The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › ZUCCHINI, sustainability and the supermarket culture.

ZUCCHINI, sustainability and the supermarket culture.

A former member
Post #: 90
I have a giant Zucchini plant...i was going to post a pic with it nearly covering a yardstick in the middle..

What to do with Zucchini it's producing daily?

Which is a problem in sustainability and our indoctrination into the Supermarket culture of having a selection of zucchini, every day of the year and the luxury of buying 1 or 2.

Sustainable gardens don't give you that luxury; many times it's feast or famine--5 ft wide plants or invasive bugs which suck the life out of the leaves.

You can't moderate Mother Nature...well a little bit, but its tricky!

Japanese beetles have devastated flower beds; but are getting caught in the trap and a pail of car wash water for some reason. Otherwise they are indestructible. Ditto for the slugs--I didn't know they love to strip carrots along with their cousins, hard shelled snails. Where's that Thoreau book to slug the slugs?

btw. a friend suggested zucchini logging...I thought Zucchini chocolate cake was preferable, my neighbor's kids like them, luckily.

Thoreau gardened two seasons; hired a local farmer to put it in, was plagued by woodchucks and may have harvested someone elses apples and blueberries......DAVE...your turn!
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 156
Frank - do you have small animals? Scott said at a recent meetup that Mollison told him "You don't have a slug problem, mate. You have a duck deficit."

Slugs and Japanese Beetles are my two nemeses as well. The former get all manner of unfriendly treatment and the others get handpicked, trapped, "lured" onto other plants (they found our hardy kiwi this year....). I applied milky spore last year but suspect it was only to give me the illusion of action, since I'm in the middle of a sea of neighboring lawns.

Considering a couple of Muscovy ducks for next year.
A former member
Post #: 93
DUCKS! Yes!....they eat slugs like savories at a party. They poop in the garden and fertilize it for an additional benefit...

How do I do that...a small duck pond and small ducks.. muscovys are relatively small...clipped wings or will they be able to fly.

Thanks for the sugg.

Japanese beetles, by the pound have been attracted to the lure and caught, dazed, in the plastic bag hanging under it. this works very well, if you remember not to hang the bag near fruit bushes or trees...other than the flower beds and carrots--which are growing back nicely; the damage was minimal.

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 54
I have raised/captured purple flowering raspberry (rubus odoratus)to attract japanese beetles away from other things. I don't have them that bad yet out in the country the way I did living in Gardiner. I have heard that you will have more of them if you have traps. The best thing is supposed to be if your neighbors have traps. You could give them some?

Slugs are a big problem where I live. Turkeys alledgedly eat them but I have not seen it happen and I'm sure they are not doing a good job. The cure is as bad as the problem in that case cause they eat the blueberries. A bowl or tuna can filled with beer certainly catches and drowns slugs quite efficiently.

Zucchini? Not crazy about it. My parents grew way too much of it when I was growing up. We always had soup pot going that got a lot added. We froze a lot in veg mixes. Theres always canning.......
A former member
Post #: 56
Yes chickens do love excess garden produce! I used to pick grass/weeds for my rabbits every day, and I picked for the chickens, too--though their stuff had to be chopped. I would have liked to let the chickens free run but in my experience a mulched garden and chickens just won't work as there is nothing that chickens like more than to scratch in mulch looking for bugs/worms. We had two hand raised wild turkeys and they didn't bother the garden. They used to roost at night on the electrical lines running to the house and sadly one morning we found the female dead on the ground--apparently she had roosted too close to the pole and grounded herself.

We had bobwhite quail also, but all but one male died in a late spring ice storm. He grew up and we let him run free. Poor thing (named Bobby of course wink) got so lonely that he would look at himself in the hubcaps of the truck and give his call "BobWHITE!".

We have found another "farm" up in the Alna area. I mentioned in an earlier post that we were ready to sign on another place and it burned down the night before we were to close. So the joke on this one was that it was a go "unless it burns down". Well it didn't burn down but this time the day before closing the mortgage company went broke. It was a case of exactly what we have been hearing about--greed leading to giving money out left and right and then people not being able to make payments when the housing market began to fall away.

The barn at this place is the biggest barn I have seen in my life, and I'm from Minnesota. It is three stories high! It is sound except for the roof and the "cribbing" which I understand means the foundation. biggrin it does not seem hopeful that we can salvage it, but we hope to try. In the meantime it will do just fine for a few small animals...
A former member
Post #: 16
Indian runner ducks don't really need a pond and they are great insect foragers. They are tall and walk kinda like penguins and seemed so happy. Mine were black with a deep green sheen...beautiful. I got my mated pair from the Common Ground Fair years ago but my Border Collie loved to chase them so I had to pen them up. After a few years of feeling sorry for them, I gave them to a friend who lived on a farm. ( and had laid back dogs) As soon as I move my old chicken-coop to a new spot and add a 'duck wing' to it, I mean to get more. They loved slugs and I bet they'd like the hard-shell snails that are currently munching my cabbages...

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 157
Frank, as for your zucchini...not all local incredients, but realllllly good cake:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 c. coarsely shredded zucchini
2 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil (ok so there's a bit of oil and butter anyway, but its a damn moist cake)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk (or yogurt and milk)
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. chocolate chips
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. walnuts, almonds, or other nuts

Combine all the ingredients except the topping items, and pour it into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with the topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
A former member
Post #: 57
It is raspberry season and I'd like to add my recipes.

Easy Raspberry Jam with variations:

In large heavy pot put 1/2 tsp. butter, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and 4 cups raspberries (press in cup to fill). Measure 4 c. sugar and set aside. Stirring constantly, rapidly bring berries to a full rolling boil (a boil that you can't stir down--if you have never made jelly you will find that about a minute after you feel it is "rolling" the boil will change to a more "fluffy" boil, and that is a full rolling boil). Boil hard for 2 minutes and add the sugar all at once. Return to full rolling boil and boil hard for 4 minutes. Put in jars and seal. I have found that all capped jars, jelly, olives, and so on, will seal again for several uses. I even reuse my canning lids a second time and they almost always reseal. This makes a nice thick jam, with no pectin needed.

The same method can be used to make low-sugar jam with 2 c. sugar to 4 c. berries. It's not as thick, but not at all runny. I think the taste is better.

Even using the equal amounts of sugar to berries, the jam is less sugary than the recipe on the Ball Fruit Jell box which uses 5 c. berries to 7 c. sugar.

Raspberry/Strawberry Jam using Sure Jell (buy the one labeled "For less or no sugar needed recipes)

In a large pot put 3 c. mashed strawberries and 3 c. "pressed" raspberries, and 1/2 t. butter. Measure 3 c. sugar and set aside. Mix 1/4 c. of the sugar with the pectin and add to berries. Bring to full rolling boil, add sugar, return to full rolling boil and boil 1 minute. Seal in jars. This is a nice thick jam and though I haven't tried it I think other combinations would work also.
A former member
Post #: 98
LISA...opuluent recipe!...close to the one we used at my Bakery. Suggest you bake it in a tube pan, i.e. angel food, to get even baking for such a heavy batter or make cupcakes.
BTW...this cake freezes very well also; I think you can freeze the batter and bake it off later. There are zucchini cookies that are quite tasty; same idea.

Never could get people to buy ZUCCHINI chocolate cake, so I left it out as an ingredient unless someone asked. They loved it!

It's a fabulous cake and doesn't stale as fast...many virtues...made my Mom's black walnut/zucchini bread a few times...but black walnuts are pricey...we had trees all over our land in Eastern Penna...needed a vise to crack the nuts.

Hear a lot of blue jays this morning; and sure enough a flock descended on my high bush blueberries, and a few found the opening in the net and cleaned off many of the ripe ones I hadn't picked over the past four days.

Fixed the hole, picked the rest and will make a blueberry gallette today.

Rode around on my bike meeting new neighbors and rewarding them with a fresh new zucchini!

Amazing plant; wonder if I can grow one like it next year?
A former member
Post #: 101
I donated my giant zucchini to the local food pantry.
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