Gherkins;  special sour Mexican edition. 

Planet of the grapes.

Last year’s garden bounty of paste tomatoes, peppers  and cucumbers exceeded expectations, perhaps raising them too high for this year’s harvest. Novelty Mexican sour gherkins  were planted on a whim for the sake of originality and at the onset were the runts of the litter, dwarfed by “de Bourbonne” French varietal cucumbers.  However, the community sharecropping garden has finally paid off dividends, bountiful in numbers, though diminutive in size.  “De Bourbonne” produced a plethora of flowers but the fruit yield was low as the leaves began to inexplicably wilt.  Heirloom ox-heart and paste tomatoes  had a promising start as well but soon followed the dB cucumbers’ discouraging demise. Meanwhile, the border buds burgeoned at a furious snail’s pace.

Not sure of how prevalent gherkin stereotypes are in our greedy, ignorant, chubby god-fearing society, but these little Mexican bastards appeared to thrive in the heat, quickly established roots, multiplied exponentially and eventually overwhelmed the ubiquitous tomatoes, squelching their sunlight, pilfering nutrients and entombing the garden’s predecessors in a suffocating ivy cabaña.

Itty bitty gherkin commission.

Efforts to raise a purebred calf in the 4’ x 6’ enclosure were hampered by NIMBY gardeners who selfishly objected to the conscious (and trendy) renaissance of super locally raised livestock, even refusing to allocate the unkempt, muffy herb garden for hay despite an inevitable return in rich, honest to goodness local manure.

Bumper to bumper crop.

Other personally scaled, highly popular agricultural ventures to receive a throng of green thumbs down from the temperamental garden community included:

barley, beach glass, butterscotch, cashews, cèpes, cinnamon, free-trade coffee, geese, grapefruit, hazelnuts, beef jerky, mahogany and other precious hardwoods, meth amphetamines, papyrus, peaches, peanuts, pineapples, qat, raisins, rice, rigatoni, sheep,  sugarcane, truffles and possibly uranium.

Barrel of sour Mexicans.

The gherkins had their flower ends washed away and were pickled in a simple 33%, vinegar brine with 3% salt, aromatics, this & that, bay leaf and so on.  Their skins are relatively thick considering their size and texturally resemble a grape sized cucumber; snappy skin though with a higher water and seeds content inside.  Otherwise, they taste like pickled gherkins and should best be eaten with olives and mixed nuts.