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A bunch of bitter cucumbers

Cucumbers. That’s all I think about. My bitter, heart-breaking cucumbers.

I know it seems pathetic (it really is). But I can’t help it.

Besides planting, weeding and watering, I really grow to love the plants in my garden.

I have been known to fly out of the house, broom in hand, to scare away the winged, egg-laying creature creeping too close for comfort.

So it’s very personal to me when I pick a half a dozen beautiful, green cucumbers (which are almost my favorite thing) and they are all inedible. Bitter is a kind word, really.

It’s very sad. I have to throw away tons and tons because cucumber plants put off tons and tons of produce. I still diligently collect them, though, and have gotten into a routine. I peel the center of each cuke (the name people in “the business” call them), cut them in half and taste the center (supposedly the least bitter part).

If it is bitter, I throw it away. If not … well, I haven’t had that problem yet.

I’ve eaten so many bites of bitter cucumbers lately I’m starting to forget what they are supposed to taste like.

If I think and squint my brain eyes really hard, I can imagine the sweet and tangy flavors of cucumbers mingling with onions in a bowl of vinegar and sugar.

I can still hear the crisp crunch as I take a bite of the refreshing cuke, drenched in ranch.

And that’s it. Fantasizing about my summer cucumbers is all I have left. That and a bunch of bitter cucumbers.

I’ve tried pickling them. Yuck! Didn’t work.

Tried to eat them anyway. That didn’t work either.

So I need your help. What do I do? Is there any hope?

Have any of you fixed this problem or know of a way to prevent it in the future?

Call me if you know.

I know the “cause” is stressed plants and lack of water. So, we upped the water and are praying for divine intervention on the stress-relieving part.

g g g

Like my cucumbers, life on the farm has been anything but a summer breeze.

I don’t know of any profession that has so much to do in such a small amount of time and in such conditions.

My hat goes off to all you farmers who are working hard in the hay fields, planting your beans, corn and all the rest and praying for rain.

Growing up as a “city girl” I had no clue of the amount of work that goes into a farm — especially during the warm months.

The days are long, and the work rarely gets caught up.

Matt will work at the yards all day and have to go back out as soon as he scarfs dinner to water and feed. Then his weekends are spent hauling hay or building fence or doing something else labor-intensive.

I don’t think I would survive due to my air conditioned-weakened temperature gauge.

I’m thankful I married such a motivated, hard-working guy.

And just take a ride through the country and you’ll see several other hard-working, motivated farmers who are working and sweating their tails off to get it all done.

Don’t you worry about me overworking myself in all this heat. I can be found standing over the sink in my air-conditioned kitchen tasting bitter cucumbers.

— As seen in the Lawrence County Record

Categories: Food and gardening on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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