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Community Garden Springs Into Action

It seemed like it would never come, but spring is finally here. The sun’s out a little longer, the days are getting warmer and the showers promise blooming flowers in weeks ahead.  

Another telltale sign that spring has finally sprung in Hicksville is the opening of the community garden. An outreach of Trinity Lutheran Church, this garden has been both maintained by, and served, the local community since 2011.  

“We might be from one church and school, but we’re looking to get the whole community involved,” said coordinator Melissa Valencia. “We want the whole community to come work here with us.”

The community garden is aptly named. It’s maintained by community members, and the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor go towards helping other community members in need. Anyone is welcome to volunteer at the property, regardless of religious affiliation, age, gardening experience, or any other factor.  All the produce that is grown is donated right back to the community through various food pantries.

“We’re trying to help people who need help in the most basic way,” Valencia said. “Come here one day and harvest food that’s going to feed someone that very day. You’re directly impacting someone’s life.”

“You have to start small and help the people you live with,” she continued. “Once you take care of those people you can reach out even further.”

The garden, which is located at 46 W. Cherry St., has 33 raised beds and is hoping to expand in the next couple of years. This past Saturday, volunteers of all ages from Westbury, Massapequa and Hicksville got the garden ready for the new season and planted cabbage, lettuce, pea, beet and radish seeds for the first harvest. Come late April, they will start planting seeds for warm weather plants such as tomatoes and peppers. Volunteers are continually harvesting and planting new seeds throughout the whole season.

Valencia says there are several of ways people can get involved with the garden and that no experience is necessary, it’s just basic gardening.  

“Once you get those seeds in the ground, it’s just keeping it weeded and watered and keeping an eye out for any problems,” she said.

Problems, which for many gardeners can mean critters like raccoons, squirrels and rabbits. But Valencia says they haven’t had any issues with animals or insects, which has also allowed the garden to avoid using any pesticides.

Meredith Canavor from Hicksville has been helping at the garden since its inception and was at the workday on Saturday with her son. She says she enjoys being able to work alongside her community members while doing something she loves so much.

“I love it because we get to partner with the town and other churches and the community,” Canavor said. “It’s such a great experience because you’re doing something positive. Especially after a cold winter, there’s nothing better than putting your hands in the soil, it makes you feel so well connected.”

Starting April 7 and going through November, the garden’s workdays are every Monday from 6:30 until dark, and the first and third Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact Valencia at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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