Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Make Your own Zucchini Horn

zucchini horn i
Yes, you can make music from a zucchini stem, or Zucchini Horn!  These amazing Zucchini Horns actually blow pretty loud.  My Brother-In-Law showed me this, this summer and I think it is the coolest thing

It reminds me of making noise from a grass blade.  Anyone else do that in their childhood?

I love having my kids in the garden with me.  Anything like this that I can do, to help them enjoy it even more, is frosting on the cake to me!  Actually though, this gets me pretty excited too!
zucchini horn a
My sister’s garden is growing so well!  I have been reaping the benefits of her garden all summer!  This zucchini is about 15 inches long! 

They are finding their zucchini is wanting to take over their garden box (don’t they always take over!?).  So, they have to keep cutting back their zucchini foliage.  I was lucky enough to be over when they were doing this and my Brother-In-Law showed me this super cool activity to do before adding those zucchini leaves to the compost.
zucchini horn c
You want to cut the whole length of the zucchini leaf off, including the stem, down to the vine.

Then, you are going to cut the leaf off of the stem.  Make sure to get pretty close to the leaf, as marked on the above picture. 

The zucchini leaf’s stem is hollow between those two parts.  However, you want to make sure you cut close enough to the leaf that the stem part, at the mouthpiece, is solid and not hollow. 
zucchini horn d
Here is your cut stem.  This is the horn.  You will now need to do 2 things.
First, cut about 3/4” slit down the center of the mouthpiece side, which is the side that was attached to the leaf.   If you look closely at the picture I marked where you slit it.

Next, you want to scrape the outside of the mouthpiece about 2 inches down, on the outside of the stem.  This is because you will be inserting this into your mouth and it is kind of prickly if you don’t scrape off the bumpy prickles.

We actually used a kitchen knife to do all this cutting and scraping.
zucchini horn i
Next, you put the mouthpiece into your mouth.  You have to put more of it into your mouth then the length that you slit. 

Now, blow.

I’m telling you.  This is the coolest thing ever!  The mouthpiece vibrating from the slit is what makes the noise. 

These zucchini horns only work for a few hours as they don’t work once they start wilting and go soft.

Also, as my children played with it they would close the slit up and it wouldn’t work.  So, I would just kind of push open the slit a little and then it would work again.  I didn’t have this problem when I did it, so I think it was probably my son who tends to bite down on things. ;)
If your first one doesn’t work, practice with how you are cutting it.  My Sister’s horns didn’t work.  She would either cut too far away from the stem, or too long of a slit.  My Brother-In-Law’s worked every time!


I’d love to hear from anyone that does this! 


LollyChops said...

This is completely cool!!!!!! I need to find someone growing zucchini and raid their stems!!!!

Lisa said...

can't wait to try this!! i can hear the symphony now!

Cherie said...

Brings back dad used to make those for me when *I* was a kid...he said they made them when HE was a kid (he's almost 85 years old!) Hooray for carrying on traditions!

inadvertent farmer said...

Oh my goodness that is so cool! Can't wait to try this...thanks, Kim

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Well, after seeing the comments from this post, I'm glad that I am not the only one who had never heard of this. This seems like something that every body should have known about and done in their childhood!

Cheri, I don't know why your family kept this a secret from the rest of us! ;) (As you did already know about this)

Krissy said...

That is pretty interesting!! We have zucchini in our garden..

Following (better late than never) for Tuesday Tag Along. :) I hope you decide to come and follow me back. :) I currently have a $25 Walmart gift card giveaway going on!

Cathryn said...

We will definitely do this if I ever get my zucchini to grow this year! Still waiting for sun. Thanks for the fun suggestion!

The author said...

That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. My neighbor has some sort of mystery squash growing. Maybe she'd give up a stem!

faith buss said...

Oh. My. Goodness. 'Scuse me while I go do this...........

Amanda Tempel said...

Hey there!

I'm a new follower from TTA!

I hope you'll stop by and follow me too!

Shayne said...

That's such a cool instrument! I can't wait to try it! Grow zucchini, grow...

Claudia Protti said...

Fantastic! I have plant zucchini on my terrace and I think we'll also me and my child to do this unusual musical instrument! Claudia (Italy)

Melissa said...

Unbelievably cool!!