Gardening Outback in Gorst

By Rachel Pritchett
It’s not a sight you see every day.
But there it is: A well-tended garden brimming with corn, beets, yellow squash and cukes right out back behind Peninsula Subaru and Suzuki in Gorst.
No, all these leafy vegetables aren’t here to help out the ailing auto industry. These vitamin-brimming carrots, peas and zucchini are headed to South Kitsap Helpline, to help feed the really poor.
Not surprising, it’s the only known community garden growing at a local auto dealership.
“We’re doing the right thing,” said Peninsula president and owner John Dionas.
He got the idea recently when he was in attending a Subaru of America meeting in New Jersey, spotted the corporate garden, and thought, “Why not here?”
The fenced, medium-sized garden sits on a grassy area on the shore of Sinclair Inlet. It’s impossible to see from the highway.
Called “Peninsula’s Love
Garden,” the new garden is a delight to customers and staffers who wander out from the showroom to find themselves in an
oasis amid the constant stream of rumbling trucks, fumes and down-home businesses that is Gorst.
It’s tended by two or three Peninsula employees, headed by Carol Clinefelter.
“It creates good morale with the company,” Dionas said.
Employees have been harvesting for a couple weeks now, and believe there’s still time for more planting.
It’s going to be permanent, said Dionas, who’s also active in charity in the Gig Harbor area, where he lives.
“We’ll do it every year.”

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