Tucked back in Fair Oaks Park is the Fair Oaks Community Garden, that has approximately 45 gardeners. This hearty group decided they wanted to do something to help others during this economically challenging time. The coordinating committee of the garden did some research and found a food locker in the local area that would be delighted to have fresh organic produce.
At the March 2009 meeting the gardeners overwhelmingly voted to take on this effort. Spearheading the effort was Roy Tyree. Roy is a retired postman and retired Chief Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force and spends every morning, every day except Sunday, at the garden. Not only does he tend his own plot, but takes the time to help out all the gardeners whenever needed. He created the diagram of the garden and staked out a 4,000 square foot area.
The Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District's Park Maintenance Staff disc the area and assisted in getting the irrigation set up and running. Gardeners have donated plants, seeds, garden supplies and many hours of physical effort to start and continue the effort. Volunteers other than gardeners have come and helped with planting and weeding.
Along with red potatoes , there are also a number of varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, crookneck, zucchini, and butternut squashes; bush beans, pole beans, and corn planted. To date the gardeners have made approximately 15-20 deliveries to the food locker, containing a total of:
- 10-12 boxes of red potatoes
- 9 bags with bunches of carrots, beets and radishes
- 2 boxes of corn (94 ears)
- 5 boxes and 1 bag of green beans
- 1 box of tomatoes
- 14 boxes of cucumbers, zucchinis, and eggplant
As crops are finishing, new beds of pumpkins and winter squashes have been planted. A second crop of corn is growing taller. This has been an overwhelmingly rewarding experience for the Fair Oaks Community Garden and may become and ongoing project.