Beware the zucchini!

By Ed Zollinbach, Chamber President

Each summer we at the Goosebury Chamber of Commerce rerun this article in the hope that eventually, the message will get across. It never does, but we can’t give up.

Every gardener has an experience with zucchini at some time during his or her gardening endeavors. Some experiences are good, some are bad. Most are bad.  And it’s not that some people can grow good zukes and some cannot, because growing them is foolproof. Anyone can grow them.  And if you plant more than one plant, you are either a novice or sun-touched.

You see, the zucchini is something like the man-eating plant in the musical Little Shop of Horrors. Each plant produces its slender green appendages in prolific quantities. As soon as you pick one, two more will grow. Soon the novice gardener has more zucchini than he can possibly make into bread, soup, tea, pickle chips, or boats for the kids.  And not wanting to waste any vegetables (partly because there are starving people all over the world) the only thing you can do is . . . give them to friends, neighbors and complete strangers. There are boxes of zucchini left all over town, on doorsteps, city sidewalks, and city parks. It becomes a real cleanup problem.

But usually it starts this way…there is a knock on the door. You open it. Standing in the doorway is our novice gardener with a big smile on his face and a sack of zucchini. It’s a proud look, for his or her entrance into the field of gardening has seemed quite successful, and sharing the bounty is part of the payoff.  This “ceremony” is then repeated every other day at the homes and offices of numerous relatives and soon-to-be former friends. Then the boxes start appearing all over town.

No gardener has yet learned how to throw zucchini away or pull up a producing plant. The only salvation offered is to convince those we know to resist planting them in the first place and for the rest of us to avoid answering the doorbell from June through August. If you know someone who is a zucchini fanatic and hasn’t gotten the message yet, your best option is to refer him or her to Zucchini Anonymous. They’re in the phone book.