lessons learned from zukes & cukes
This summer I planted my first real vegetable garden. Check out the beautiful zucchinis and cucumbers I grew. Not to gloat, but I'm pretty impressed with myself – or with Mother Nature, I guess.
But before you get all excited about my cucumbers and zucchinis, know this: there is a downside to having a garden full of them. The problem is that everyone who grows zucchinis and cucumbers has a lot of them. We are all overloaded. Apparently, these cucurbits grow profusely and in obscene amounts (and sizes, by the way – just a heads up). So I can't cook them fast enough. I also can't give them away fast enough – or at all. I've learned that giving someone a zucchini is not a gift – it's a burden. Because everyone is trying to give them away. And we are all tired of zucchini bread. At least I am.
But I don't want to dis on them too much, because there was a time before zukes and cukes lost their glory that we ate some great meals from them. My two favorites were grilled zucchini with basil and pine nuts, and cucumber and dill salad. Beautiful and simple food.
I also found out that Lars likes to eat cucumbers plain and uncut, straight off the vine. For his lunches I could pluck a cucumber from the garden and stick it in his lunchbox. I don't think it could get any healthier, fresher or more organic than that.
So I am certainly not eliminating zukes and cukes from the garden plan next year, but I am implementing a strategy to control the output. Namely, growing less of them.
Any and all ideas on cucurbit control is welcome and appreciated!