It's the middle of winter and easy to overlook World Cucumber Day, apparently invented by the Americans. But there it is, on the American calendar, sandwiched in between Peanut Butter Cookie Day and Kitchen Klutzes Day in front of it, and Strawberry Shortcake Day and National Lobster Day behind it.
Leave it to a clever company like Hendrick's Gin to bring it to our attention in Australia, pronouncing celebrations near and far for World Cucumber Day this Sunday, June 14. The premium Scottish gin's main product is infused with rose and cucumber and 11 botanicals to create its flavour.
The Hendrick's brand is giving away 3000 cucumber seeds on World Cucumber Day in Australia, to encourage Australians to grow their own cukes, quite possibly with gin, since they are a good match.
Here in Newcastle, Hendrick's has recruited local urban farmer David Sivyer, who runs Feedback Organic, to spruik the joy of growing cucumbers.
Sivyer's business collects about three tonnes of food waste every week from Newcastle cafes, restaurants, schools and homes, which it turns into compost used on their own gardens, which grow food that is sold commercially, back to many of the same places that supply food waste to them.
Feedback Organic also hosts a free one-hour farming class every Saturday morning at its Cardiff property.
Sivyer is the first to admit it's not cucumber growing season - "We stopped a month ago," he says.
But he acknowledges you might succeed in getting seeds started now.
"People can do it on their windowsill, keep it nice and moist. Once you get to 10 centimetres [height of plant], it's ready to go into ground, hopefully a nice warm spot. Or if people want, put it in a bigger pot and keep it indoors."
If you are successful, it will take about two months for the plant to mature and bear fruit.
The plant could produce for about a month before it declines.
The key is pollination,as Sivyer says. If you don't have bees in your neighbourhood, you may have to try to do it yourself, by taking a cotton bud and blushing the male flowers and then blushing the female flowers (which will have tiny cucumbers attached) with the same bud to get the job done.