December 13, 2017

Cool Is a Maine Cuke

Boothby's Blonde cucumber

Janine Pineo Photo | Boothby’s Blonde cucumber

What’s creamy yellow, warty and covered in black spines? Maine’s own Boothby’s Blonde cucumber, that’s what. While one can’t quite track down exactly when this variety came about, what is known is that the seed was tended by the Boothby family of Livermore. Several generations kept the variety going and then it found its way into the hands of seed savers elsewhere and can now be purchased from a multitude of seed companies, including Fedco and Pine Tree here in Maine. This vining plant is a heavy producer of 3 to 5 inch long fruits that can rapidly balloon into golden orange blimps if you don’t stay right on top of keeping them picked – which, by the way, keeps them producing. The good news is that the blimps are excellent for pickling; our preferred method is for mustard pickles (recipe here) because you can seed and peel them before preserving them. But trust us when we say that you may want to make sure you pick most of them small because they are a crisp delight, especially when eaten while you are in the garden picking the other cukes.

Seed source: Pinetree Garden Seeds