I planted Marketmore 76 cucumbers and Cosse Violette French Purple-Podded beans together at the back of our vegetable border. This has turned out to be a very successful combination. The vines are intertwined on the same bamboo poles, making for a very efficient use of space, and the cucumber and bean plants are all lush and healthy. In fact, the vines have grown so big that they are now climbing up into our neighbor's crepe myrtle. I'm not sure how I'm going to work out the harvesting -- there's no room for a ladder -- but Marketmore's bright yellow flowers combined with Cosse Violette's purple flowers and beans are gorgeous dripping down from the tree branches.
Further complicating matters is the jungle of tomato plants that have taken over the front of the border. It's tough to get through the tomatoes without damaging anything, but I squeezed in yesterday to pick the first of the Cosse Violette beans. The beans are a gorgeous deep purple with a flat shape like a Romano.
As I was stretching to reach the beans up in the tree branches, I discovered two huge cucumbers nearby. I didn't think we had any Marketmores yet, but here were two that desperately needed to be harvested. The smaller of the two was close to 8 inches long. They had been hidden from view by the tomato plants until I was standing right next to them.
We had Jerusalem Salad (see my earlier posting for the Jerusalem Salad recipe) for lunch prepared with the Marketmores, plus a green bell pepper, dandelion greens, mizuna and arugula from the garden. We sauteed the Cosse Violettes for an delicious side dish. David was thrilled to have a meal without eggplant, and I have to say that few things taste as good as a salad made with freshly harvested vegetables. I just hope we don't have to rent a cherry-picker to do the rest of the harvesting.