A friend once told me this squash-related memory from her childhood. Like most small-town southern folks back in the day, neighbors often kept vegetable gardens which included hearty and prolific yellow squash and zucchini. While other plants would shrivel and wilt in the dry, hot summer, the squash just kept pumping out fruit. It’s a lovely vegetable, but one can only eat so much squash in a summer. So what to do with all the unused fruit? Neighbors were known to share their bounty amongst themselves, but they all had an excess of squash all their own. Thus began the zucchini drive-bys. Bags of squash left on doorsteps in the middle of the night. Zucchini and crooknecks crammed in mailboxes. Even boxes of the unwanted fruit left in unlocked cars.
I don ‘t know how the story ended, but fortunately the growing season is relatively short and (hopefully) no friendships were lost as a result of these assaults. But it does lead me to wonder: what does one do with an excess of squash?
I need to know as I have come to discover: it is a good year to be a squash. My garden groweth over. The foliage is bright and clear, and there are more buds than I can count. I did notice a few aphids this morning, so I need to spray with soapy water and whatever other natural ingredient I can find to smother them. But no sign of mildew, which is their greatest foe in these parts. If all goes well, I will have an abundance of fruit to contend with. I welcome any and all recipe suggestions!
The rest of the vegs are doing quite well, too. The tomatoes have started to flower, and the cucumbers are sending out tendrils and beginning to produce offspring. No sign of fruit from the eggplant, but the plants themselves look great.
On the flip side, this has not been a great year for my perennials. I chose heat, drought and deer-resistant varieties for their general heartiness. Unfortunately, it’s been relatively mild and wet this June – not prime conditions for flowering. It’s early yet and “normal” summer weather is on its way, so there is still some hope. Not that it’s a complete loss, mind you. Just a less than stellar performance.
I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall and am going to take this weekend off. I will finish the picture frames I built last weekend, but that’s the sum total of my to-do list. I think a weekend watching M*A*S*H reruns and crashing on my lovely new couch is right up my alley!