A zucchini kind of love
Zucchini is a wonder to me. Each spring, we purchase a tiny envelope of zucchini seeds. We rake garden soil into mounds and drop 2 seeds into each mound. Before long, tiny green seedlings emerge, stretching their little head to the sky, soaking in the sun. We water them every few days to support their growth. We pull an occasional weed, if it is encroaching on their space. Every week or so, we give them a bit of organic fertilizer. Eventually, that little seedling will sit down and spread out with wide leaves and thick, watery stems. Beautiful yellow flowers will start opening, and tiny little zukes will start to show themselves, at the base of the flower. Some people actually bread and deep fry the flower. Squash flowers have become a delicacy in upscale restaurants. With plenty of water and some good sunshine, those tiny zukes will become giant, baseball bat sized veggies in just a couple of weeks. I visit the garden frequently, just to see how big they are getting. I like them big, so that I can stuff them and bake them for dinner. We always have way more zucchini than we can use, and share it freely with family and friends. By the end of the season, we are shredding and freezing it to add to bread, soups or sauces later on.
From that one tiny packet of seeds, over a hundred pounds of squash will be harvested. The plants are so hearty and prolific that even a novice gardener should be able to harvest from them. All it takes is following a few basic guidelines. Is it any different, really, than growing a good, solid relationship? Growing zucchini is a lot like growing love. If zukes were love, they would be big, crazy, unapologetic love. All it takes is following a few basic guidelines.
1- Plant seeds in the soil, after the danger of frost is gone. If you plant them in the winter, they will not live. Much like love, timing is everything. Trying to force something that is not meant to be will not offer a good yield.
2- Offer them water every few days. Too much water will be bad for them, but not enough water will kill them too. Nourish love with your time and attention, but don’t hover and drown those that you love with your needs.
3- Your plants will thrive with some fertilizer. Be gentle though. Too much fertilizer will burn the plants. Relationships must be nurtured with service. Take good care of those you love, but don’t burn them with your expectations.
4- Pull weeds around them when they are small. As they get bigger, they will choke the weeds out. Do your own work to bring the best “you” that you can into your relationship. Allow the other party to do the same, and have confidence that you will both be strong enough to choke the challenges as they appear. Jealousy will only stunt your growth.
5- Gently harvest squash when it has grown to your liking. Be careful not to damage the plant though, as it will keep producing as long as conditions are right. Appreciate your love, and celebrate it often. Gratitude for each other will continue to keep your relationship strong and thriving.
Grow love that is so big that you HAVE to share it friends, family and the world. You deserve to have a zucchini kind of love.