The 8th of August is “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”.
The day celebrates the bounty of summer’s zucchini harvest — by demonstrating generosity tinged with desperation and cunning.
The idea behind today is that you anonymously sneak some zucchini onto your neighbour’s porch — then hightail it out of there before you get caught. Wait until dark, or until you know they are out for the day.
You could put it in a nice basket or cardboard box, with a note saying “Happy Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”, and maybe include a printed-out recipe for zucchini bread or fritters.
Of course, nothing says your neighbour can’t pick it up and sneak it onto the porch of the person next to them.
See also: Freezing zucchini (NCHFP)
“The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.” John Gould (22 October 1908 – 1 September 2003), In his 1963 book, ‘Monstrous Depravity’
Activities for today
- Arrange with neighbours to all make different dishes with zucchini, then share a bit of each dish out;
- offer excess zucchini to a foodbank;
- try some yellow or striped zucchini;
- post photos of your zucchini bounty on social media.
- Feta and Zucchini Fritters
- Mushroom and Zucchini Crumble
- Potato and Zucchini Frittata
- Zucchini and Goat’s Cheese Frittata
- Zucchini and Ham Crumble
- Zucchini and Pesto Puffs
- Zucchini Cake
“Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night” was created by Thomas Roy of Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania and his wife, who invented countless fake holidays and posted them on their website at wellcat.com. Chadwick, Alex. Sneaking Zucchini. National Public Radio. 8 August 1997.
In 2014, Oregon columnist Mike McInally spoke with Roy to find out what his inspiration for the holiday was:
“I called Tom Roy in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to ask about how he came to create the holiday. Roy remembered an old Garrison Keillor Lake Wobegon story about how residents of that fine hamlet overplanted tomatoes every summer. Desperate residents would leave a basket of tomatoes in the front seat of their cars, Keillor related, windows wide open, hoping that passersby would help themselves: And they did: When drivers returned, they’d find three baskets of tomatoes in their cars.
Roy recognized that, due to the stealthy nature of zucchinis, a more subtle approach was required to dispose of the summer squash, and the pieces for Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day came together. And so it is that Aug. 8 is the date for foolish gardeners to, um, “donate” some of their bounty to suspecting neighbors.
And then to run like heck.
Roy thought the day would be a hit — “This will work,” he remembers thinking, “because anyone who’s ever planted zucchini” will immediately understand the idea — and it was.
It also helps, as Roy noted, that “nobody ever plants just one zucchini.” — McInally, Mike. Blending squash with stealth. Albany, Oregon: Albany Democrat-Herald. Sunday, 3 August 2014. Page A6, col. 2.
The earliest newspaper mention CooksInfo has been able to find of Sneak Zucchini Day occurred in August 1988 in Texas:
“You know how some gardeners just never know when to quit planting zucchini? Aug. 8 is “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.” — Havel, O’Dette. For those who say there’s nothing to do in August. El Paso, Texas: El Paso Times. 1 August 1988. Page D1, col. 2.
The name of the holiday still included the word “night” in most 1990s newspaper mentions. At some point, someone switched it to “day”, and eventually everyone else followed suit.
Beck, Andrew. Get Ready for National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Better Homes and Gardens. 7 August 2020. Accessed June 2021 at https://www.bhg.com/gardening/gardening-trends/sneak-zucchini-on-your-neighbors-porch/
Chadwick, Alex. Sneaking Zucchini. National Public Radio. 8 August 1997.
Crookston, Jenn. Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. Utah: Western Garden Centers. 5 August 2017. Accessed June 2021 at https://westerngardens.com/national-sneak-zucchini-onto-neighbors-porch-day/
Howard, Doreen G. Zucchini Fertility Spawns Annual Holiday. Almanac.com. 29 January 2019. Accessed June 2021 at https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening-news/zucchini-fertility-spawns-annual-holiday
McInally, Mike. Think Too Much: Beware the man bearing zucchini. Albany, New York: The Democrat Herald. 3 August 2014. Accessed June 2021 at https://democratherald.com/news/opinion/editorial/think-too-much-beware-the-man-bearing-zucchini/article_02a91cb2-1a71-11e4-b3cf-0019bb2963f4.html
Walsh, Devon. Happy National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day! Food and Wine Magazine. 8 August 2017. Accessed June 2021 at https://www.foodandwine.com/vegetables/zucchini/happy-national-sneak-some-zucchini-your-neighbors-porch-day
Zaczek, Alyssa. The more you grow: Aug. 8 is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. St. Cloud, Minnesota: St Cloud Times. 7 August 2018. Accessed June 2021 at https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2018/08/07/aug-8-national-sneak-some-zucchini-neighbors-porch-day-midwest/923885002/
|↑1||Chadwick, Alex. Sneaking Zucchini. National Public Radio. 8 August 1997.|