From Hempstead’s first settlers, to its current Supervisor, gardening has brought food to table and fun to families for nearly 250 years. With historic Rock Hall Museum as a backdrop a “Children’s Gardening Club” learned about the health and nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables they grow from Supervisor Kate Murray and representatives from Stop & Shop Supermarkets.
“When Rock Hall was built back in 1767, there were no supermarkets to shop, so colonial food sources became the fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish, livestock and dairy products found on or near a typical 18th century Long Island home,” commented Supervisor Murray. “Two and a half centuries later, many of us still enjoy tending our own backyard gardens to grow the fruits, vegetables and herbs that contribute to a healthy life-style.”
Nutritionists from Stop and Shop also spoke with the youngsters on the value of healthy eating habits and the process for getting food from ground to table. Garden Club members plant and tend, tomatoes, broccoli, basil snow peas, pumpkins, soy beans, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant and zucchini. Staple vegetables and herbs from a Rock Hall garden circa the late 1760’s.
“In Rock Hall’s storied history, some things have never changed,” added Supervisor Murray. “The inclusion of vegetables, fruits and herbs in a healthy diet is as important today as it was in the mid 18th Century.”
Youngsters were also reminded of the importance of a healthy diet to our elderly residents. Stop and Shop brought along harvested produce to donate to attending seniors as part of their campaign to stress healthy eating habits for people of all ages.
“I am an avid gardener myself and like my fellow ‘green thumbs’ I take great pride in the vegetables, herbs and flowers, I grow,” concluded Supervisor Murray. “The youngsters in the Rock Hall Gardening Club are learning invaluable lessons in local history and healthy living.”