In honor of Earth Day, Borough President James Oddo has announced a new campaign titled “Get Your Garden On” to highlight the existing Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) programs and green markets on Staten Island, promote their activities, and encourage residents to consider growing their own food by educating them on the do’s and don’ts of creating their own gardens. With a primary focus on health and wellness, BP Oddo hopes to increase access for families to fresh foods and encourage Staten Islanders to grow their own healthy foods where possible.
“It is astonishing to learn about the gaps in our country’s food policy, which exposes truly limited access to fresh and healthy foods that we know can help alleviate chronic diseases,” Borough President James Oddo said. “By initiating this connection in our own backyards, windowsills and greenhouses to local green markets, we can provide an introduction to nearby fruits and vegetables to Staten Island residents which will have lasting benefits on their health, especially in this time of a 42% clinical obesity rate nationally, tens of millions of Americans who are diabetic and pre-diabetic, and in the wake of a pandemic that was particularly dangerous to those with pre-existing health conditions.”
This initiative will feature tips and tutorials from gardeners and farmers markets on Staten Island as a way to promote a healthy eating lifestyle. The office will dedicate a webpage on its site, www.statenislandusa.com, to share resources from local community gardens, clubs, and cultural organizations, and provide the tricks of the trade for people to feel more comfortable in attempting to grow their own food or purchase from local produce providers and know how to serve it in a healthy, yet delicious way.
The BP and his team are also finalizing a partnership with Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden's Heritage Farm for a grant to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that will then be distributed to those who need it via local food pantries.
Those who want to share their gardens or show their local produce purchases are encouraged to post their photos on social media with the hashtag #GetYourGardenOnSI to be reposted by the office’s social media accounts.
For details, please visit www.statenislandusa.com/getyourgardenon.