We asked you to plant a little extra, and you did!

   Back in the early part of the spring, the BBJ launched its new main philanthropic effort in Bellingham, the Victory Gardens Against Hunger drive in conjunction with the Bellingham Food Bank.
   Our initial goal was simply to raise awareness on what the Food Bank does, how many people it serves, and hopefully spark a boost in the amount of fresh produce — always one of the organization’s rarest commodities — taken in by the group.
   The Food Bank’s executive director, Mike Cohen, and I sat down last spring and tried to come up with a target goal in pounds for the summer, and plucked 10,000 pounds out of the air as a place to start. It seemed like an ambitious number, but we wanted to show people we were serious about this project.
   As of our October press time, we are happy and proud to report that the Victory Gardens campaign has yielded more than 11,000 pounds of fresh produce brought in by local gardeners! To surpass our inital goal in the first year of the program is extremely gratifying.
   First, we need to thank all those folks out there who did their part and planted one or two extra plants for the Food Bank. Your couple of pounds a week this summer really, really added up.
   Thanks as well to all the local church groups and organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club (see page C16) that helped put fresh produce in the hands of Bellingham’s needy.
   And lastly, thank you to my daughter, Maren, whose idea of growing more vegetables at our home for people who don’t have food of their own (Casa Thompson contributed more than 100 pounds of veggies to the effort, with more to come next year) was the spark that created the BBJ’s Victory Gardens effort.
   This year has been a huge success — but we’re going to up the ante in 2006, because the need is not going away. Start planning for your spring plantings now, and leave a little extra space for your Victory Garden!

John Thompson is publisher and editor of The Bellingham Business Journal. He can be reached by calling 647-8805, or via e-mail at bbjedit@

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