Back in June, we shared our plans for feeding King County thousands of pounds of cucumbers and zucchini through our partnerships with great local businesses. We are now in harvest time for these long-anticipated projects, and we are so proud to share the same food that we feed our CSA community with even more people.
This year we have trellised 7 of our 10 beds of slicing cucumbers, and we are just starting to see the results of this new strategy. Cucumbers are in the cucurbit family, along with zucchini and winter squash, and produce vining plants with giant, scratchy leaves. Harvesting cucumbers that are growing on the ground is an arduous task – the plant shades its fruit, hiding it beneath large leaves that are the exact same color as the skin of the cucumber. We push wheelbarrows between the beds, trying to avoid squishing the fruit we’re hunting for, and looking beneath all the leaves on every plant.
With this new trellis, the cucumbers hang like beautiful gems just waiting to be plucked and packed into your CSA shares. We have trained the cukes to grow up the trellis, the same netting that we use to trellis the sugar snap peas, and have now harvested most of the first fruit off the bottom of the plant. We are thrilled with the wide-open space between beds and our backs are grateful that our near-daily harvest won’t require constant bending over any more. Getting the fruit up off the ground also helps a lot to prevent the spread of mildew and disease along with hopefully lessening the potential for pest damage. We are excited to eat some tasty pickles alongside the best sandwiches in Seattle.
Harvest is also in full-swing on summer squash as well, and we can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of our labor on a giant, delicious Pagliacci seasonal pizza starting THIS WEEK. Pagliacci just opened a new store in the heart of Columbia City – congratulations, Pagliacci! This is the first of three seasonal pizzas using our produce this year, and we hope you’ll support one of our most supportive partners on your next pizza night.
Kudos to companies like Pagliacci, Seattle Pickle Co. and Homegrown for their work to support local farmers. A vibrant, thriving, local food economy needs participation at all levels from farmers to consumers, and these partners are all important pieces of the puzzle in King County.