You can grow zucchini plants from seed or transplants. The male flowers will come first (They like to be showy). The female flowers will have a more bulb like stem. These will become the zucchini. I give my kids a paint brush and teach my kids to "be the bee" and spread the pollen from the male to the female flowers. This little video explains the process in more "grown-up" terms.
Here are two more pages with more information on growing, harvesting, and saving the seeds of Zucchini for next years harvest.
The biggest problem we have is squash boars. These lovely little beetles make their way into the stem of the plant and attack from inside out. I try and "cut" the stem and remove the first ones I see, but soon, they take over. The best defense you have to these pesky pests is to cover your plants with a floating row cover.
One of first things I make when my zucchini is ready to harvest is Zucchini muffins. They are my absolute favorite! I just add some coco powder to my favorite zucchini spice recipe and top the uncooked muffins with walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips then bake as directed. Here is a similar recipe to the one I make. I usually double the batch and throw the left-overs in the freezer so that we can enjoy them all month long! Oatmeal zucchini bread is also a nice treat!
If you have a bumper crop of zucchini or if you are like me and bought some extra zucchini for preserving at the Farmers Market, there are lots of idea out there for using and preserving. Here are just a few.
Although I would love to have room in a freezer for zucchini breads and muffins, I just don't have the space. SO, I grate, blanch, cool, and freeze my zucchini in 1 and 2 cup freezer bags full. Then, I am able to bake with it all year round!
Here's more information on Teaching About Pollination with Zucchini.
Do you grow Zucchini in your gardens? If so, what is your favorite dish to make with Zucchini?