Voices of the Gardens

What was once a garbage strewn, vacant lot, is now a beautiful, thriving garden that feeds and nurtures us and our neighbors. Since the garden's inception, we have also welcomed a playground and a renovated comfort station to our little Oasis on Main Street. We love being a part of the revitalization of our downtown. We are growing, tending and harvesting not just food, but friendships.

 

Laurie Nigro, Co-founder, River and Roots Community Garden

Our community gardens have created a visual, educational and sensory addition to the park. Visitors to the park can walk through the garden plots and talk with individual growers who happen to be there at the time. The caretaker for the garden plot can grow vegetables and flowers for their own use. The gardens have truly added to the “community feel” of the park.

 

Walter Becker, Garden Club President, Heritage Park Community Garden

the garden has been a living classroom for hundreds of neighborhood children to learn the basics of gardening and the pleasure of eating fresh vegetables.

 

Francis Whittelsey of LICAN about Huntington Station’s Gateway Park Community Garden

Our students, teachers, and community members have come together in this space to develop an understanding of concepts from ecology to nutrition and apply them in their daily lives. They learn where their food comes from, how to grow, harvest, and prepare it. What better way to educate than provide meaningful experiences in our "growing classroom.

 

Joan Moran, The Good Ground School-Community Garden at the Hampton Bays Middle School

The novice gardener grows in skills to share with the next garden newcomer. Children revel in the feel of the soil and the observation of busy insects. Those needing a place of quiet contemplation to heal from a personal loss find comfort connecting with the earth as they tend their garden. And everyone benefits from fresh air, sunshine, and new connections both from their garden neighbors and the food that nourishes them.

 

Elizabeth Takakjian, Neighborhood Gardens Coordinator Hobbs Community Farm

We added a mentor program to encourage our school children to grow their own organic gardens, and the kids were the most industrious and energetic gardeners. They learned to recognize the vegetables they were growing, and tasted them raw and after they had cooked them as part of the program… we can hardly wait to get dirt under our fingernails again, next spring.

 

Linda Auriemma, Vice Chair, New Suffolk Waterfront Fund

Community Gardens are a way to bring horticulture and gardening to a community that may have limited space… Most gardeners grow produce for their families, and school/youth groups utilize the space to learn about botany, soil science, and community involvement.

 

Bonnie Lynn Klein, CNLP, Community Gardens at the CCE Nassau East Meadow Farm

Our gardeners, young and old, come to this garden from all walks of life. Here we cultivate community, sharing the pleasures of gardening. We nourish our bodies and minds, sharing with our neighbors, as we work together to build a healthy Patchogue.

 

Michael West, Patchogue Planting Patch Community Garden

The community gardens at the Peconic Land Trust’s Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm provide individuals and families with the opportunity to learn and engage with like-minded people to share the joy of growing your own food. The community gardeners have interacted amongst themselves, with the staff of the Trust as well as with the commercial growers who are leasing land at the Ag Center. This diversity of growers has cultivated a deeper understanding of the benefits of local food, the challenges facing farmers, and the importance of conserving agricultural lands for future generations.

 

Yvette DeBow-Salsedo, Peconic Land Trust