|TO BE EGALITARIAN AND JUST SO NOBODY GETS OFFENDED, IT SEEMED FITTING TO SET OFF THIS PROUDLY MALE ZUKE WITH A FEMININE-LOOKING PUMPKIN IN THE BACKGROUND. (CINDERELLA, ANYONE?)|
IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, IT’S A BOY!
Today is a royally BIG day for babywatching. Like a certain princely baby who took his time getting here, my zucchini have been slow to deliver. It’s not really their fault, since this year’s Umbrian weather has been molto strano—the coldest, wettest pre-summer in memory. It’s only now that the vegetable garden is starting to come into its own.
Sex is important not just to royal families and those of us ogling at the gate: to be precise, Italian has a different word for the sex of male as opposed to female zuke blossoms:zucchino, zucchina.
Naïve budding contadina that I am, it took me a while to understand this, a study I documented two summers ago in
SEXING THE ZUCCHINI. AND EATING IT, TOO
I notice that that piece got a fair amount of attention, so maybe I wasn’t the only one to need a lesson in this x-rated topic, which horrified my own mother. She did not understand why anyone would conduct such an investigation, and the photo of all those castrated male zucchini elicited a huge YUCK. And here I thought I was producing a highly artistic lesson on the birds and the bees… The posting from 8/2011 was NOT a hit with mom, either.
SEXING THE ZUCCHINI REVISITED:JUST WHEN I THOUGHT MY ZUCCHINI SEX EDUCATION WAS COMPLETE...
Anyway, today’s inspection of the garden revealed a stunningly male zuke blossom that just cried out, “pick me!”
Now last year before (and even after) I knew not to pick female zuke blossoms, I didn’t really care if I prematurely cut off the life of a zuke since I had committed the folly of having 4 wildly-productive plants. This year, I thought I was being smart by having just two, but the bizarre weather has taken its toll on one of them. Therefore, I am treating my one remaining producer with extreme care. No birth control measures for this lonely plant! And I am going to watch it carefully to make sure nobody hides in the foliage and grows to be a two-ton weapon.