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Entries in Community Service (2)

Tuesday
Mar072017

Community Gardens

Although community gardens have a long history prior to World War II, it was during this time, in the midst of food rationing, when citizens answered the call in the name of  the war effort, planting Victory Gardens to grow, eat and preserve fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families.   At least 20 million private and cooperative gardens were created back then in backyards and empty lots in the name of patriotism.   

Today, concern for the environment and awareness of the health issues associated with the use of chemicals and pesticides, has brought about a trend toward more nutritious, organically grown, fresh produce.  Organic gardening relies on crop rotation to avoid insect and disease problems associated with a particular crop and the use of organic fertilizers, compost and mulch rather than the more traditional methods using insecticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers.  Local or home grown organic food is also known to be far more nutritious than traditionally grown produce. The organic movement is not lost on the traditional supermarkets, as most have jumped on the bandwagon, introducing organic produce and grocery items to their shelves.  Limited selections and higher costs, nevertheless, have compelled many consumers to consider growing their own vegetables and herbs.  Others, without the benefit of a personal outdoor space, have gravitated toward local community gardens where they can enjoy and appreciate the satisfaction of tending, harvesting and eating their own produce.  There is also the added benefits of physical exercise, social interaction with fellow gardeners and emotional and physical health when eating a healthier and more wholesome diet.  Gateway Park Community Organic Garden, located in Huntington, is a wonderful example of how a local community can come together.  Growing produce while also supporting those less fortunate, provides an opportunity for the local community to improve their quality of life with a diet of healthy, home grown and nutritious food while also significantly reducing food costs. 

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA’s, are another path to realizing the benefits of healthy, sustainable organic produce while also supporting local farmers and the environment.   These programs are based on you, the consumer, purchasing a share of a farmer’s harvest.  A membership fee is prepaid early in the year to help the farmer purchase needed equipment and seeds.   Then, from May or June until November, depending on the crops a particular farm grows, a weekly allotment of fresh picked produce is harvested specifically for you.   Many of these farms have weekly drop off points in our area, so it’s important to choose a farm that delivers to a convenient location for you.   Some membership require work participation, but considering that the majority of CSA’s are located at the east end of Long Island, this concept may be impractical for most of us.   Produce selections and costs also vary from farm to farm, so checking out websites for the details is important.  Homecoming Farm in Amityville is a wonderful example of a group, the Dominican Sisters in this case, coming together to support themselves and the community with a healthy and sustainable Community Supported Agriculture project.  Bayard Cutting Arboretum and Bethpage Restoration Village are also CSA’s, but may or may not be organic.

As a consumer who purchases organic foods whenever and wherever possible, I find myself purchasing the same few available organic fruits and vegetables week after week.  The experience of tasting a healthier and more varied choice of local organic produce, fresh from the farm, is very appealing and adds another benefit, for me at least, to join a CSA. 

Being aware of the many options available on the garden path to a healthier diet, whether to have your own backyard garden, a plot at a local community garden or a weekly delivery from a CSA you will be an integral part of a rapidly growing movement to reconnect with nature and support a healthier, more sustainable environment.     

Written by: Maria Ferrero

Thursday
May012014

Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Hospital, and Cohen Children's Medical Center

Click image above to view video page

Earth Day is a very important day in our calendar that should inspire everyone to work together to improve our environment.  It marks a day of environmental awareness across the nation and people come together to reduce, reuse and recycle.  When spring is in the air and the weather is warm, people get eager to get outside and start cleaning up, not just for themselves but for everyone else in their local community.  Goldberg and Rodler is no exception, and this year for Earth Day, we collaborated with Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children's Medical Center to plant and dedicate two trees in the name of healing.

North-Shore LIJ has developed a new Green Initiative to bring the North-Shore medical system up to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards by reducing water use in buildings, increased recycling and clean up programs, and improving the landscape.  Together, the LIJ’s Green Initiative team and Goldberg and Rodler hosted a ceremonious event to dedicate two trees to the environmental improvements at the hospital.

President Tom Rodler plants a new tree, with the help of Cohen Children's Medical Center patientsThe event kicked off at 11:00am just outside Cohen Children's Medical Center.  Goldberg and Rodler donated a double flowering Kwanzan Cherry tree centrally located within view from the hospital entrance, parking lot and street.  Two children, who were patients at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, came out and helped Goldberg and Rodler plant the new tree, which resulted in an emotional and extremely rewarding experience for everybody.  Together, with the help of the children, we mixed compost and fertilizer into the soil.  Everyone had a hand in filling the tree pit with rich organic soil.  Then it was time to add the earthworms.  This was a highlight for a lot of people there, because it was also a learning experience on the proper way to treat soil for a newly planted tree.  The act of touching and working with soil and plants is proven to be very therapeutic and served as a healing experience for everyone involved.  The last step was to add mulch and water thoroughly.  LIJ has acquired a new truck with an attached hose and water compressor, to optimize watering throughout the hospital campus.  Last it was time to name the tree, and the children were given the honor to name their very own tree.  Today on April 24th, “Pinky” the Cherry Tree was brought into our lives, and Goldberg & Rodler couldn’t be happier.

After a quick photo op, we moved to another location by the Emergency Room to plant our second tree, a Japanese Zelkova.  We utilized the same procedures to properly plant the tree to ensure its survival.  Goldberg & Rodler decided upon a Zelkova for this area because it will provide shade and an interesting vase shaped canopy over time.  Groups of administrators and doctors arrived at our second location to witness the final planting.  Everyone was excited to be a part of the process, get their hands a little dirty, and break up the monotony of their demanding jobs.  The group named this tree “The Healing Tree” in honor of the Green Initiative mission of healing the environment and the community at LIJ.

The Green Team at Cohen Children's Medical Center and all of the helpers around their new tree "Pinky"Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children's Medical Center was an extremely successful and inspiring event for Goldberg & Rodler.  We are honored to donate to such a beneficial and healing cause for patients, employees and the environment.  Goldberg and Rodler promotes sustainability and community involved design, and looks forward to continuing to serve our community by volunteering in the future. 

Written by Nick Onesto