So we're about a month late on recognizing this food holiday, but we didn't know it was a thing. And to be fair, I think it's completely valid that we didn't know it was a thing. But the thing is, this is definitely a thing. As it appears, on August 8th, there's a most excellent arbitrary national holiday that people legitimately celebrate.
National Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day. Yes, this is a thing. People do this. People actually "sneak" zucchini onto other people's porches... for fun I guess? This came up in office conversation yesterday, because I noticed there were numerous mentions of leaving and finding zucchini on porches in the reviewer comment thread on one of our most popular zucchini bread recipes... and I was very confused. Until one of my colleagues explained this bizarre tradition (neighbors have legitimately intentionally dropped zucchini on her porch and ran every year), leaving most of us in a very WTF? state. It's like ding-dong-ditch, but with a bizarre nutrition angle.
When you really think about it, though, it's kind of nice. Weird as hell, yes. But nice. Leaving a well-intentioned anonymous gift on a neighbor's doorstep is about the most neighborly gesture one can make, even if it is a vegetable.
According to an article from The Farmer's Almanac, this peculiar holiday began with Pennsylvania's Tom Roy of WellCat.com, who needed a remedy to the overabundance of zucchini in his garden. His playful antics for how best to sneak zucchini to friends and neighbors, and even his advice on how to harvest your abundance of zucchini, set the humorous tone for this holiday. Real talk, this is gardening expertise at its finest:
"Under light of full moon, either stark naked or wearing full army camouflage, carrying a machete or any garden implement, run amuck in your zucchini patch, cutting and slashing. Be sure to thank mother nature for her bounty before and after this cathartic experience."
According to the originator, the definition of National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day is this: Due to the overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop of baskets of squash on neighbors' doorsteps.
So there you have it, the origin of maybe the greatest food holiday ever.
As the tradition has continued, many folks simply leave the zucchini on a neighbor's porch, ring the doorbell, and leave. Others who take this holiday a little more seriously take their sneaking next level and carry out the deed in the dead of the night. Oftentimes, these zucchini givers will attach a note or recipe, like the one for this awesome zucchini bread, to their gift for recipients to find the next day.
All of that said, National Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day is definitely worthy of a WTF?, but is also a freakishly lovely expression of "sharing is caring." And any holiday that Mr. Rogers would be proud of is a great holiday in my book. I'm already counting down the days to August 8, 2017... neighbors, ready yourselves.