Greg Rogers is a 35-year-old man with Down syndrome. He’s got a pug named Zambi whom he adores. He also has backyard chickens, some loaded blueberry bushes and a garden he zealously cultivates.

Not that he eats what he grows; he donates his fresh-grown produce to Portland-based Wayside Food Programs. “I tried to buy a cucumber off him once,” said his mother, Joan. He told her no, because his crops go to the needy. We visited Rogers at his North Deering home for a tour of the garden. The result is a different sort of Meet, light on conversation, high on inspiration.

FARMER GREG: While Rogers finishes up his lunch, his mother explains how he got into farming. When he was 18, she and her husband sent Rogers to a special school, Camphill Soltane in Pennsylvania, where he learned how to mulch, prune, weed and harvest with the program’s fruit and berry operation. He was so engaged, she said, that he would phone the school to check in on the health of the peach trees during his spring break.

In his late 20s, he volunteered at a flower and a vegetable farm in Maine and raised chickens, apples and vegetables on his own small, backyard farm in Naples. Since moving to Portland he has established, with the help of his health aides, a backyard garden filled with beans, zucchini, summer squash and potatoes.

At the Swiss chard, he stopped to do some explaining. “See the red stems?” he said. “And the yellow.” He and an aide had recently delivered squashes to Wayside. “Thirty-five pounds,” he said proudly.

MEET GOLDILOCKS: Rogers led the way to the twin chicken coops, currently occupied by just five chickens (in Portland, the limit for backyard chickens is six, but one of his birds recently met its maker).

“That’s Goldilocks,” he said, pointing to the lone peach-colored chicken. He gets about a dozen eggs a week. “But I don’t use for eating,” he said.

At one point, his mother said, he sold eggs to Fore Street restaurant.

While he was examining the chickens, his mother and aide Henry Powell were checking on the vegetable crop. They discovered a zucchini the size of a small and very fat baseball bat and she held it up. “Gregor,” she called to him. “Mr. Magoo!” When she finally got his attention, asking “What’s wrong with this?” he shrugged it off, proving himself the rare home gardener who does not suffer from overgrown-zucchini guilt.

“I’ve got a rain barrel,” Rogers said, showing how the water runs down a gutter and into the bucket.

SOIL AMENDMENTS: The next stop on the tour was the compost heap in the side yard. Rogers had his soil tested when he first started gardening in Portland. “I had lead in the garden,” he said. So his gardens are heavily amended.

Fortunately, he’s got an in with Garbage to Garden, a curbside composting service in Portland. He volunteers with them and in exchange he gets a monthly batch of compost. Among his tasks are sorting pails to make sure they’ve been washed or putting stickers on the pails. “See this,” he said, holding up one of the pails.

In an email, Phoebe Lyttle, community outreach director for Garbage to Garden, credits Rogers with being “one of our most dedicated participants and loyal supporters” for years. “He has befriended the entire GtG staff, bagged hundreds of bags of compost, stickered hundreds of buckets and helped us at dozens of community events. He has introduced us to his friends and family, shared stories with us about his garden and the good uses he has for the compost he receives, and has had us all laughing!”

ART AND FOOD: The walls of his home are lined with Rogers’ paintings, several of which reference his gardens, and his mother believes that farming feeds his artistic impulses. She and her late husband, Dick, bought the house and Greg rents it from her. The goal was for him to have a more active social life and be closer to health aides. The family has a food-related background: Dick ran a Portland-based food business and imported fine foods, including cocoa.

FRUITS OF HIS LABORS: The food that Rogers donates to Wayside might get used in the kitchen, either cooked or in a salad, according to Executive Director Mary Zwolinski. Or it could be distributed through one of the five mobile food pantries that go out each month. It might also end up being redistributed to one of the 40 food pantries and agencies throughout Cumberland County that work with the needy. “Many of the people we serve at the mobile food pantries are refugees and immigrants and they really, really appreciate it when we can offer them fresh, local produce,” she wrote in an email. “So big thanks to Greg for that!” The staff at Wayside, she wrote, “is lucky to be part of his world.”