The summer light is fading, the morning is starting to have creamy crispness to it, and our gardens are full of zucchini. This zucchini squash quandary is not new…it has been the struggle throughout the ages. Historically speaking, zucchini squash became very popular in the 1920’s when it was introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants…grazie! American gardeners are forever grateful. What do you do when you want to love your friends and neighbors AND you have a lot of produce to give away?
Sunshine Makes Good Things Grow.
The last two years I have found great solace and peace in my garden adventures that you can read about here. My original garden plot had lost it’s sunshine due to mature trees. After a few months of research and begging gardener friends for advice, an old rock path was given new life as a vegetable garden. With sunlight and water, plants actually grew and produced vegetables…lots of vegetables, especially zucchini. Such is the quandary I found myself and millions of other gardeners in…a blessing of overabundance.
Too Much of a Good Thing Can be a Good Thing.
Living a life of love isn’t an easy task. Back in the 90’s I found a book that changed how I thought about love. The simple framework that author, Gary Chapman, shared in his book, The Five Love Languages, establishes a fantastic way to discover how you express and receive love. It’s based on his five expressions of love: gifts or tokens of affection, quality time together, physical touch, words of affirmation, and acts of service. In summary what expresses love to you? How do you show love to others? And in my case, how can I use zucchini to express love to others?
Sharing is Love.
Tackling the first love language of gifts or tokens of affection is easy. Can I give you this zucchini? Would you like a zucchini or three? Or take it a step higher, here is a loaf of zucchini bread. Gifts of love don’t have to be grand gestures. Just knowing someone is thinking of you with a little token can warm a heart.
Can We Spend our Time with Zucchini?
Time spent together can fill an empty heart. Moments spent together can be so precious because time is a valuable and rare resource. Being seen and known through conversation and shared activities can speak volumes to those who crave quality time. Sharing a moment searching the garden for the perfect squash or making a pan of zucchini brownies together can fill this void.
Do You Want to Touch My Zucchini?
Physical touch as an expression of love has to be done with clarity of consent. Zucchini is not exactly a touchy-feely vegetable. To those friends who crave physical touch, consider hugging or back pats while offering them the plentiful produce. Or holding hands while eating stacks of zucchini pancakes.
You Are So Strong Holding that Zucchini.
Expressing how much you appreciate someone for their very being can open one’s heart.
I’m not talking quick or flippant remarks. Really using your out-loud voice to express gratitude for someone can be a wonderful way to show love. Communicating their amazing skills in the kitchen with zucchini or creativity with produce may be a way to express words of affirmation and lessen your produce load.
Can I Use This Zucchini to Help You?
Acts of service as expression of love can be as simple as weeding a garden or taking zucchini off someone’s hands. Finding ways that truly speak help someone can be tricky. We all have things we think would be helpful but finding the helpful spot in someone else’s life talks compassion and good listening skills. How can my gift of produce be helpful? Can it provide a meal or a snack to someone? Some food banks take extra produce. Will it spark someone’s creativity? Getting unusual produce drags me out of my culinary box.
Zucchini Can Be Love.
No matter how you slice it showing love to others is a journey of being willing to speak another one’s language. Being able to share my bountiful harvest with my loved ones requires thought and creativity. These five love languages definitely don’t cover all the ways we show love, but it’s a simple framework to help us communicate.
Zucchini may not be the most elegant of vegetables but it gives us a lot of chances to show love to our friends and neighbors. A practice in love is never a practice wasted.