If you’ve ever grown summer squash, I’m sure you can relate when I tell you that we have long since passed the moment when our zucchini plants began producing more than we could reasonably consume.
We planted two black beauty zucchini and a patty pan squash in our garden this Summer, hoping to increase our yield after a lackluster (i.e. zero) harvest last year. Summer squash is pretty easy to grow, but must be physically pollinated – either via bees or other pollinators, or by hand – and I suspect that between the lack of thriving pollinators in our treeless tract home set smack dab in the middle of corn fields, and the wildly unpredictable North Carolina climate, our poor, single potted zucchini plant didn’t stand a chance. At least through natural means.
This year, in a new house (and new growing climate), I was determined to produce a more successful backyard garden. I tended to my plant babies – squash, tomatoes, peas, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, and lots of herbs – religiously, spending the first bit of every morning watering (strategically because of the drought) and generally fussing over them. Maybe it was the super long, languid, Northern summer days, with sunlight stretching late in the evening, or the record warm temperatures, or all that good, new organic vegetable soil, or my good gardening vibes, or all things combined, but they rewarded us in spades, with dozens (hundreds! thousands!) of fruit.
The zucchini just. kept. growing. We were harvesting at least one a day, sometimes two or three, and after a few weeks, I surrendered, and turned half a dozen zucchini into two batches of this dark chocolate olive oil zucchini bread, saving some of the abundance of this season for the cooler, cozier days to come.