One of the best ways of dealing with stress in the times of the COVID-19 Pandemic s to get outside. On April 22nd (Earth Day), gardeners were able to enjoy a breath of fresh air and touch the soil when the Roosevelt Community Garden opened for the season. It was a pleasure to see the many smiling faces as they arrived at the Garden to help clean up, plant cool weather crops and reconnect with neighbors.
This season concluded with a Fall Harvest and Garlic Planting in November. It was a very good year, with a harvest that included 25 different types of fruits and vegetables, including callaloo, Roselle Hibiscus, eggplant, okra, bok choy, sweet potatoes, organic garlic, strawberries, flowers and ornamental gourds.
Throughout the season, the health and well-being of our gardeners and volunteers was a priority. Visitors were required to wear face masks and maintain safe distance. In addition, hand sanitizer was accessible, gardeners were encouraged to use their own tools and some activities were cancelled to minimize the number of visitors to the Garden. We also offered virtual educational presentations.
Through the Garden, we’ve been pleased to be able to bring healthy, locally grown food to the residents of Roosevelt and Nassau County to help combat preventable diet-related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
We are especially grateful to our volunteers Peter Meleady, Iesha Saunders and Master Gardeners Mary Callanan, Kathy Gaffney, Charles Kaminsky and Audrey Thomas. Special thanks to Nassau County for being such a great partner by providing the space and the materials needed to achieve such a positive community impact.
2020 programs Highlights and Activities include:
• Partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County to host two in-person and two virtual workshops for gardeners and local residents
• Five new volunteer joined us at the Garden to help educate Garden and community members and to help maintain the Garden
• Nine new families joined the Garden to grow their own food and learn about their environment
• Two square-foot demonstration garden plots were installed by CCE to educate the community about square foot gardening
• Installed a bookshelf stocked with new books donated by the Book Fairies and a communication board