Flower Hill Primary School has a new garden. The project has been coming together nicely for some time and culminated earlier this week when students collaborated with Island Harvest on plantings in the courtyard are between the building’s two wings.
The project was a long time in the making. In March, students started growing the vegetable plants in their classrooms, using soil, milk carton planters and a variety of seeds. They kept the seedlings next to a sunny window and watered regularly.
Meanwhile, David Bergmann, Jr. of DCB Landscaping was busy improving the designated garden area with a delivery of top-notch topsoil. Mr. Bergmann’s son is in kindergarten at Flower Hill so the school is especially near and dear to his heart.
Earlier this week, students had an opportunity to transplant what they had grown in classrooms into the garden area prepared by Mr. Bergmann. The youngsters will continue to weed and water their new garden until their plants reach maturity.
Teachers and students planted the garden alongside Hillary Hess of Island Harvest, an organization that has worked to feed Long Island’s hungry for many years. Portions of the harvest will be donated to a local food bank and ultimately make their way onto the tables of those who need it most.
“Island Harvest was created in 1992 by one woman with a cooler, a station wagon and a strong desire to help people in need,” according to the organization’s website. “Linda Breitstone, our founder, was infuriated that food from a local convenience store was being thrown away at the end of the day with a safe house for women and children down the street. In response, she established Island Harvest and our mission, ‘to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island.’ Since those early days, Island Harvest has become Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization. Our volunteers and staff now deliver millions of pounds of good, surplus food – much of which might otherwise go to waste – to a network of 570 Long Island-based food pantries, soup kitchens and other non-profit organization that offer feeding services for those in need.”
Students planted in their new garden on a gorgeous spring day. “Throughout the summer and fall, donations to a local food bank will be coordinated,” Flower Hill Principal Lucia Laguarda said. “This has been a wonderful experience for the children so far, combining hands-on-learning, science, nature and community giving. Thank you to all who made it happen!”