Accidental gardeners

John and Pat Kwilasz work in their Portage garden Tuesday. What started with an about an acre and a few peony plants has grown to 4 acres, a vegetable garden, and about 5,000 peony plants. John and Pat have been growing vegetables, peonies, mums and other plants in their Portage yard for about 50 years. Theyve been married for 51 years. "We've got a little bit of everything," said John, 81. It began with them helping a neighbor transplant some peonies. "She asked if I would like cash or plants," for helping, said John. He opted for plants, and now has thousands of them. They sell some mums and the peonies, but give away the vegetables they don't use. John may have caught the gardening bug from his mother who started one on a double lot in Gary where he grew up. Now a retired postal worker, John and Pat spend their days tending the garden. "For one thing it keeps you healthy, it keeps you moving," Pat, 74, said. "When you work in the soil, it's the closet thing to God. It's spiritual, you can relax," she said. "It's work but it's enjoyable."

June 18, 2013 4:30 pm  • 

About Portage

City Hall
6070 W. Central Ave. Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-5425

Police Department
2693 Irving Street Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-3122

Fire Department
3401 Swanson Rd Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-7404

Portage Township Schools Administration Center
6240 U.S. Highway 6 Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-6511

Porter County Public Library
2665 Irving Street Portage, IN 46368
(219) 763-1508