Monday, July 11, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Zucchinis

Found at a Thai Festival, the vendor told me the shoots and flowers are delicious.

Smack in the middle of a floral and vegetable display during the Thai King's birthday, is a big zucchine, Can you find it?


The zucchini (play /zʊˈkiːni/; plural: zucchini or zucchinis; from Italian: zucchina [d͡zuˈkːiːna], plural: zucchine) or courgette (/kʊərˈʒɛt/ or /kɔrˈʒɛt/, plural: courgettes) is a popularly cultivated summer squash which often grows to nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested at half that size or less.

I like zucchines young and tender in a Chinese stir fry. In New Zealand, when they grow big, they call it a marrow.


I couldn't resist this story. 30 years ago, as young marrieds, I got very interested in organic gardening. The back yard was down in a chasm, and was a jungle of years of neglected weed. I couldn't even start to remove the weed. so I did what this woman did, and converted our front yard into a veg garden. It became both our hobbies. The husband, then a grad student found it very therapeutic .Friends LOL at us. We did this for one season and had wonderful crops. The council never disturbed us. Sadly, the landlord sold the house and we had to move.

Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail For Planting Vegetable Garden

OAK PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - "The price of organic food is kind of through the roof," said Julie Bass.

So, why not grow your own? However, Bass' garden is a little unique because it's in her front yard.

"We thought it'd be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help," she said.

Bass' cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she's been charged with a misdemeanor.

"I think it's sad that the City of Oak Park that's already strapped for cash is paying a lot of money to have a prosecutor bothering us," Bass told FOX 2's Alexis Wiley.

"That's not what we want to see in a front yard," said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what's "suitable?"

We asked Bass whether she thinks she has suitable, live, plant material in her front yard.

"It's definitely live. It's definitely plant. It's definitely material. We think it's suitable," she said.

So, we asked Rulkowski why it's not suitable.

"If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster's dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what's common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers," he said.

But when you look at front yards that are unsightly and overgrown, is Bass' vegetable garden really worth the city's time and money?

We asked Rulkowski what he would say to those who feel this is ridiculous.

"I would argue that you won't find that opinion from most people in Oak Park," he responded.

"I have a bunch of little children and we take walks to come by and see everything growing. I think it's a very wonderful thing for our neighborhood," said neighbor Devorah Gold.

"They don't have (anything) else to do (if) they're going to take her to court for a garden," said neighbor Ora Goodwin.

We did find one neighbor who wasn't a fan and thinks it needs to go.

"I know there's a backyard. Do it in the backyard," he said.

"They say, 'Why should you grow things in the front?' Well, why shouldn't I? They're fine. They're pretty. They're well maintained," said Bass.

It looks like this critical debate is headed for a jury trial and neither side is backing down.

"I could sell out and save my own self and just not have them bother me anymore, but then there's no telling what they're going to harass the next person about," Bass told us.

There's another pretrial scheduled for July 26. The next step could be a jury trial.


Ginny Hartzler said...

The lawsuit is ridiculous, and the law is very vague. It does not give examples or say what you can't plant, so a good lawyer should get them off, I hope so! Around here, everyone grows lots of zucchini, so much that most people give it away! It's become sort of a joke, I don't know why people plant so much!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Crazy lawsuits... We have a bunch of them in this country all of the time... THEN--the important ones (like O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony) become like circuses --with NO JUSTICE being done... Gads--something is wrong with our justice system for SURE....

I love Zucchini.. We get it here and I fix it along with yellow squash and onions... YUM..

Ash said...

Not my fave veg but a very interesting post!

Gattina said...

Zucchinis ! and I raked my brain to find some Z words ! Lawsuits are sometimes real ridiculous, I heard of two neighbors who went to court because apparently the cat pooped in the neighbor garden, lol ! and the other said it was the dog. I think it was the dog.

George said...

I happen to like zucchini, so I think this is a perfect 'Z' post. I do think the Michigan town is crazy to try to stop that woman from having a garden in her front yard. I'll bet her garden looks better than some lawns I've seen.

Roger Owen Green said...

Oak Park has narrow-minded ninnies!

I had zucchini last night for supper at a Middle Eastern restaurant!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Chubskulit Rose said...

I love stuffed flower zucchinis.

Zoning the ABC, please come and see.

Al said...

I'll eat zucchini when it's on my plate, but I don't go out of my way to find it. The city harassing the vegetable grower is ridiculous - as a society we should be encouraging people to grow their own food wherever possible. We'll all pay the price if we don't.

Wanda said...

What a ridiculous law....Your garden should stay!

Tumblewords: said...

There are some silly laws and they seem to proliferate like bad weeds. Zucchini is a tasty and versatile vegie for sure. I've never tried the flowers or shoots.

Leslie: said...

I'm a zucchini lover, too, and your garden should stay!

abcw team

Kay L. Davies said...

My dog loves zucchini. So do I, but my digestive system isn't happy about vegetables right now, so I'm just feeding raw zucchini to Lindy instead of cooking it for us. My husband microwaves frozen peas for himself, and saves some to cool off for Lindy.
Some town councils are so silly. I hope that woman doesn't have to go to jail.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Jama said...

I'm not a big fan of zucchinis....

EG CameraGirl said...

That must have been disappointing to create a productive vegetable garden and then have to move!

Yum! Zucchinis!