Our Chemical Free Garden in Ronkonkoma grows vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Twenty three raised garden beds provide fresh lettuces, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, broccoli, squash, eggplant, strawberries, various herbs, and more during the growing season. Grape vines, raspberry and blueberry bushes grow along the back fence. Heirloom seeds are first grown indoors, then transplanted to our garden and fed organic compost and fertilizer.
During the week, Master Gardener and Peer Specialist Bill Kelly engages our members in a range of garden skills development. Members learn how to identify and nurture various plantings and work as a team to keep the garden productive.
The garden activities also complement other wellness program such as T’ai Chi and Smoking Cessation, where members learn how foods, in tandem with routine exercise and a tobacco-free lifestyle, can help in achieving health goals such as weight loss, increased strength, and endurance.
Our Chemical Free Garden is a place of serenity, and is recognized as a Certified Butterfly Garden through the North American Butterfly Association, which helps to provide resources that increase the world’s population of butterflies. It includes indigenous flowers, nectar, and host plants for butterflies, and is home to a range of native wildlife.
Each week during the growing season fresh, organic produce is harvested and donated to Charlotte’s Table, our choice-based food pantry, open to the public to all who are in need.
Director of Development