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It’s a Record

October 12th, 2011

Generally I can’t grow a zucchini to save my life, which is funny because everyone else has them coming out their ears. I think my soil is simply too lean to grow squash. That doesn’t stop me from trying, each year I optimistically plant zucchini and winter squash and end up with only one or two zucchinis and a few tiny pumpkins. Yesterday I was out clearing out the garden and ripped out my zucchini plant, which somehow has managed to survive all summer long producing a few blooms and only a few tiny fruits. Much to my delight, I found this beast lurking under the withering leaves.

A zucchini of this size is a record for Chiot’s Run, we’ve never seen something like this in the garden. This one happens to be a ‘Romanesco’ from Renee’s Garden. I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to have one last zucchini to enjoy fried up in slices and stuffed into our morning omelets.

Have you found any surprises while cleaning out the garden?

18 Comments to “It’s a Record”
  1. daisy on October 12, 2011 at 6:17 am

    OMGosh! What an incredible surprise! Your shirt says it all!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Gayle on October 12, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I thought my sweet potato plants produced only gorgeous vines, but when I got curious and started digging I found loads of huge gorgeous sweet rewards. The ones that got a little scarred up (because I didn’t really know how to dig them properly) I steamed, refrigerated overnight and then sliced (kept the skin on) and dehydrated. My dogs think they are the best chewy treat in the world and I know it’s good for them.

    What I couldn’t immediately use of my zucc’s, I grated and froze with beaten egg, vanilla and oil for a quick start on future morning muffins.

    Reply to Gayle's comment

    • Susy on October 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

      I made sweet potato slices for the resident chiots too!

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  3. deedee on October 12, 2011 at 7:24 am

    good for you :)
    lol i love your “vanna white” hands in the last picture :)

    Reply to deedee's comment

  4. Melissa on October 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Love it! I feel your pain on the zucchini– seems like it should be so easy but the squash vine borers kill my plants every year!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  5. Dave on October 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Don’t feel bad, the squash and zuchinni plants never last long here due to the vine borer. The only one that has done well for me this year was Trombetta which also came from Renee’s. It’s a climber and very tasty!

    Reply to Dave's comment

  6. Andrea Duke on October 12, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Oh my!! I can’t ever grow squash or zucchini either! But this year, I got a few of each. I grew them in a different spot and maybe that was the reason?

    Anyways, it’s beautiful :) Good job!!

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  7. goatpod2 on October 12, 2011 at 9:32 am

    When we grow zucchini, it takes over!


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  8. MAYBELLINE on October 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    A mouse!

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  9. Sincerely, Emily on October 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

    What a beauty!

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  10. Marcia on October 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Spinach! Spinach everywhere! I found that the area where I had thrown the old spinach plants is covered in small spinach plants. I will have enough for a salad in a few weeks since spinach is apparently a great fall/winter crop.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  11. Joshua on October 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

    You may know this tip already, but have you tried growing squash on top of your compost piles?

    Regarding vine borers, they always kill my squash as well, but usually not before I get a healthy harvest of fruit. Rather than go to great ends to thwart them, I just let the plants go. With careful management, I think I could probably get a second batch of plants in a given year. I have read that late-planted squash miss the vine borer’s season and are often not affected. Frankly, I don’t love zucchini enough to go to the trouble, and am usually relieved to see the plants beginning to wither.

    Reply to Joshua's comment

    • Susy on October 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      My mom had a few nice pumpkins coming out of her compost pile this year. Sadly my compost piles are in the shade at the back of the lot, not suitable for zucchini. Now that I have more full-sun area I might try planting some in a quick made compost pile up front in the new garden area.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Justin on October 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I’m incredibly jealous, as I seem to have a squash “black thumb” myself. Same seems to apply to cukes for me. Meanwhile, everyone around me gets more than they can handle.

    Generally, I find my vines look fantastic until mid-summer and then the powdery mildew gets to them. This year, we had a really bad attack of cucumber beetles, which ate everything in sight faster than I could pick them off and I don’t really want to turn to non-organic methods. I thought I had one cute little pumpkin that was going to make it, but when I picked it, I found a borer had nestled itself inside within the last day or so.

    One thing I did learn this year is I think I have a pollination problem. I need to find some good ways to attract bees, short of getting my own hive (which I’d honestly love to do given some extra time and money). I tried the “leave a dish of Coke out” old wive’s tale, but all that netted me was a couple of drowned frogs.

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  13. alison@thisbloominglife on October 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Isn’t it funny? Here the zucchini just grow and grow and noone can give them away in season. I struggle with lavender. Never been able to grow it – everyone else within miles grows it with no problems. Unfortunately, I’m yet to discover a plant in flower lurking LOL

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  14. KimH on October 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    What a beautiful zuch!

    The only real surprise I found was quite a few more spaghetti squash growing than I knew were there & there were a whole lot more tomatoes than I knew were there.. Holy cow there were a lot of cherry tomatoes.

    A volunteer pumpkin grew too.. had to have been from a seed that came from a pumpkin in years past. I always have several on my front porch in October and some creatures usually come help themselves to a snack mid to late Oct.. They scatter the seeds pretty good.. :D

    Reply to KimH's comment

  15. mistresseve on October 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I haven’t gotten any big surprises yet as I’ve not done my fall cleanup. Too busy! All my vines got powdery mildew this year: pumpkins, cukes/pickling cukes, zucchini and yellow squashes. I got 2 small unripe pumpkins, 4 twisted tiny slicing cukes, and one striped cross pollinated zucchini.

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  16. Chas on October 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I. Love. Your. Shirt!
    Totally cute! :)

    Reply to Chas's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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