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Food Bank Grateful for Gardener's Bumper Crop, Director Says
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner August 17, 3004
Written by Dermot Cole, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Staff Writer

A local gardener who prefers to be anonymous should be crowned the "Zucchini King."

This master gardener has already donated a ton of zucchini this summer to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank. That's a ton as in truckloads of 250 pounds, delivered two times a week for the past month.

And the king's zucchini are not the swollen monsters that resemble wiffleball bats, but the smaller and more edible varieties, picked at their prime. He has had 300 plants turning out perfect green vegetables with assembly-line regularity this summer.

Just harvesting 250 pounds twice a week must be a gargantuan effort for this gardener, who is a longtime donor to the food bank.

Samantha Castle Kirstein, the executive director of the bank, said she's delighted with the bumper crop. She said she wants to make it clear to local gardeners that the bank is grateful for all donations, including zukes.

The food bank has long had a "Plant a Row" campaign in which gardeners are asked to plant an extra row for the food bank of their favorite vegetables.

She said she was concerned that a News-Miner headline and story last week conveyed the impression that the food bank does not need more donations.

"We're grateful for everything that comes through the door," she said.

I don't think the News-Miner was trying to squash the flow of zucchini, but there you have it. Bring on the zukes.

She made this point in an effective fashion Monday by dropping off some delicious zucchini bread, along with a note labeling zukes as "our bread and butter at the food bank."