Thursday, August 8, 2019

It’s Time To Get Your Zuc On!

A beige house with white trim has a comically giant-sized  zucchini on it's front-sized
Today is August 8th, which means it’s National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors Porch Day! Just one of the many wacky holidays out there, this one was created as a way to help abundantly successful gardeners get rid of their excess zucchini. This particular day was created by Thomas Roy (and his wife, Ruth) and is just one of the over 90 holidays he has invented and copyrighted in the course of 26 years. Find out how here how that all came to pass.

A large green zucchini on the ground in front of a white door with green trim. There is bush with purple flowers on the right.Two clear mixing bowls, one with eggs and one with sugar and two zucchinisWacky as this zucchini-centric day may be, the need to dispose of excess produce is real. Zucchini is notoriously prolific and when you consider that you can make a dozen or more loaves of bread from a single giant zucchini, it is easy to see how quickly an abundance can become too much. After making all the traditional recipes and moving on to pickling some, making a chocolate cakewrapping it around fish for grilling and using it in nachos in place of tortilla chips, you may be out of ideas. Here are a few additional recipes anyway. Donating some to your local food bank (find one near you here) or a church is always a good plan. I am going to assume that, while moving through all the ways to cook it, you have pressed some onto your family and friends. You should be aware that this avenue can have unforeseen consequences. One summer a friend of mine had a bonanza of a tomato harvest. After days and weeks of cooking and eating them, she began handing bagfuls to everyone she came across. It got to be so much that some people began good-naturedly avoiding her, poor thing. Once you’ve exhausted all the options you can think of for using up your zucs, your neighbor’s porch might start looking pretty good.

Two green zucchinis on a brown wood railing
What I’ve found most interesting while reading up on NSSZOYNP Day is how people have taken the zucchini drop idea and made it their own. From Italy to the American West, bloggers, news entities and everyday people have been discussing and relaying experiences with squash subterfuge in all types of neighborhoods and dwellings. And no porch is necessary; zucchinis have been left in hallways, on desks, windowsills, welcome mats, railings and stoops. Many, if not most, of these zucchini are purchased for the express purpose of giving them away. In this way, the act of giving a zucchini has morphed from a need to find a home for extra squash into a way to get to know your neighbors and co-workers. So a personal need to get rid of something has become a way to spread kindness and build community. And that is just plain wonderful! The Zucchini Challenge, for instance, encourages creativity and a “pay it forward” mindset in a fun and easy-to-do manner. Some people embrace all the fun of the sneakiness and their neighbors’ puzzlement in their humorous adventures slinking around with vegetables. Others prefer a sweeter approach with a more thought-out presentation. There are even some cute tags to add to a zuc gift. It’s all about the positivity stream, no matter how it's approached.
Spinach leaves forming a heart atop pale green-white pasta in a square white bowl
So, if you have some zucchini lying around, leave it for a neighbor.You could even just leave it on a park bench or bus stop. Today, tomorrow or the next day would be fine. The idea is to share and be kind, however one does it, and those sentiments are needed every day. To keep the energy rolling, I think we should consider a day in the fall that could be Plop A Pumpkin On A Porch Day.

Submitted by Pam

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