For the Birds

I’ve been harvesting squash all summer. I like to cut it into thick slices, coat with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper, toss with herbs, and then grill it. I’ve also sauteed it, steamed it, and put it into stews. I’ve diced and frozen some for soup this winter. I check the plants almost every day, and yet, somehow, there’s always one squash that hides until it get ridiculously humungous.

The squash on the right is the tastiest size. The big one on the left is about two feet long. Sure, I could cut it in half, scoop it out, make a filling and bake it, but, honestly, who wants to bother with all of that work in this heat? So, on the way into the house with my basket of vegetables from the garden, that big lunk of a zucchini got tossed into the chicken run. Without the hens, I’d have brought that squash into the kitchen, where it would have sat on the counter for a day, challenging my cooking skills and making me feel like a slacker of a cook. Then, it’d be hidden away in the refrigerator, where it would take up valuable space, go soft and eventually get thrown out. But, because I have a flock of chickens I don’t have to go through all of that. Instead, I get the immediate gratification of seeing the hens eat it. As they peck away, they cluck their thanks and make me feel like the best gardener, ever.

Some things in the garden are too beautiful pick. I’m leaving these sunflowers for the wild birds to harvest.


  1. Terry, Your garden makes me truly envious. My neighbor gave me a zucchini (sp?) that was the size of a baseball bat “for the birds”. When I went to tuck them in for the night, the zucchini had been put to good use….they were perched on it like a branch…In the book “Animal, Vegetable, or Miracle”, the author states in her little hometown they only locked their homes and cars in the summer..because people would abandon zucchini inside their front door and in their cars..I laughed out loud at that one!

  2. Terry I eat zucchini in the ways you mentioned all very good. Another delicisous way (although not the healthiest) is fried.
    Bathe your slices in buttermilk (milk works also) and egg with salt/pepper and any other herb you would like and then into the flour and fry. YUMMY!
    I don’t fry much anymore and very rarely in the house. I have a small propane tank with a single burner. I bought it about 10 years ago for tailgating at football games and discovered it works at home too :-),
    leave all the greasy mess outside. I use a dutch oven. I drop in the pieces of zucchini and when they float I remove and place on a paper towel covered plate.

  3. We over-planted zukes this year. We’ve had fried zucchini, sauted zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini cakes (ref: Paula Deen, but baked, not fried), zucchini soup, zucchini salad… and the darned things are still producing!

    Yep, we’ve been blessed with a couple of those behemoths this season! I shredded one for later use in zucchini bread. I hadn’t thought of it, but if it works to dice and freeze, I’ll do that to the most recent, 4-pounder I found. It’ll be good in soup this winter. Thanks for the idea!