LI Cares Garden Prepares For 4th Annual Vegetables And Herbs Harvest

LI Cares Garden Prepares For 4th Annual Vegetables And Herbs Harvest

HAUPPAUGE, NY — Long Island Cares’ Grow to Give Community and Corporate Garden is preparing for its fourth annual harvest.

The garden is at the food bank’s headquarters, at 75 Davids Drive, Hauppauge. It was built by Long Island Cares staff and volunteers with the guidance of Larry Foglia and Dr. Heather Forest, two of the founders of the Long Island Community Agriculture Network (LICAN).

One of the beds is being taken care of by a local family this year; a second bed is taken care of by a Long Island Cares staff member and veteran Marine; and a third bed is taken care of by students under 18 as part of the charity’s Community Gardening 101 program.

“The uniqueness of our own Community Garden is who takes care of them,” said Dali Boczek, director of satellite services and the garden manager of Long Island Cares.

Garden caretakers learn how community gardens and home gardens help fight food insecurity. The remaining three garden beds are taken care of by companies in the HIA-LI community.

This year’s vegetables and herbs include tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, eggplants, cucumbers, kale, collards, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro, onions, and garlic. Brussels sprouts are the newest vegetable being grown.

Staff and family members are set to plant the first set of seedlings, which are expected to be ready to harvest in the summer. The harvest will then be distributed to the Hampton Bays Food Pantry, the Long Island Cares Support our Seniors program and a local member agency.

The garden is expected to yield approximately 2,084 vegetable servings this year, Boczek said.

Boczek expressed her “sincere gratitude” toe everyone who helped plant seedlings on Wednesday.

“Your support and hard work made a big difference, and it was wonderful to see so many of you contribute your time and effort,” Boczek told Patch. “We were able to plant more seedlings this year due to the higher number of volunteers helping. This converts to more vegetables being distributed per family.”

Long Island Cares will be providing recipes along with the vegetables donated with each distribution of the harvest.

People from all different backgrounds helped at the gardens, which Boczek called a “rewarding experience.”

“It encourages a sense of community and collaboration. The diversity in our backgrounds creates an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and connected.”

LI Cares Garden Prepares For 4th Annual Vegetables And Herbs Harvest
(Patch News Partner/Shutterstock)

Patch has partnered with Feeding America since 2020 to help raise awareness in our local communities of hunger, a persistent national problem exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks and 60,000 local meals programs across the country, estimates that nearly 34 million people, including 9 million children — about 1 in 6 Americans — are living with food insecurity. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.

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