It was just so sad. He was laying under a withered cucumber vine there in the garden, up against the fence; motionless, unaware. Unnoticed until too late he had lingered there and now, expired, he was of no further use to anyone. Yes, Old Yeller, once a proud and tasty cucumber had died on the vine, as it were.
What to do with the dear departed? Interment in the compost pile? A vikings funeral? Keep him by the shed door to hurl, end over end like an old fashioned German potato masher grenade to make a satisfying and somewhat squashy impact on Mr. Bears' nose when next he stops by to grace us with a table dance we definitely have no use for or desire to witness?
None of the above. For as it turns out, Old Yeller and others of his ilk have more value to us as a potential cucumber patch in years to come than do cool, crunchy green specimens no matter how tasty they may be. We are going to extract and save Old Yellers' seeds.
The first step is to allow several cucumbers to hold their ground there by the fence, to grow and gradually decay like an old Studebaker on a backwoods road,
|THE OBJECT OF OUR SOMEWHAT LABORED STUDEBAKER SIMILE.|
When they have yellowed naturally but are still firm it is time to gather them up, rinse and dry them off, and then place them in a room temperature environment inside the house to decompose until they are soft but not quite mushy. Keep the cucumbers out of direct light while this process continues.
We will update this post with pictures and directions as we proceed through the remaining steps that will lead to a supply of viable seeds, good for several years and which can be sown, sold, swapped or simply given as gifts.
As a bit of a hint, the next step will require an old crock. (Or plastic pail, large glass jar or the like.)
What's that Agnes? No, not you, this kind of old crock, is what we meant.*
That's about it for today folks, check back at Uncle Mac's Garden Shed for real time directions for saving and storing your own seed supply. It is simpler and more rewarding than you might think.
*HAD YOUR ASSISTANCE BEEN REQUIRED, AGNES, THE MOT JUSTE WOULD HAVE BEEN "BATTLEAXE"
Oh and of course, yellowed or not you can still eat them. One rather tasty way to do so is revealed right HERE!