After man's unexpected death, community tends his garden

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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) -- The love for Harvey Carter is now planted in a community garden, in honor of him after his passing from a sudden heart attack in April.

Carter's friends said he died just one day after he planted nearly half of his garden in downtown Barbourville, Kentucky.

Though he is unable to tend to his crops, Carter's neighbors stepped up where the family cannot.

"I just don't have the heart in it to do it anymore without daddy," Harvey Carter, his son, said.

He said his father would plant new crops every year and share with those who knew him well.

"Just from the time he would get up every morning to the time he sat down he'd be doing something, Daddy always would," he said.

Mary Carmack, a longtime friend of Harvey Carter's, said the tilled land would have gone to waste without the help of many elderly folks.

"I've had many that's put forth, bought various plants, come with a hoe, or a shovel, or this or that," Carmack said.

She said Ellis Hubbard, a lover of all things food-related, is one of many who broke out his gardening shoes and rushed to work.

"From sun up to sun down it seems like that he's out there a hoein' and pullin' weeds [and] every time I bring something to plant I'll give it to him," said Carmack.

Hubbard said helping each plant grow by fertilizing each seed is the least he could do for a friend.

And since the city nearly tripled the garden's size, he said the constant attention is needed to keep the crops healthy.

"I come out about 5:30 every morning. I'm in the garden," he said. "You['ve] got to be dedicated. You've got a lot to do."

Though Harvey's son is grieving the loss of his best friend, he believes the community is what is keeping the family moving forward.

"Ever since I was little bitty, he was always doing something, or in the garden doing it, so it's just a good blessing that they are doing this," Carter said.

Carmack said once fall arrives, others in the community are welcome to help them harvest the vegetables.