Each year, the community garden goes up near Ivy Tech with the intention of helping various agencies in the Howard County area provide food to those in need.

Nearly five tons of fresh produce has been harvested by volunteers that have logged many hours tending to the needs of the grounds. After a wet start to the planting season, the volunteers managed to harvest close to 10,000 pounds of produce, which was down from last year’s collection of 24,700 pounds.

“It’s been a trying year because of all of the rain early in the season. This year, we’ll be lucky to get 10,000. It’s a good thing though. That’s 10,000 pounds people can put to use,” Larry Bills, volunteer at the garden.

Bills said about half of the volunteers are master gardeners, and the rest is made up of individuals just wanting to work. He said it was good for everyone to get together and work on something for a good cause.

“It’s rewarding for all of us at the community garden because we know it’s going to good causes. I think all the charities appreciate what we do, and we enjoy doing it,” he said.

The volunteers come out to work on the garden throughout the summer, planting produce at different times of the season in order to be able to harvest something and deliver the food to those in need.

Agencies such as Coordinated Assistance Ministries (CAM), FSA Domestic Violence Shelter, Gilead House, Howard Haven, Open Arms, and the Rescue Mission are just a sampling of where the harvested produce is delivered once it is picked. 

Fruits and vegetables are grown in the community garden. Bills said potatoes and peppers, along with cucumbers and cabbage, all have done well this year. Tomatoes have not been as plentiful in the past, but have still given a good yield. 

More than 900 pounds of cabbage, 500 pounds of cucumbers, 2,200 pounds of tomatoes, and 350 pounds of zucchini have been delivered so far this year.