08/02/2015 11:01 EDT | Updated 08/02/2016 05:59 EDT

Zucchinis: 3 tips to make the most of a bumper crop

Warm weather across B.C. has led to a bumper zucchini crop this summer, according to a local farmer.

"We've been picking many, many pounds of zucchini, but they keep getting sold because there's just so many things you can do with it," says Brianne Fester with Wild Flight Farm in Mara, B.C.

Fester says of all the vegetables, zucchinis are perhaps the most versatile to work with, be it through savoury or sweet recipes.

"You can pretty much do anything you want with them," she says.  

Fester says zucchinis across the province are coming in faster than a lot of people know what to do with them.

Here are her top three tips for any gardeners experiencing a zucchini boom.

1. Pick them early

Fester says one of the best things you can do if your zucchinis are coming in earlier than expected is to pick them before you normally would.

She suggests to start picking them when they're only one to two inches in diameter as opposed to the fully-grown zucchini, which ranges between three to four inches.

"You'll have a more tender, flavourful zucchini — you just won't have as much of it," says Fester.

2. Use the flowers

From battered blossoms to stuffed stems, Fester says zucchini flowers are often underused ingredients. 

"Pick off the flowers before they even turn into zucchinis," says Fester. "You can actually stuff them and eat the flowers."

3. Freeze and store

As well as being a versatile vegetable, zucchinis have proven to be long-lasting when frozen. Fester recommends grating any extra ones for use later in the year.

"When you pull it out of the freezer you're going to want to set it in a strainer and let some of the liquid come out of it," says Fester.

She says thawed zucchinis are great for stews, soups, breads and muffins.