Meet one of Taproot’s community partners, Bill Zimmer. Bill began working with Taproot Kitchen on a modest scale in 2017. It quickly became apparent that TK was capable of taking on fairly large quantities of locally grown produce for consumption or for preparing for storage. The partnership was cemented and the rest is history.
After retiring from the financial services industry, Zimmer realized that he had always had a passion for gardening. He began to take courses in horticulture, gardening, and soil at a local university in New York. After moving to Centre Hall, he started gardening on a large scale with an acre of land. Together with a few of his friends, Bill started coordinating the gardening with more growers. Eventually the partnership grew to about 10 growers producing 4,000 lbs of crops that were donated to the local food pantries. Then, Penn State Farms got involved and the production increased to over 20,000 lbs of produce during 2018!
Zimmer felt that Taproot Kitchen was a worthy organization that could use and would appreciate donations of locally grown produce from their gardens. With the help of Penn State Interns, he picked and delivered weekly boxes of fresh corn, zucchini, tomatoes, winter squash, kale, onions and more, totalling about 2000 lbs. Much of the produce was stored at Taproot’s home base at 318 S. Atherton. But a lot of produce must be processed, so when received, Taproot gathered its volunteers at Good Shepherd Catholic Church to process and freeze in portions ready for the soups, flatbreads and pestos that are a staple in TK’s menus all winter long.