Debbie Arrington

He turned his zucchini into a crusade

Dale Creasey’s hybrid zucchini – an accidental cross between an Italian squash and a small pumpkin – gets fatter, not longer, as it grows. The flesh stays pure white and sweet.
Dale Creasey’s hybrid zucchini – an accidental cross between an Italian squash and a small pumpkin – gets fatter, not longer, as it grows. The flesh stays pure white and sweet.

Dale Creasey is a rare gardener. He wants to grow more zucchini. In addition, he wants others to grow more squash, too; not for themselves, but for others.

Creasey doesn’t grow just any zucchini but a unique hybrid he accidentally developed in his own backyard.

“God gave them to me about 10 years ago when I raised an Italian squash and a small pumpkin nearby,” Creasey explained of his squash. “When I saved an Italian squash for seed, these are what I grew!”

Creasey calls his squash “super producer hybrid zucchini.” His squash more than lives up to that billing.

“They produce from four to 10 pounds per plant daily – and sometimes more,” he said.

(And, no, he doesn’t leave them on doorsteps in the dead of night.)

Each squat, fat hybrid looks like a green butternut squash with the thin smooth skin of a zucchini. The inside is pure white with few if any mature seeds. As this zucchini grows, it gets fatter, not longer. What’s more impressive, the flesh stays sweet, never bitter. And one squash can feed four people.

Feeding others is Creasey’s goal. A ton of zucchini can fill a lot of stomachs.

At his Fair Oaks home, Creasey grows a large vegetable garden with dozens of squash plants and tomato vines. Much of his harvest, he donates to the food closet at Fairvale Baptist Church or to the Sunrise food ministry. That includes literally a ton of his special squash each summer. (He’s kept track.)

Local food banks always need more fresh vegetables, he reasoned. So, why not grow something that produces a copious amount of food with little effort and not much water?

The hardest part is keeping up with the harvest, he said.

“But I am now 84 years young and cannot do the picking any more,” Creasey said. “So, I am trying to get the word out and have other people grow them, be it one plant or 10.”

Creasey is reaching out to other generous gardeners. He’s hopeful that church volunteers or community gardens may try his squash and share it with others. He’d like to expand his one-man campaign to other Sacramento neighborhoods and food banks, too.

“I need someone, say in Oak Park, to plant several plants and share with the neighbors,” he said. “Or a farmer who would like to branch out?”

Right now, Creasey still has some sample squash to share so would-be backyard farmers can taste this passion project before planting their own.

“I am going to concentrate for the rest of this year to produce seeds,” he said.

Ready to grow more zucchini, too? Gardeners interested in his super squash seed can contact Creasey at creaseymark@surewest.net. The more people who grow it, the more people will eat.

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