When it is spring time and I am planting I always can’t wait for when the time comes to start picking ripe produce.
It always seems like it is entirely too far away. But then it comes and with that comes hours upon hours of not only harvesting but maintaining your plants to keep them healthy — whether that is watering during extreme dry spells or if it is just the daunting task of keeping those tomato plants staked and upright.
However, an issue that is a good one to have is the overabundance of produce. I usually experience this when it comes to cucumbers. Some years it is the zucchini, other years the tomatoes, but this year it is the cucumbers that have grown like crazy.
Short of giving them away to every single person you know and making a gazillion jars of pickles, what else can you do with those beautiful smelling cucumbers? Well years ago, I was sent an amazing email that I have saved for all these years. Let me share with you the contents of “All the Things that You Can Do with a Cucumber.”
Have you ever grown tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after your shower? Slice up a cucumber and rub it along the mirror and it will eliminate the fog as well as make your entire bathroom smell like a fancy spa. You can even clean your faucets, sinks and stainless steel by rubbing cucumber slices on the surface of the item that you want to clean.
If you are looking for a beauty tip, take a slice of cucumber and rub it along your thighs to reduce the appearance of cellulite. This one works by the phytochemicals in a cucumber which causes your skin to tighten and firm up your skin. This is also why most folks place a cucumber over their eyes to rejuvenate.
When feeling stressed, you can boil a few slices in a pot of water and the steam is said to be able to lower stress and relax people.
If you are looking to reduce your soda consumption or are trying to just perk yourself up in the afternoon, go ahead and eat a cucumber. The B vitamins and carbohydrates inside can provide with you some extra energy that will last for hours.
Perhaps you went out last night and overindulged in alcohol. Eat at least a few cucumber slices before you go to sleep and you should be able to wake up hangover free. It’s the sugar, vitamin B and the electrolytes that are working their magic to keep you headache free.
If you are out to lunch and don’t have mints or gum for after, take a slice of slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth and it will kill the bacteria that causes you to have bad breath.
Outdoors cucumbers can help as well. Slugs are no match for a small pie tin and a few slices of cucumbers inside. The chemicals in the tin and cucumber react to each other and produce a scent that drives other pests away.
Squeaky gates and hinges are no match as well. Rub a slice of cucumber on the hinge and the cucumber takes the place of using WD-40.
And finally, one of my favorites is that if you are using an ink pen and make a mistake you can use a cucumber to gently erase it — and, get this, it also works on getting crayon and marker off of the wall in case you have children that seem to think that your walls are their own personal canvas.
Just in case that doesn’t give you enough different ways to use up your excess cucumbers, you could always actually cook with them.
Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.