What's GROWing On?

News from the MSHS Greenhouse

Back from break...

...and it seems the only one holding out on us is Mother Nature... What's up with the 20-degree below average temperatures??

We are elated to report that our plants fared very well over spring break. Everything is alive and growing thanks to the new automatic watering system donated by Lee Rain, Inc. and installed right before break. The 128 seed starting trays are almost ready to be transplanted into six packs and our Mammoth Sunflowers are already about a foot tall so we are on schedule.

Salad Bowl Update


The Salad Bowl really grew over break... We left on a Thursday afternoon and could not get back into the building for six days so we knew that it would grow but WOW did it grow! This was the first thing seen at 8:00 AM on March 30th.
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Salad Sampling

On Monday we harvested the Salad Bowl so Mrs. Descalzi brought in different salad dressings, cucumbers, carrots, croutons and tomatoes on Tuesday and we were able to sample what we grew. Some of us had never tried mesclun mix before and quite a few of us had never eaten a radish so it was a neat to try different things. Some students even had seconds!

Back of the House

Cucumbers or Pickles?

Sometimes you hear people calling them cucumbers and sometimes they call them pickles, so which is it, cukes or pickles? Is there a difference? Pickles are cucumbers but not all cucumbers are pickles. Let us explain...

Cucumbers are among the oldest fruits (FRUITS? Isn't a cucumber a vegetable? Stay tuned for next week's Back of the House feature...) known to agriculture. It is also the most commonly cultivated in the world because the cucumber has adapted to different climates and now includes different varieties. They are members of the gourd family like squash or zucchini.

Different varieties of cucumbers are available today. Most varieties grow on vines that need lots of room in the garden to spread out, like the Straight Eight heirloom variety we are growing. It will require horizontal space in the garden or it can be trellised to grow vertically but either way, it needs lots of room to spread out and produce it's eight-inch fruits. There are bush cucumber plants that are space saving varieties, like the Picklebush we planted, with vines that grow only 18-20 inches long and produce four- to five-inch cucumbers. These are ideal for smaller spaces.

Slicing cucumbers, like the Straight Eight variety, are eaten raw on salads or with dip as part of vegetable trays. Pickling cucumbers, like the Picklebush variety, are cucumbers grown to be placed in a vinegar or brine solution, with or without additional flavors like garlic or dill, to preserve or "pickle" them. Any cucumber can be eaten raw or pickled, hence the confusion.

If you're planning on eating it raw, call it a cucumber. If you're getting it out of a jar of liquid, call it a pickle because it's been PICKLED. Either way, it started out as a CUCUMBER.

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Millville Senior High School Greenhouse

Student-grown plants sold to fund science department scholarships for graduating seniors.