I took a bit of a holiday last month. Visited wonderful people in London. Went to a wedding. Cried, copiously- who doesn’t love happycrying? Not me! Popped back home to see if the office had burned down. It hadn’t, by the way. Visited wonderful people in Scotland. Finally watched Totoro. Experienced Feels.
And all the while, my garden was left alone, my plant watering instructions to my housemates forgotten. In fairness, they were ill, and I wasn’t exactly reminding them, as I was far too busy lazing about in the sunshine and climbing trees and going to workshops and giving out about the ways in which people are terrible with people who are wonderful.
Then I get home. Two things have happened.
My strawberries have.. not quite thrived. This is Sad, but I managed to rescue one or two sweet, juicy, delicious morsels so all was not lost. But my zucchini (pronounced “courgette“) plants? Oh, wow. Oh boy. Oh my. Like baobabs in a Little Prince moon, those leafy monstrosities (moonstrosities?) have taken over.
A quick note, by the way: I have never grown courgettes before. My entire gardening experience, up till this year, involved windowboxes, herbs, some spring onions and the odd round carrot. I picked up some courgette seeds at Lidl a couple of months ago and figured I’d chuck ’em in the ground and see what happened. I did not quite know what to expect.
Also relevant: my courgette plants weren’t the only enthusiastic thing in the garden. I disappear for a couple of weeks, come back and weeds as high as my butt have appeared out of nowhere. Finding out what was going on in my vegetable patch was less obvious than one might initially think. Far less obvious.
Here’s what I saw last week when I made my first exploratory investigation into the tangles of green. Two relevant facts: Yes, my hands are quite small (I prefer to go with ‘fun-sized’, though, ifyaknowwhatImeanandIknowyoudo). Also, though, the ngle I took this photo from does not do the size of that monstrosity justice. At all.
What did I do then? I did what anyone would do. Posted on Facebook about the size of my giant marrow, and left the thing in the ground to grow. For one thing, I already had a bunch of courgettes in my fridge thanks to Gardener Friend. Mainly, though? I wanted to see what would happen. Who doesn’t want to see how damn big a thing will get sometimes, y’know?
Here we get to this morning. I’m going to go outside now and take another picture.
Oh. My. YOU GUYS IT IS HUGE. Look!
Apologies for the awful picture quality. It was tough getting an angle that did it the slightest bit of justice while also not getting attacked by prickly courgette leaves. Also, not in the picture it its also rather sizeable sibling, which, while not having achieved quite the same girthiness as this one, is impressive in its own right.
And here we come to the question. What on earth am I going to do with that? Should I leave it to grow and see how much bigger it will get? Should I pick it now before my garden becomes nothing but marrow? And how should I eat the thing? Should it become soup? Should I gut it and stuff it? With what? How many of my friends should I invite over to eat the thing? Should I start making new friends so we’ve a hope of getting through it? How many friends do I need for this, and so I need a bigger house to put them in?
- To the rescue! Over 400 Zucchini Recipes (simmerandboil.cookinglight.com)
- Courgette Season (chrisrawlinson.wordpress.com)
- 50 Amazing Zucchini Recipes (for Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day) (kalynskitchen.com)
- Zucchini Invasion! (sjcmastergardeners.wordpress.com)
- The first harvest! (neapolitanmadonna.wordpress.com)