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Day-long educational program for growing food at home

On Friday April 20, Farmingdale State College’s Department of Ornamental Horticulture will host a day-long workshop titled “Home Grown Food: Planning and Planting the Abundant Landscape."It will run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Teaching Gardens and Greenhouse.The public is invited, and the $5 admission will benefit the Department of Ornamental Horticulture’s Sustainable Garden.

Everyone interested in learning how to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers should attend. It will also feature interactive workshops, garden tours, plants for sale, and local food.

Renowned speakers include the following:

  • Designer and author Dr. Lee Reich (http://leereich.com/)
  • Edible forager “Wildman” Steve Brill (http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com )
  • Cutting-edge practitioner Stephen D’Amato
  • Local farmers Caroline Fanning and Daniel Holmes from Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (http://www.restorationfarm.com )
  • Other speakers on a wide variety of topics central to the themes of the one-half acre garden

This event coincides with Farmingdale State College’s 100th Anniversary and celebrates the Department of Ornamental Horticulture, a founding program of the college. The training of students to grow and incorporate food-bearing plants within ornamental landscapes is a tradition dating back to the early days of the State Institute of Applied Agriculture at Farmingdale and remains relevant today on Long Island where a growing segment of citizens desire to grow and/or support locally produced food.

The Sustainable Garden

The development of a sustainable garden within Farmingdale State College’s renowned 4-acre Teaching Gardens offers the Department of Ornamental Horticulture an opportunity to foster greater awareness and understanding of a truly green movement among its students, who will serve as future industry leaders. This new outdoor classroom will continue the department’s long tradition of utilizing practical, hands-on experience to complement and enhance traditional academic programming.

Generations of talented students and dedicated faculty have developed and maintained the Teaching Gardens since the 1930’s as a model for successful landscape design and horticultural practices. The gardens are separated into a series of theme areas, or “garden rooms,” which feature a diversity of design styles and planting schemes in a relatively small area.

The department is fortunate that undeveloped space remains available for the creation of The Sustainable Garden. Creation of such a garden will ensure that students have access to progressive ideas and strategies that will influence Long Island’s large horticulture and landscape design sector to ensure that industry practices respect the environment of this heavily populated area. It can also influence how the average citizen utilizes dwindling resources in a finite world and promote sound environmental stewardship within the region

For more information contact Michael Veracka, MLA, Department Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Ornamental Horticulture, (631) 420-2113. For more information about The Sustainable Garden, go to www.thesustainablegarden.org. Further information about Farmingdale State College’s Department of Ornamental Horticulture is available at www.farmingdale.edu/horticulture.