It was finally time to pull the plug on the cucumber vines.  Their production had been dwindling and over the last few days, their foliage—what is left of it—had been thinning, yellowing and then shriveling to a dry, crinkly brown.  They had a good year (despite cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt) and we are happy with their performance.  Cucumbers remain one of my favorite vegetables to grow and will be back next year.

While removing the vines (which had become a tangled mess), we found several cucumbers hiding amongst the mostly-dead leaves.  We also found many surprisingly-fresh blossoms.  At some level, the plants were still active.  We were also happy to see that the plants had extensive and deep root systems.  Clearly, the cucumbers were basically healthy but they had run their course.

It may soon be time to do pull out the zucchini plant as well.  Like the cucumbers, it is still producing blossoms and tiny new fruit continue to form.  The dairy cure (I have sprayed three times now) seems to be working and the powdery mildew is diminishing (also, there is the not unpleasant aroma of aged milk in the air; it smells like pecorino Romano).  But growth is slow and many of the leaves are withering.  We will give it another few days and then make a decision.

While poking around in the string bean patch, Rachel discovered the first of the French Filet string beans.  They had been hiding amongst the crowded leaves and are already about three inches in length.  The mature beans will be very long and thin and have a deliciously fresh grassy flavor (yes, we ate the first beans straight from the vine).

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