Source: Martha's Vineyard Magazine
The community garden at Island Cohousing is a poster garden for Vineyard-grown and a model of sustainable living and recycling.

Already living a community-oriented lifestyle, the families who inhabit the sixteen homes at Island Cohousing in West Tisbury are further united by the sharing of one large garden – primarily maintained by Cohousers Lynn Weber and Paul Lazes.

Paul had always been one of the main caretakers of the garden, and helped to create it – along with fellow Cohouser and Island photographer Randi Baird – when the first families moved into the complex in the spring of 2000. But when Lynn arrived on the scene in 2006, he says he was happy to hand over the bigger rake.

“I’ve been gardening my whole life, and I’ve known some avid gardeners – Lynn is the best I’ve ever met,” Paul says, adding, “She always gets embarrassed when I say that.”

“I just work hard,” Lynn professes. But it’s more than that, a lot more. It’s a daily, year-round commitment and one that requires an intuitive understanding, as well as basic know-how and creativity. It helps that she enjoys it too.

“I really like all of it. I like being able to keep in shape by doing it. I’ve been committed to the idea of growing my own food forever and ever,” Lynn says. “I’ve been gardening for fifty-five years.” The slim, spry, sixty-nine-year-old has been living on the Vineyard since 1972 and has been a committed gardener here despite all the years of doing the “Island shuffle,” moving between different summer and off-season homes. “I did a lot of gardens and then had to leave them,” she says, living everywhere from Katama to Chilmark to Makonikey, before she and her husband, Tom Andrews, settled into their Cohousing home.

A budding garden

Lynn says before she stepped in, cont...

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