The sky was gray with clouds but we were already in the garden and were not about to leave. The ground was soaked with the past week’s rain and the earth smelled damp. We decided the best thing to do was to start harvesting before the storm hit. So with a plastic bag in hand Candace, Mr. Cooke and I started pickin. Candace and I focused on the cucumbers while Mr. Cooke picked tomatoes. This year we planted Dasher II and Straight Eight cucumbers and Mr. Cooke said he was surprised at how well the Dasher II was doing. The Straight Eights did not do too well with the rain and didn’t produce as much. The Dasher II’s are a great all purpose cucumber—good for pickling and as a slicer as well. The flesh stays pretty tight and the seeds don’t get too big so they are a very satisfying crop.

The second I started pulling off those Dasher II cuces and putting them in my grocery bag I felt the raindrops on my back. The prickly leaves and big cucumbers felt funny in my hands as the raindrops got heavier and heavier. Soon I was drenched and my sandals covered in mud but we kept going.  “It’s raining cucumbers, hallelujah!” I improvised from the song Its Raining Men and Candace laughed in the next row over. Mr. Cooke sludged through the mud holding a huge plastic bag full of ripe tomatoes. The rain lasted for a good 20 minutes before it died down. By that time we had about 4 big bags of deliciously fat cucumbers.

Once the rain stopped we moved on to the okra; harvesting, pruning, and weeding all at the same time. After we harvested a good bag full we called it quits and split up the bountiful harvest.

Being outside in the rain is always a wonderful experience. I think it reminds us of when we were kids. I remember going outside in our bathing suits and dancing around on the wet street, splashing in the puddles. We certainly splashed around in the mud quite a bit and I loved every second of it. Perhaps with was the company or perhaps it was the replenishing rain.

Although it´s certainly been hard on the Grow Appalachia gardens the rain yesterday was a fun adventure for us. Besides, everybody needs a good ole fashioned mud bath.