The picking size of cucumbers varies according to the cucumber type and the desired use, but cucumbers should always be picked before the seeds fully enlarge and harden. They may be picked when they are 2 inches long or shorter for tiny pickles, 4 to 6 inches long for larger pickles or pickle slices, and up to 6 to 8 inches long for some of the slicing cultivars. A cucumber is of highest quality when the fruit is firm, bright, and green in color with no dullness or yellowing to the skin. Mature fruit left on the plants will stop cucumber production. Since cucumber fruits grow rapidly, pick daily or every other day.

Use Storage Method 2. Slicing type cucumbers pickle poorly so be sure the cucumber type matches your use. Cucumbers will keep 10 to 14 days.

Nutrition note: Cucumbers have a high water content (95% water) and therefore are low in calories. 1/2 cup peeled, raw cucumber contains 15 calories, 0.4 grams of fiber, and small amounts of vitamin C (5.5% DV) and folate (4% DV). Color = green.


Harvest eggplant before the seeds enlarge, harden, and turn brown. The fruit should be firm, yet give slightly and recover when pressed with your thumb. The exterior should be glossy. Small fruits are best quality, but consider the potential size typical of the cultivar when picking. Some types are egg sized at maturity, while others may develop up to 8 inches long. Keep mature fruits picked, and plants will produce dozens of fruit over the entire season.

Use Storage Method 2.

Eggplant will store up to 1 week.

Nutrition note: 1/2 cup cooked eggplant contains 14 calories, 1.2 grams of fiber, and small amounts of folate (2% DV), vitamin C (1% DV), and iron (1% DV). Color = purple.

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