Looking to Spring and the Promise of a Garden

Plan are in the works for a community vegetable garden to be built behind the new home of Parks and Recreation at 380 Bay Ave.

While winter’s chill will soon be upon us; there is a group of local residents planning for spring and summer. If you have not already heard, plans are underway for a community vegetable garden.

It was over five years ago when Trustee Hilton and I stood behind the Winona Hotel on Bay Ave (soon to become the home of the Village Parks and Recreation Department) and said to ourselves, wouldn’t this be a great spot for a community vegetable garden? Well, it does seem that the stars have aligned and the long hoped for garden will become a reality this spring.

We were recently approached by village resident Michael West; he inquired as to whether we had ever considered a community vegetable garden? When we replied yes in fact we had, he kindly offered to head up the project.

Through his contact with the local Cornell Co-operative Extension staff we have learned that indeed there is grant money available. They even have a garden educator on staff!  

A commitment of support has been secured from them for both monetary and planning assistance. The Co-operative Extension has partnered on a number of gardens; most recently in downtown Riverhead. Our garden would be the first for them in the Town of Brookhaven.

The Patchogue Community Garden is seeking interested residents who would like to participate and help us plan, build, plant and maintain an abundant garden. With an initial 20-30 raised beds this will be a place where apartment dwellers and others can reap the fruits and vegetables of their labors!

If you are interested in more information and to be kept abreast of our progress please email Michael West at patcomgarden@gmail.com or check us out at Patchogue Community Garden on Facebook.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Cosgrove December 06, 2011 at 01:19 AM
Nice garden patch but how much did it cost to renovate that monstrosity of a building? They mayor said close to a mill? For WHAT? Why didn’t they make the Carnegie Library a Senior Center and pay the million dollars on that building instead? What does Park and Rec need such a huge building for and how much will that cost to heat? Patchogue Village sure knows how to waste taxpayer money. And what apartment dwellers are going to trek all the way down there to plant some cucumbers? Oh please.
Ben Vitale December 07, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Susan My views are different from yours. I feel that the village absolutely "did the right thing," when they saved and rebuilt the Winona Hotel. This hotel is part of Patchogue's history; so is the Carnagie Library. It would have been criminal to put the bulldozer to either of these two structures. I would guess that the Winona Hotel could be re-deployed, at least in part, as a senior center if needed. I also think that a community garden is also a great idea, as long as financing comes from grants. It is nostalgic structures such as the hotel, and community involvement that creates a sense of community. I do not believe in burning the past just because it is old. A person generally develops an appreciation for nostalgia and community as they get older; when I was 20 years old the only thing on my mind was partying at the Davis Park Casino! When I was 20 years old I too was in favor of demolishing the Winona Hotel. Time changes everything including people!
mary michaels December 07, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Well Benny ole boy, you hit the nail on the head you clever son of a gun. We need to preserve these historic old buildings so I can still feel like a spring chicken! loll as my daughter always says. At least the Winona isn't in the grasp of the grubby old developer's hands like the Carnegie building. But what they do with these buildings is just as important. Like I always say to my grandbabies in the "me, me" plastic generation....."waste not, want not." By the by, do you enjoy a good fruitcake now and then? I make a mean fruitcake...
Ben Vitale December 08, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Mary I have had nothing but traumatic experiences with Fruitcake. People have given me Fruitcake, my wife has attempted to bake a Fruitcake, and I even purchased a Fruitcake in the supermarket. I have never encountered an edible Fruitcake! Ha! Ha! Every Fruitcake that I have ever attempted to eat was as hard as a brick! LOL. I do enjoy Sour Cream Walnut Cake!
Susan Cosgrove December 08, 2011 at 01:00 AM
I agree with you about the historic buildings, Ben, but don't you think that building is too monstrous just to house a parks and rec department? They should find a more robust use for the building to justify the million dollars the mayor complains they spent on renovating it. And the garden? It should be centrally located closer to main st where all the apartments are so the tenants can access it. Who's going to hoof it all the way down Bay Ave to pick their cabbage? Have a little common sense! I also agree with the lady Tianna whose comment disappeared. There are so many financial problems like theft etc at village hall, someone needs to get out of the outhouse and guard the henhouse. Their priorities are out of whack.
Ben Vitale December 08, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Susan I still do not have any details about the proposed utilization plan for this building. I was hoping that the Winona Hotel building would be used for something other than just business office space. I would guess that one or two rooms could serve as village office space, but I really would like to see diverse utilization that would benefit all of our village residents. I could visualize sections being used as a Senior Center, a Youth Room similar to the one in the new YMCA, and possibly an area that could be rented to residents to accommodate small parties. The Village of Port Jefferson has a similar facility. I also agree that the current location is not central to most residents of our village. Nothing is written in stone, and I'm sure there is some room for change! Thanks to Patch, we now have a mechanism to convey information to our local government.
greatsouthbay December 08, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Why all the anger about a garden Susan? I attended a meeting last night of interested residents and they all seemed excited at the prospect.. What exactly is your beef? I bet I can guess, you're a carnivore; didn't your momma tell you that veggies are good for you?
jinxed December 08, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Susan, tone down the anger!! We're talking about a GARDEN not a halfway house!! Oh that's right it already WAS a halfway house...and if I'm not mistaken, there was, at that time a "Susan Cosgrove" who was all in favor of getting rid of the halfway house and making it into a community center...but perhaps that was a different "Susan Cosgrove". I'm all for the garden as are my friends who live in the village. How many villages/towns do you know of that provide something like this for their residents? Thank you Ms. Devlin and Mr. West for bringing this to our village. I'm sure it will be a great success.
Fred Stewart December 08, 2011 at 04:19 PM
People pay a lot of money to join the Brookhaven Hamlet organic garden... how can bringing local, fresh produce to the village be a bad thing?!?!
Fred Diekmann December 08, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Anything can be a bad thing in the eyes of some.
Kat Sheff December 09, 2011 at 09:21 PM
I grew up in patchogue and love to see the development of wonderful community resources such as this. I now live in maryland where there are community gardens spread around the area. I'm telling you, people will drive great distances to grow their own vegetables. There's a waitlist every year!
Susan Greco December 10, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Having lived not far from the Winona all of my life, including two years on the same street, I was extremely happy to hear the village was going to restore this beautiful old building....and felt it was a great use of my tax dollars at that time. The building looks beautiful and a community garden is a wonderful thing. It amazes me the things that people will criticize on here.


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