Community Garden Closes Until Next SeasonOct 29, 2021 06:00AM ● By David Dunbar
Micky DeFosses has assumed the role of manager of Bellingham’s Community Garden and Farmstand.
story & photo by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer
Bellingham’s Community Garden officially closed for the season on Halloween, but Garden Manager Micky DeFosses is wearing a happy face about the prospects for the coming year.
“We look forward to another successful harvest in 2022, garden and farm stand improvements, welcoming back returning plot holders, and clearing more space to make available for new members joining us in the spring,” said DeFosses. “The garden provides a wonderful respite from the outside world and an abundant supply of good nutrition for families.”
The entire garden, located at 200 Center Street, is about half an acre in size. Each garden plot is 10’ by 20’ and is available for $40 for the entire season, which runs from April through October. Two plots are available for $70. So far, DeFosses reports, about 40 plots have been reserved. They are being reserved now, and you can get yours by emailing [email protected].
DeFosses has opened the first Farmstand since the COVID pandemic, offering a variety of vegetables for sale to the community. The Farmstand has also been able to donate 75 pounds of fresh produce to three food banks. Helping to make this possible are donations from local companies, including Home Depot and RJD Construction.
Taking a plot for this past season was “the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time,” said Joan LeBlanc. “I dusted off my father’s gardening books, gathered his old tools for good luck, and was on my way to a new adventure!”
“Give it a try,” urges LeBlanc. “Start small and just plant a few things you like to eat; and, of course, plant some flower seeds within your plot. You won’t be sorry.”
According to DeFosses, “Gardeners can use their own tools or use our garden tools, including rakes, shovels, hoes, scissors, stakes, tomato cages, string, and lawnmowers.”
The town of Bellingham, DeFosses added, has been “fully supportive of the growth and development and improvements to the Community Garden and Farmstand with postings, notices, events, advertising and garden mowing.”
Town Administrator Denis Fraine noted that “the Community Garden got off to a rough start several years ago and was abandoned and left inactive. Thanks to the leadership of town resident/volunteer Tony DeCoste the garden was opened again this year. Shortly after we got the garden up and running Micky DeFosses got involved and assumed the role of manager. Through her vision and relentless pursuit of improving the garden and expanding the Farmers Market activities, the garden is on the comeback. The town is happy to work to assist our resident gardeners and the volunteers who are making this all possible. I am confident that the 2022 gardening season at the Bellingham Community Garden will be a great success.”
“As a participant,” explained Jack DeDominici, “it is necessary to voluntarily perform some tasks that involve the overall community garden. I see my involvement as not only being responsible for my plot but also to the garden community as a whole. I got involved because I enjoy gardening and thought that gardening at the community garden would also give me a sense of belonging to a community.”
DeDominici is one of the volunteers who help to keep the entire garden looking good and functioning well. “Basically, that’s what community gardening is all about, working together to create an area that is not only productive but also something that is an asset to the town.”
“The rewards are numerous,” added plot holder LeBlanc. “I’m usually at the garden several times a week very early in the morning just enjoying the beauty of it all. I take pictures of my flowers and just enjoy watching the growth of the plants. It’s also a great stress relief for me!”
“I love growing organic food that is healthy and nutritious,” said garden manager DeFosses. “There’s something very natural and spiritual about it. The connection we have to the earth and the one who designed it is amazing.”
For more information, visit the Facebook page of Bellingham, MA, community garden.