Recently Newsday featured environmental advocate, Debra Wheat-Williams, Director of the “Seed to Table” Community Garden in Freeport, New York. Wheat-Williams, a long-time supporter of Sustainable Long Island and Market Manager for the Freeport Youth Staffed Farmers Market supported by SLI, started the “Seed to Table” Community Garden in 2012 with the help and financial support from Sustainable Long Island.
Wheat continues to maintain a powerful connection to the South Shore village and its youth. When asked about the power of educating today’s younger generations on the principles of sustainability as well as the importance of water conservation she eloquently stated “we gear them toward college and teach them about business.” The young gardeners are treated as entrepreneurs-in-training as they participate in the process of planning their garden to selling the produce they grow at the market. Proceeds are directed back to the garden, and instead of paying for the use of their plots, the teens are paid in salary while receiving what Wheat-Williams calls “financial literacy training.”
In June, Sustainable Long Island worked with the Cedarmore Corporation and BJ’s volunteers at the established Freeport “Seed to Table” Community Garden to complete an expansion which included the construction of (5) 4 x 8 raised gardens, planted summer crops, and reinforcement of three garden beds that were showing signs of wear and tear.