Volunteers begin planting at Gary’s Place Community Garden

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By Don Steen ~ Staff Writer • reporter@psci.net

Gary’s Place Community Garden is putting its first crops in the ground for this year’s season. The garden regularly contributes thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries, churches, non-profit organizations, and individuals in need. Director Steve Buse estimated that the garden has produced more than 15,760 pounds of goods over the last three years, including about just under 3,200 pounds last year. This year’s goal is between 7,000 and 9,000 pounds.

Gary’s Place is named for the late Gary Buse, who passed away in 2017 and loved to garden. Since its establishment, several groups of volunteers have plied this plot of land just outside Richland. About 71 volunteers lent a hand last year. 

Last week the garden added an estimated 17 pounds of onions, 32 tomato plants, 100 pounds of red potatoes, five 300-foot rows of green beans, and nine 100-foot rows of corn. In addition, 32 plants each of zucchini, cabbage, purple peppers, cucumbers, and yellow squash were tucked in for the growing season. Buse expects the crops planted in early May should be enough to cover the first round of donations this summer. 

The garden also grows a few cash crops to support its operations, including hot peppers and decorative pumpkins in the fall. Those interested in volunteering labor or donations for the initiative can call 812-489-0101.

Featured Image: One volunteer tills up the garden at Gary’s Place Community Garden in Richland

Steve Buse plants some vegetable plants in the ground at Gary’s Place

Monica Esarey and Florian Opitz of Amazon help plant some plants at Gary’s Place Community Garden in Richland