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97 ways to zap those pesky 'Z's'

Most summer pests pale in comparison to the green one lurking in a garden near you

By Katie B. GoodeSpecial to The Christian Science Monitor / July 30, 2003

It happens every summer: One moment the zucchini plants are producing their first tiny green squashes. Then it's no time at all before they've multiplied faster than beachgoers on a 100-degree day and there's enough zucchini to feed the whole neighborhood for three years or longer.

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What's a gardener to do? Here are nearly 100 ideas for getting rid of a surfeit of zucchini:

1. Donate them to the city to fill potholes.

2. Write a book titled "The Great Zucchini Diet" and get on "Oprah."

3. Include a free zucchini with each book.

4. Investigate whether you can deduct zucchini from your taxes as a "business expense."

5. Go to a costume party dressed as a caveman and use one as a club.

6. Create an art statement on your neighbor's lawn.

7. Hide them in your oven, cupboards, and closets ... and then move.

8. Present a trunkload to that business that overcharged you.

9. Go to boat shows and market them as boat fenders.

10. Put them in the freezer to make zucchini-sicles for the neighborhood kids on hot summer days.

11. Create a space alien to scare your friends.

12. Create a new musical band, "The Zucchinis."

13. Use as fishing bobbers.

14. Combine chocolate and zucchini for a decadent new dessert called "Death by Zucchini."

15. Box a bunch as a present for the boss who didn't give you that promotion.

16. Carve flutes for all-organic musical groups.

17. Give them to your mailman to throw at charging dogs.

18. Donate to the local gun club for target practice.

19. Paint faces on them and sell them as "pet zucchinis."

20. Build a floating bridge.

21. Tie two zucchini to the ends of a string and create a new martial arts weapon.

22. Use to practice the javelin throw for the Olympics.

23. Pulverize in the blender and sell as an "all-natural" facial.

24. Offer them as door prizes for the next luncheon of your favorite charity.

25. Have a zucchini-eating contest. The loser gets a big supply of ... you guessed it.

26. Tell your relatives that if they don't take your excess zucchini, you'll cut them out of your will.

27. Teach a "Fencing for Wusses" class at your local adult education school ... using zucchini.

28. Feed three times a day to unwanted guests.

29. Give to the man who insists he has everything.

30. Play "fetch" with your dog, who never brings things back.

31. Spray-paint zucchini yellow and say they're exotic bananas.

32. Donate to the local flood-control organization to plug holes in levees.

33. Create the world's biggest compost pile.

34. Have a prenuptial agreement that if you should ever divorce, the other spouse gets the zucchini.

35. Leave one a day on the doorstep of someone whose attention you want to attract.

36. Make a zucchini into a drum and howl at the moon.

37. Lay them down as speed bumps to slow traffic on your street.

38. Build Fort Zucchini for the kids.

39. Give to door-to-door solicitors to keep them from coming back.

40. Form a 12-step Zucchini Growers Anonymous club.

41. Decorate and tie to your Christmas tree as dangly ornaments.

42. Place under the mattress of guests who are overstaying their welcome.

43. Give a load to the person you can never please; she doesn't like anything anyway.

44. Have a yard sale; 10 percent off if you take a zucchini.

45. Don't take "no" for an answer when the local homeless shelter refuses to take any more zucchini.

46. Make a deal with the raccoons that they can have your corn if they take the zucchini, too.

47. Hire a hit man to squish the squash when you're out. Make sure you have an alibi.

48. Leave a big, rotting one on the bed of the guy who rats on you.

49. Donate a few hundred to the local "time capsule." Don't leave your phone number.

50. Give as a wedding present to the guy who dumped you.

51. Slice and use as disposable chips at your next poker party.