This Day (Cucumis Ex Nihilo Edition)

Published:July 12, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1639, the future Virginia governor William Berkeley was knighted at Berwick-upon-Tweed. In 1835, Mary Custis Lee, daughter of Robert E. and the Mrs., was born. And in 1862, Union general John Pope and the army he rode in on occupied Culpeper County.

In other words—and please, no offense to the above-named is intended—not much at all happened on this day in Virginia history.* As such, I turned to our friend Landon Carter, whose diary entries from the summer of 1776 we recently have been excerpting. What was Landon up to on July 12?

So little, it turns out, that the editor of his diaries was moved to merely summarize that day’s thoughts into this short note:

{Col. Carter has some comments on his cucumbers which have thousands of blossoms but no fruit. To make them bear he topped them but it did no good. He thinks, therefore, that the plants are all male plants and that he has been mistaken in supposing that each cucumber plant was both male and female.}

I am tempted to share with you my own comments on cucumbers, but alas, I think Landon really nailed it.

* At least to the extent that Encyclopedia Virginia has thus far recorded it. We are, after all, a work in progress!

IMAGE: Circular Food—Cucumber by Janelle Schneider