Chipmunks have eaten almost all of Adam’s young tomatoes. Bold and defiant, these rascals have come back day after day and made their way through the carefully placed netting, devastating the results of months of careful care.
About 50 miles away, Mico too has a chipmunk problem. In his garden, they mostly attack his zucchini blossoms. He has kept them at bay by constant monitoring, and by ensuring he consumes the blossoms as quickly as possible.
I visited Mico recently and was stunned at his garden’s transformation from just a short time ago. Compared to weeks earlier when vegetables were merely poking out of the ground, his garden is now fully lush, with limited views of the dirt through all the leaves, stems, and blossoms.
His string beans are near ready for harvesting, red and green lettuces are glistening in the sunlight, eggplants are starting to flower, and he has had red tomatoes for at least the last three weeks.
Mico’s zucchini plants, too, are thriving. The giant leaves pour over each other, seemingly in complete oblivion of the threat of the vigilant chipmunks.
It’s always amazing to me how much space it takes to grow a zucchini. Each zucchini plant is at least 3 feet wide. Mico’s garden is not the biggest, but he uses every inch. The zucchini plants are in various locations, mostly along the northern fence of his property.
On this day, Mico was picking zucchini blossoms. “Can you still get zucchini if you take all the flowers?” I ask him ignorantly “I only take the ones that don’t have zucchinis” he tells me. Ah. I guess gardening is not rocket science.
Apparently, only the female blossoms mature into zucchinis. So, we’re going to pick and eat the males!
On this particular day, Mico is going to fry the blossoms. This is one of my favorite treats, and one that I have only ever eaten at Mico’s house in the summer, moments after he has picked the blossoms from his garden and walked the 30 feet to his kitchen and made them.
Here is how Mico makes his fried zucchini blossoms:
1. He rinses the flowers, removing the green stems (email readers, link to my site to access the video).
2. He carefully mixes the flowers with self-rising flour and water (email readers, link to my site to access the video).
3. He heats up some vegetable oil and gently fries about 2-3 at a time.
4. Once they look like this, he carefully removes them from the oil.
5. He adds some powered sugar, and they are ready!
Mico tells me that it is still possible to plant zucchini and get a harvest this summer. He suggests starting the seed indoors. After germination in 4-5 days, plant the seedlings directly outside in a small hole. Add water and sunshine, and voilà, you’ll have zucchini plants and flowers in about 4 weeks.
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