Long before I moved to San Francisco I was an avid gardener. My parents and grandparents all had a green thumb and my Ma still maintains a very large vegetable and flower garden on a small farm outside of Boston. I like growing anything, but I love growing vegetables. There has always been something incredibly satisfying about eating a vine ripened tomato or a fresh cucumber. But a few years back, when I moved to San Francisco, I found myself stumped. We had a large roof deck, on which I planted a relatively substantial garden; but the climate here is chilly and that means that hot-weather vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers don’t do that well.
I began my search for varietals that could live in the cold and foggy weather, but I never really found a great match, until this year. I have found the perfect San Francisco cucumber – they are a small yellow heirloom type that has grown exceedingly well in my garden. I’ve had them growing on a fairly windy deck, and it has been a cold, cold summer here. I planted them on a lark, thinking there is no way they would be successful; I used a pot that was too small and was surprised when I had to thin them out when all the seeds sprouted. They took off and I’ve now got a tee pee of vines that are thriving on my balcony and yielding some pretty yummy fruit.
Long story short – I’m still searching for the perfect San Francisco Tomato, but I have found a great cucumber.