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I grew a zucchini and then I ate it

 

This weekend my healthy and fat zucchini plant delivered a miraculous surprise – my very first squash. Now, this may not be miraculous to everyone, and to many gardeners this is old hat, and some have been swimming in zucchini every summer longer than I’ve been alive, but to me it was nothing short of wondrous. I grew a really neat squash called the eight-ball squash, and it was waiting for me like a cool pool ball just as the name promised.

 

After so many trials of weather and well, mainly weather this year, I think I’ve given up hope of seeing anything actually harvested from the garden. Deep in my mind I’m convinced that I’ll see nothing but pretty greenery this year, and I can chalk up this crazy season to a cool learning experience. Next year I’ll have a much better idea of what to plant, how much to plant, what’s worth planting and so on.  But in the meantime, when I saw a round firm dark ball lying on the ground beside the zucchini, at first I thought it was a neighbors’ kids’ toy. My shock when I realized that this is a grown squash could not be underestimated.

 

Triumphantly I carried the prize home, grinning like a cat who’d made it into the fish tank, and reflected on the fact that this will be the single freshest thing I will have eaten this year.

 

Looks kinda like a grenade, hey?

Looks kinda like a grenade, hey?

 

 

My rules for determining whether something is ‘worth’ growing again are quite simple. Is the difference from store bought to fresh out of the dirt significant enough to justify garden space, my main limiting factor? I kind of suspect a resounding yes! when it comes to tomatoes and carrots, but I’ve definitely removed radishes from the running. Yes they are super easy to grow, and need very little care, but given the fact that I couldn’t really taste the difference from regular radishes to the ones at the local Sobey’s, well, I may simply donate the extra room to things I really love.

 

Zucchini is not known for having oodles of flavor, it’s a rather bland vegetable, and I was very curious to see whether there would be any discernible difference between the organic zucchini at the store and the magic eight-ball in my yard. I washed it and sliced it, and took a bite. There was definitely a difference. It was not huge, not orders of magnitude huge like with tomatoes off the vine and the cardboard balls at the store. But it was noticeable and memorable. The squash was very tender, and moist as can be. The flesh was slightly sweet, something I imagine it loses in storage, and it has a super fresh green taste that tasted alive.  This zucchini has just earned itself a permanent space in my subsequent gardens.

 Zucchini - sliced

 

I ate about a quarter of it raw, marveling at the taste, then practicing uncommon self-discipline, I sautéed the rest and served it over sliced steak. It was magic.

 

Oh so good....

Oh so good....

 

 

For those interested, here is the link to the seeds.

West Coast Seeds

9 comments to I grew a zucchini and then I ate it

  • Out of eight plants, I only have a couple tomatoes coming out on one 🙁

  • admin

    Are they heirlooms? I hear they take a great deal longer than hybrids. Are they flowering? I’ve got nothing but pretty flowers so far….

  • ah the lure of zucchini. I too have grown it in years past, however this year I am not. It is so prolific and huge that I just don’t have the space. I’m reserving that for butternut squash and pumpkins.

  • Mmmm…that looks so delicious. There’s nothing like eating fresh food. I didn’t have time (or a prepared garden) this year to even think about growing veggies. But next year…we’ll just have to wait and see…

    Anyway, I hope you get many more treats from your garden!

  • admin

    @ elle – nice. I love squashes too, but apparently our growing season is too short for successful squash growing. Don’t pumpkins take up a ton of room too? This zucchini is supposed to be a meter wide once full grown (3 feet) and it’s still only a quarter of that size.

    @ WR – Thanks, me too! Yep, gardens take planning and time and an early start, something that’s hard to do when you’re moving. I hope next year you’re tempted to grow some veggies though – the taste seems well worth it.

  • Congrats! Great feeling, eh?

  • admin

    Truly unreal! My first ‘actual’ harvest. I’m not counting the few radishes that were too hot and rather unimpressive. 🙂

  • OH YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    You grew FOOD!

    Oh yay, happy dancing aways over here!

    Funny thing… I just got my hands on a VERY expensive zucchini last week – on sale. Oh the marvels of flavour and taste… Reasons I love traveling, even though it also came from the supermarket. Something about it, maybe just a simple fact of growing for taste rather than cardboard appearances??

    Apples, my love. Please grow apples. There is SUCH a difference from organic to non, oh how i’d love to come read under your apple trees. Make my famous apple peach crisp from home grown apples?! Hurry up on yer BC home or borrow space from oh, SOMEONE’S parents ;P and we could make from home-grown apples AND peaches. Want to get a creamer and make butter? I make some seriously good yogurt, yogurt cheese, and soon yogurt icecream.

    For everyone else, I call this incredible woman ‘my love’ as a dear friend who I’ve been incredibly blessed to have known so long, and because it’s a bit of English background mixed with travels in South Africa where ‘My love’, ‘My darling’, and other such terms are commonplace. ;P Just a little FYI. Wouldn’t want any strange ideas brewing in the redneck land without backyard chickens.

  • admin

    LOL – oh Ali, how kind of ya to clarify yer spiffy vernacular! Yes, the BC dream is alive and well. I’m sure apples grow here too, just not the incredibly good varieties they get away with.

    And yogurt? That’s ambitious man. That requires a cow or goat or something. Otherwise it’s easier to buy. Although I’ve made ricotta at home before, it turned out great.

    And I know, North America is one of the WORST offenders when it comes to growing for shipping, although with our influence the phenomenon is no longer limited to here. Hopefully we as consumers can vote for taste with our wallets and make a difference.

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