Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Z is for zucchini

I'm hopeless at them.

I always read with amusement the "how to get rid of zucchini" posts every summer. In the past decade, with zucchini planted maybe 4 of those years, I think I have managed, maybe... 3?

That's right-- three zucchinis. Not three plants. Three. Zucchinis.

It's one of the untold stories of the gardening world--the things that experienced, knowledgeable gardeners are bad at. I am hopeless at eggplant, beets, spinach, zucchini, and onions. No amount of reading, training, class-taking, soil-amending, researching, wintersowing, direct sowing, indoor sowing--you name it I've tried it, seems to be able to get consistent harvests from me on these plants.

Notoriously difficult plants like pumpkins and leeks, corn, cabbage, rosemary? No problem. They do just fine.

Mind you, the eggplant seedlings that I grew are in gardens all over Chicago, yielding dozens of fruits per plant. Mine have managed fewer than one each--6 aubergine plants, 5 fruits so far. I did manage to get 80 onions this year, after the 3rd planting finally took. Beets, though. I've planted 4 entire seed packets. I have 6 beets out there, and they're of the "baby" sort. If I ran a fancy restaurant, the type where a dish=one bite, and I only made enough for the first 3 diners, I'd be golden.

And then there's zucchini. I love zucchini. I can cook a LOT of zucchini. Stir fry, lasagna, bread, salads, pickles. And yet I just don't seem to be able to grow it.

Next time you walk into someone's gorgeous garden, think about what you don't see. Everyone can't grow something.

And finally--thank you so much Suzy Morris, for this very challenging challenge. I think I managed every letter, if not every day. Who's with me for the next challenge-- a No Buy October!

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