Saturday, August 13, 2011

Invasion of the giant squash monsters

Back in spring, we planted a small raised bed in the only part of the garden that gets any sun. We started tomatoes, basil and rainbow chard from scratch.

After a couple of weeks, we noticed a couple of volunteer zucchini plants had set up residence as well. You can see them at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock in this image.

Before the zucchini takeover

All to the good, we thought. We hadn't intended to do squash, but hey, if they wanted to hang out, they could stay.

And then, it seemed, we turned our backs for two minutes, and when we looked back, the zucchini had waged a full-on takeover.

The zucchini takes over

We studiously cut back enough leaves to give the rest of the plants some light, but otherwise let nature take its course.

And then we saw the monsters.

Those were the first two. It's cool; we had uses for them. One went into zucchini bread (using the Wilson Farm cookbook recipe); one we stuffed with quinoa and other good things and then baked.

Quinoa-stuffed zucchini

And then we found more.

Zucchini #7

And more.

We steamed them. We grilled them. We gave them away.

We made more zucchini bread.

Zucchini bread

(The four loaves above used two cups of shredded zucchini. Which amounted to half a squash. Getting through this stuff was slow work.)

Part of the problem was that zucchini are sneaky. You may not have realized this, but it's true. They hide under leaves; they camouflage themselves against other plants. They do not want to be found.

We took to checking the garden every morning for new arrivals, and still managed to overlook a prize specimen that must have been growing for at least two weeks before it was brought to justice.

But I think we might be done now. One plant looks to be on its way out, and the other has only a few male flowers left (the females are the ones that bear fruit).

And we completely missed the August 8 holiday Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night. Next year, maybe.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a delicious recipe which I learned in my cooking classes in Italy which uses zucchini flowers. If you get invaded next year again, that would be a good way to stop the monsters from growing.
- Maricarmen

8:30 PM  

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