Zucchini as Totem?


Traits: persistence, creativity, are you fucking kidding me?

I bought the zucchini when my cucumber died. I figured, hey, everybody says zucchinis take over everything and produce a ton of vegetables, etc etc. I wanted something I couldn’t kill; it seemed like a logical choice.

I set it, still in the plastic pot, on top of the dead cucumber’s container. By the time I thought about replanting it, there were roots into the larger pot, so I put it off. And then I put it off some more.

I mentioned talking to the OSU Master Gardeners, right? I asked them what I should do about the zucchini and they said not to replant it but that I should cut the plastic pot off with scissors. That sounded reasonable.

I went outside with my scissors to where it sat, just off the side of the tiny deck. I started clipping with it on the ground, but that got awkward fast, so I tried to pull it up onto the deck. No dice. It had grown over the side of the pot and rooted into the ground.

The plastic and bark-covered, non-garden ground.

I did eventually manage to get the plastic pot cut off. I “planted” the exposed roots as best I could in the cucumber pot. It’s a hell of a reminder that nature can tell me to fuck off whenever it damn well likes.

And if I ever need to pick a spirit to teach me persistence, I’m going to the zucchini.

0 thoughts on “Zucchini as Totem?

  1. So funniest story ever: in the area I’m living, if you leave your car unlocked around this time of year, you not only will come back to find it exactly where you parked it and with the radio intact, but the entire backseat (and trunk, if they can open it), will be filled with zucchini.

    Every potluck you attend in August will easily have 7 loaves of zucchini bread, and people will offer you more to take home, eagerly instructing you on how to freeze it if you already have too much to eat at present.

    All tempura and casseroles become suspect, because they are likely to be… zucchini. Even homemade pickles can’t be trusted, because the zucchini likely ate the cucumber and wound up taking its fate. Even the drought last year did not stop the zucchini.

    The humble zucchini is like the honey badger of garden plants. It’s a total shut-out against pumpkins, and I have seen pumpkins devour back acres and spring up from both compost and burned-out burn piles.

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