.
Gardening requires curiosity. I loved gardening since childhood so I was quiet a charm to elder gardeners. My grandmothers as well as a few borrowed grandmothers, were eager to teach me how to grow, many genre's of gardening, from veggie
gardening, herb gardens and house plants. I made an effort to grow anything I can get my hands on. I would check out grocery stores and buy splendid packs of seeds. Growing basic vegetables and having small bragging rights.
In my twenties discovered heirloom vegetables in a variety of shapes and colors. For example, cucumbers shaped like apples, tomatoes shaped like pears and climbing spinach these oddities were not only amazing based on their shape and colors but also
by there taste and scent.
One of the funniest vegetables that I grew is the cucumber, I have grown apple cucumbers, Lemon Cucumbers, various colors and horned cucumbers. Who would have known that cucumbers are more useful than just relish, pickles and salads.
Cucumbers Sauce is the perfect companion to a dry fish. But even if you decide that cucumbers should just be a participant in a basic salad, the beautiful display of colors offered by heirloom cucumbers could set any salad off right.
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