MODESTO -- Donated almonds from Ripon have helped to sustain some of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Diane Quaresma, who grows the nuts and markets them on the Internet, had sent about 2,000 1-ounce snack packs as of early this month.
It appears they went down well. An officer at Bagram Airfield, near Kabul, sent Quaresma a U.S. flag that had flown over the base, along with a medal.
"It was an incredible morale boost to all of us out here, and it is a very convenient way to travel with some great snacks," the officer said in an e-mail to the grower.
Quaresma expects the donations to grow along with her small business, California Almonds LLC.
She said she would like "to give as much as I can to those in need, as well as those serving our country."
Her business is at www.caalmonds.com.
Farmers will celebrate this year's bounty at the the 51st annual Harvest Luncheon, set for Sept. 14.
The event, sponsored by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Graceada Park, at Needham Street and Sycamore Avenue.
The luncheon will feature Mapes Ranch tri-tip and other local food. It raises scholarship money for Modesto Junior College agriculture students.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $10 for seniors and children. They are available at the chamber, 1114 J St., (209) 577-5757.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.