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Q: Can you tell me the largest local zucchini recorded?

Q:  Our local community garden in Hilliard has produced a zucchini that is over 3 pounds. Can you tell me the largest local zucchini recorded?

A: What a fun question. This is just the kind of question that makes the internet worthwhile. I checked the University of Florida Vegetarian Newsletter dated April 2005. According to this publication the record winning zucchini was a Park’s black zucchini weighing at 14 pounds 10 ounces by grower in Nassau County named Lynch. This record was set in 1999. A hybrid zucchini weighed in at 16 pounds 6 ounces by a Marion county grower in 2001. Now you have your work cut out for you.

I would encourage all of you to plan on a fall garden and then you can bring in your beautiful harvest to the Northeast Florida County Fair in October where it could possibly win a blue ribbon. I would love to see the community come together and show the rewards of their labor. Just this year the record for largest sweet potato and turnip were broken. Although retired, Jim Stephens still keeps up with Florida’s biggest vegetables as one of his Emeritus Professor duties. The system he employs still requires the assistance of Extension agents in each county following guidelines established in 1989.  Prior to that year, no one kept records of big vegetables grown in Florida. Palm Beach County holds the most Florida records with 12 out of the 53 kept. The runner-up is Suwannee County with eight records. If you are interested in the Vegetarian Newsletter check out this website for a printable version http://www.hos.ufl.edu/vegetarian/index.htm