PARISIAN PICKLING CUCUMBER (Cucumis sativus) is a French heirloom known in Europe as Improved Bourbonne. The sweet fruits picked young were used extensively for the manufacturing of gherkins or cornichons in the late 1800s. First listed in America by J.J. H. Gregory in 1892. Fruits are suitable for fresh eating, or slicing when they become larger. 50-60 days for cornichons, 70-80 days for slicing. Very hard to find. In the UK a cucumber is called a "wally" and when preserved a "pickled wally." 25 seeds.
MEDICINAL: Cucumber dates back 3,000 years, in various forms, falling in and out of favor. It has little food value, being 96% water, but is a culinary delight nonetheless. The seeds are diuretic. The flesh has long been recognized for its cosmetic value in soothing, softening and lightening the skin, especially in delicate areas such as that surrounding the eye. One of my favorite and most effective homemade skin treatments is a chilled slush of ripe avocado and cucumber applied as a mask for 20 minutes after I've been out in the garden. It nourishes and soothes and is of course totally natural!
GROWING TIPS: Since water is what makes your cucumbers so luscious, be sure they receive regular watering during all phases of their growth. Unless they are hybrid bush types, cukes need to be trained onto some sort of vertical apparatus (I prefer simply string and stake method, but you can put containers with a conical trellis. They like warmth and a sweet soil so you may need to add some lime a few weeks before you sow. You can sow directly or start indoors. Most importantly, once they begin to fruit you should pick regularly, because any spent cucumbers on the vine will signal the vine to stop producing and shut down.