The Waldo County Garden Project for several years has been producing literally tons of vegetables for local food cupboards and nonprofits.

Started in 2010, the garden is a volunteer program of clients from the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center and Waldo County Commissioner William Shorey, who is also a volunteer. Shorey estimates that its produce this year will exceed 50,000 pounds of fresh vegetables.

Randy and David Doak do the groundwork for the garden. Over the last four years, they worked the soil on five acres of leased land. Late in 2014, however, County Commissioners purchased Nickerson Farm, including those original five acres.

In its first year, Waldo County Garden Project produced approximately 7,000 pounds (3.5 tons) of vegetables. In 2011 the garden produced 12,000 pounds of fresh vegetables; in 2012, 16,000; in 2013, 23,000 pounds; and in 2014, 26,000 pounds. Although last year's crop exceeded the prior year's production, the annual increase was less because there was a lot of rain, which necessitated replanting.

This spring, volunteers planted a mile of potatoes,1,800 feet of turnips and 3,500 feet of corn, as well as beets and carrots; all told for 2015 there will be approximately 25,000 feet of vegetable rows under cultivation.

The garden has contributed fresh vegetables to Waldo County food cupboards, senior centers, various churches and The Game Loft.