Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

And comes a day when inhabitants of Istobensk village congratulate one another on a nice harvest of cucumbers.  Many of us like the vegetables. But have you ever thought of the labor that was invested?

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Every cucumber grower must come through the rite of initiation.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Cucumber is a mere mystery. Till now there has been a tradition according to which nobody including members of the family and neighbors should see how the first vegetables are planted. Otherwise they will turn yellow. Cucumbers are gathered in the morning due to their strange property of growing at night.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The pap of one large cucumber is removed and the formed cavity is filled with vodka. A person who is willing to be come a professional grower must drink the vodka and eat the cucumber. In case he still stands on his legs after that he becomes a member of the club. However, only an indigenous inhabitant of the village will join the ranks.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The vegetable even has a patron of its own who is responsible only for its growth. His name is St. Thalelaeus.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

As soon as one find himself in the village of Istobinsk he notices unusual even and long garden beds at once. Such beds are not made for potatoes, onions or cabbages. There is a working person in every garden which is a large cucumber plantation. The main street of the village is called Labour Street because the inhabitants are very hard-working.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The climate here is rather severe. The land is not fertile and consists of clay layer. Many years ago ancestry of the modern inhabitants had no gardens and were fed by the river Vyatka. They were captains or sailors and lived rich enough not to have any gardens. But once the river lost its commercial importance, the people concentrated their efforts on planting.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

They started with cabbage growing. Then turned to onions. But it was the cucumber that made them rich.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Inhabitants of any northern city remember smiling people who sell cucumbers from huge wooden barrels at local markets. The people come from Istobinsk village. They put their hearts in every cucumber which is not easy to grow. Many creatures like slugs and aphids don’t let them grow as well as local cats which like eating the vegetables a lot.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The taste of an Istobinsk cucumber differs from that of the vegetables from other regions which is achieved due to unique storage conditions.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

After a pickling procedure that lasts 2 days cucumbers in barrels are put in special pits near the local springs. Cucumbers acquire unique properties under the influence of the springs. The water is pure and is characterized by constant temperature which constitutes +4 degrees Celsius both in summer and in winter.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The people are very friendly and are ready to share their secrets related to cucumber storage with others. Fennel, garlic and horse radish are the only constant ingredients of cucumber pickling as every family here has a recipe of its own.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Putting vegetables into pits is a long and difficult process unlike their removal in spring which is celebrated as a fest.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The whole family participates in the event, they get rid of old snow, cut a small hole in the ice and remove the barrels with the help of a tractor or snowmobile. There can be 10 to 50 barrels. Each barrel is found in capacity of 56 gallons or 250 liters.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The inhabitants used to carry the huge and heavy barrels by trains and planes to sell them at the markets of different cities. But now they just sell the vegetables to mediators who do the rest of the job.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

It is more profitable to sell vegetables at place due to increased transport tariffs.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Mediators are interested in buying and selling but not in the growing techniques with some exceptions though.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Posters devoted to cucumbers.

A new small company ‘Cucumber Heaven’ was opened in the village. It buys cucumbers and pickles them in pits. The owner says he loves the place and worships the technologies. Springs that fall into the Vyatka river take fogs and humidity which is very important for cucumbers as they grow at night and need temperature not lower than 15 degrees Celsius. This village is a mere heaven for cucumbers!

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

The owner was born far from the village. He says that the secret of the tastiest cucumbers in the world is in diligence of its people. They put their hearts in every cucumber and stay in the gardens from morning till night.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

‘Cucumber Heaven’ buys 1/2 part of the vegetables and learns to grow the other part by itself. They hire Koreans to cultivate their fields as local villagers can only work at their gardens but never for somebody else. Competitors of Cucumber Heaven are engaged in buying cucumbers and not in their production. The owner’s dream is to supply MacDonald’s chain of restaurants with Russian cucumbers. He also like participating in Cucumber Festival which is coincided with the end of cucumber gathering season when the last barrel is closed.

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Laud Cucumbers To The Skies

Location: Istobensk

via genamikheev

12 thoughts on “Laud Cucumbers To The Skies”

  1. I love pickled and preserved cucumbers. My mother used to make a lot of jars with cucumbers to eat in winter seasons. Pickled cucumbers are also great to eat while drinking vodka.

  2. I like to see these sorts of things. In the US, a lot of small towns have harvest festivals.
    These sorts of things are really nice. The whole town gets to let off “steam”, they get kinda crazy, people come from all over.
    Good times for all. These people look like they’re having a great time.

  3. Some nice-looking vegetables, and nice-looking gardens. We grew cucumbers on the farm many years ago. My mother and grandmother would make pickles. Mighty good.

  4. Clarify his statement, then it got too strong. I meant not all women living in urban areas and only those who are apart of things and no clubs ochem not think so.

  5. A. Bunka here. Hey a cucumber festival! Someone forgot to invite Max and Roman, too bad. Yes, I have a sick sense of humor, and I am proud of it. It is part of my heritage. I have a clear conscious because I treat people like human beings in real life…

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