Updated: Jul 13
My great grandmother used to say that if you wanted to keep ants out of your home you should lay a cucumber peel across your doorstep. Strange advice but rooted in history. “Early cucumbers were probably very bitter because of compounds they contained called cucurbitacins. These natural defense compounds act to repel insects and other pests.”
Cucumbers today are far less bitter, and enjoyed for their light, refreshing taste. Native to India, the fruit became a favorite of many leaders throughout history and spawned agricultural innovations like cold frames and portable growing systems.
When to Buy: Due to their popularity, multiple varieties of cucumbers are commercially available throughout the year. Cucumbers are also popularly sold at farmers markets! The Madeira Farmers Market is open Thursdays, May 5 to December 15 in Downtown Madeira. With more than 25 vendors, you’ll likely find fresh cucumbers throughout the market season.
How to Store:
Today cucumbers are grown commercially and in backyard gardens around the world. Storing your cucumbers is incredibly easy. They do best at temperatures between 50- and 55-degrees Fahrenheit. While they thrive in environments with temperatures slightly higher than your refrigerator, they’ll be fine left wrapped or in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Cucumbers lose quality as they lose moisture. Set your crisper drawer to high humidity.
How to Prepare Cucumber Lettuce Wraps:
Lettuce wraps have become a tasty, veggie focused way to get the micronutrients we all need to survive. Roothouse Aquaponics, a vendor at the Madeira Farmers Market, produces locally grown greens all year round that can be used for this recipe.
2 pieces of leaf lettuce
¼ cup chopped cucumber
¼ cup chopped tomato
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
Dash of dried oregano, parsley, basil
Top lettuce leaves evenly with ingredients. Roll burrito style. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours.
 (Trinklein, 2014)