FAIRHAVEN — Lisa Elliott is just finding out that she has been on the Fairhaven Community Garden Committee for a decade.
“I think it’s 10 years,” said Elliott. “I just realized we should have had some celebration or something.”
Don’t call it a lack of attention to detail. As a founding member of the project, Elliott has been plenty busy keeping track of everything but the duration of the garden’s existence.
As a part of the group that started the project, which was originally located at Wood’s School, Elliott has been present for a fair amount of change for the committee and the gardens.
The original space at Wood’s School was paved over to make way for a parking lot. Hastings Middle School became the next location for the gardens, which then expanded to two new locations, one at East Fairhaven Elementary School, and then another plot at Wood’s School… again.
Elliott said that there was already a garden space at Hastings, which was operated by Librarian Ann Richard, who Elliott credits with getting the initiative going.
She recalls a public meeting at the library with a simple question from Richard: “Who’s interested?”
Richard had the space, it was up to Elliott and company to make the next step. “We kind of rejuvenated the garden here,” said Elliott.
For all the location changes and expansions, one thing has remained consistent — the committee.
Currently, there are four members on the Fairhaven Community Garden Committee: Elliott, Christine Parks, Rich Taber and Pamela Greene.
For Parks, the reason to get involved with the committee, she said, is partially selfish.
“Because I want one,” said Parks of why she began her involvement with the gardens. “If you don’t step up and try to keep it going, things fall apart, and we’ve got this small cadre — the four of us — who sort of provide oversight for the gardens.”
The oversight includes scheduling workdays, making sure beds are kept up, and general communication, often via email.
These are the micro responsibilities for the committee. As for the macro, they hope to communicate the benefits of self-sufficiency.
“Part of it is just promoting the kind of lifestyle of: use what’s here. Use the rain water, compost whatever comes out of the garden and have beautiful soil the next season,” said Elliott. “There’s an awful lot of stuff that nature takes care of, and it’s free.”
The season is reaching its twilight for the gardens, but you can guarantee that Elliott, Parks, and the rest of the committee will be back for year 11.