Now that Terri Buck’s grandchildren are working the family farm, that makes an incredible four generations to ply the gardening trade at Paradise Produce. Terri and the family grow produce and flowers to bring to market in Madras, Oregon at their farm, at local farmer’s markets, and community supported ag memberships.

That’s all part of the mission at Paradise Produce, where Terri said it is a success if she can get even just a couple young people interested in gardening, as those skills will be passed down for generations. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made that goal just a bit tougher as sales waned and the business had to spend more on advertising to bring in new customers.

But the gift of fresh produce is too great to be ignored right now, particularly as many face food insecurities across the region. That’s why Terri knew she wanted to get involved with Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project; to help kids and those in need of food. As part of the project, Paradise Produce is hosting a “Kid’s Plant Day” at one of the first farmers’ markets of the summer and Columbia Bank is paying the bill. At the market, kids will be able to select a vegetable, learn how to plant and tend to it, and watch it blossom. In addition, Terri is also offering fresh produce and food to those in need.

“I hope that [passing it on] makes people feel good about themselves by giving to others and bring a sense of unity to our wonderful community,” she said.