Plant exchange brings fans to New Paris once again

May 5—NEW PARIS — Some had been before, and some were first timers, at the annual plant exchange event which took place at DeFries Gardens, located in River Preserve County Park just east of New Paris Saturday afternoon.

"I've come to the event the last several years," said Roberta Yoder, Goshen, one of the first participants to arrive.

John Monger works for St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation, but volunteered his time to coordinate the exchange Saturday.

"This is a very popular exchange, even in this area," Monger said at 12:46 p.m., as a number of participants were arriving prior to a 1 p.m. start.

Plants weren't bought or sold, but rather donated and exchanged. A drawing took place, with people taking a number, and when their number was called they went into the shed where the plants were on display and took what they wanted.

"It's a great opportunity to get new varieties of plants," Monger added.

By 1 p.m., the parking lot a the gardens was about full, with plant varieties such as Cubanelle pepper, Akebia Chocolate Viola and others on display and ready to be exchanged.

"It's my first time here," said Kelly Frey Martin, Goshen, as she dropped off raspberry, strawberry, tomato and pepper plants.

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