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Cucumber U-Pick Orchards in Central Illinois in 2024, by county

Below are the U-Pick orchards and farms for cucumbers that we know of in this area. Not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have cucumbers orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

Remember to always check with the farm's own website or Facebook page before you go - or call or email them if they don't have a website or Facebook page. Conditions at the farms and crops can change literally overnight, so if you want to avoid a wasted trip out there - check with the farm directly before you go! If I cannot reach them, I DON'T GO!

PLEASE report closed farms, broken links and incorrect info using the "Report Corrections" form below.

Cass County

  • Bottens/Lopez Greenhouse and Garden - beans, broad beans, corn (sweet), cucumbers, herbs or spices, melons, peppers, pumpkins, summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes,
    4095 Crooked Lane, Beardstown, IL 62618. Phone: 217-371-1492. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only. . Alternate Phone: 217-320-1886. UPDATE for 2021, I haven't had in years. Does anyone have current information, are they still offering pick your own or are even open? If so, please write me, their last reported hours were Monday to Thursday, from 9 am to 12 pm; Saturday 8 am to 6 pm; April to October. .

Iroquois County

  • Mulberry Lane Farm - Uses natural growing practices, apples, asparagus, beans, beets, blueberries, corn (sweet), cucumbers, currants (red and black), grapes, onions, other berries, peppers, raspberries (black), raspberries (Spring, black), raspberries (Autumn, black), rhubarb, strawberries, Fresh eggs, porta-potties are available, picnic area, farm animals, school tours
    414 N Mulberry Street, Loda, IL 60948. Phone: 217-386-2690. Email: helen@mulberrylanefarm.com. Open: Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 7 pm; Closed Sunday; Open from April 1 to October 1;Strawberry U Pick starts in early May, BY RESERVATION ONLY. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only.
    Mulberry Lane Farm Facebook page. . . Please call ahead and reserve a spot! The demand is high this year, so don't miss out; Farm shop is open Saturdays year round from 8 am to 8 pm. We use natural practices, but are not yet certified Organic. Facebook page. 2018 Prices starting out were $3.99 per lb. Minimum 5 lbs per person (12 years old and older). Already picked strawberries are also available by reservation only. 2018 prepicked prices are $5.99 per lb for the first week or two. Prices will drop further into the season. You are at the right place for organic food (all our USDA Certified Organic products are non-GMO and glyphosate free; no Roundup!) and canning supplies. Buy in bulk and save BIG money! We are certified organic by the Global Organic Alliance (GOA).

Jersey County

  • Joe Ringhausen Orchard & Apple House (II) - - apples, apricots, blackberries, grapes, melons, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers & gherkins, eggplants, onions, peppers, potatoes, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, turnips,
    Rte 67 South, Jerseyville, IL 62052. Phone: 618-498-6951. Open: July5 - Christmas, 9 am to 5 pm. Click here for a map and directions. Joe Ringhausen Orchard & Apple House (II) - Alternate Phone: 618-376-6772. Illinois Products gift baskets available. Also cider, honey sorghum, jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades, popcorn & pecans.

 

Cucumber

Cucumber Picking Tips, Recipes and Information

Pickling cucumbers - good vs. overripe

When it comes to selecting cucumbers at a farm, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to ensure you choose the best ones. Here are two to three paragraphs of guidance to help you make the right selection:

1. Look for firmness and texture: The first thing you should check is the firmness and texture of the cucumber. Gently squeeze the cucumber to determine its firmness. A good cucumber should feel firm but not rock-hard. Avoid cucumbers that are overly soft or mushy, as these are signs of deterioration. Additionally, examine the skin texture. It should be smooth and shiny, without any wrinkles or blemishes. A uniformly colored skin is also an indicator of a fresh cucumber .The top cucumber in the photo is an overripe pickling cucumber.  The bottom cucumber is perfect!

2. Smaller size is better: Cucumbers come in various sizes and shapes, so it ultimately depends on your personal preference. However, there are a few general guidelines to follow.
Choose slicing cucumbers that are about 6 to 8 inches long, as they tend to have a better flavor and texture.
Burpless cucumbers may be much longer . Pickling cucumbers should be smaller, like 4 to 5 inches.
Avoid extremely large cucumbers, as they can be tough and have large seeds. In terms of shape, look for cucumbers that are straight and cylindrical. Avoid ones that are excessively curved or have bulges, as they may have developed irregularities during growth.

3. Look for dark color and freshness: The color of the cucumber can provide valuable information about its freshness. Ideally, cucumbers should have a vibrant green color, indicating that they are ripe and freshly harvested. Avoid cucumbers that have a dull or yellowish color, (like the top cucumber in the photo) as this could be a sign of overripeness or age. Additionally, check the stem end of the cucumber. It should be fresh-looking and not shriveled or dried out. A fresh cucumber will have a crisp snap when broken, while a stale one may feel limp or bend without resistance.

Cucumber Varieties

There are many types of cucumbers so it is important to select the  right type for your purpose.

1. Pickling Cucumbers: Pickling cucumbers are specifically cultivated for making pickles. They are smaller in size, have a firm texture, and a slightly bumpy or knobby skin. Pickling cucumbers often have a more concentrated flavor, making them ideal for preserving in brine or vinegar. Gherkins are simply very small (1.5 to 2.5 inch long immature pickling cucumbers.

2. Slicing Cucumbers: Slicing cucumbers are the most common type of cucumber found in grocery stores. They are typically larger than pickling cucumbers and have a smooth, dark green skin. Slicing cucumbers are great for fresh eating and are often used in salads, sandwiches, or as a refreshing snack.

3.Burpless, English or European Cucumbers: English cucumbers are longer and thinner than slicing cucumbers. They have a mild, crisp taste and a thin, tender skin that does not require peeling. These cucumbers are often referred to as "burpless" due to their reputation for being less likely to cause indigestion or gas.

4. Persian Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are similar to English cucumbers but slightly shorter and thicker. They have a sweet and crunchy flesh, and their skin is thin and edible. Persian cucumbers are popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and are great for salads or as a healthy snack.

5. Lemon Cucumbers: Lemon cucumbers are small, round cucumbers that resemble lemons in shape and color. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a thin, tender skin. Lemon cucumbers are often eaten fresh, added to salads, or pickled.

6. Armenian Cucumbers: Armenian cucumbers, also known as snake cucumbers or yard-long cucumbers, are long and slender with a twisted or curved shape. They have a thin, pale green skin and a crisp texture. Armenian cucumbers are often used in salads, sandwiches, or pickled.

7. Kirby Cucumbers: Kirby cucumbers are small, bumpy cucumbers that are popular for pickling due to their firmness and crunchy texture. They have a slightly bitter taste and are known for their ability to retain their shape and crunchiness during the pickling process.

These are just a few examples of cucumber types and varieties. Each has its own unique characteristics, so you can choose the one that best suits your culinary needs and preferences.

Pickling Cucumbers  (in water bath canners )

Cucumbers are not acidic so they ONLY way you may safely can them is as pickles:

Other Local Farm Products (Honey, Horses, Milk, Meat, Eggs, Etc.)
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)