I like to build relationships with my edible community because food is medicine and it nurtures my well-being. Where did this chicken come from is not a mystery anymore, nor should it be. Another important part of a healthy ecosystem is native planting. Do you know that using native plants in your landscape is good for you, your community and wildlife?
Last year, I attended the Long Island Native Plant Initiative’s annual native plant sale and researched plants for our property at Sheridan Green. In 2011, LINPI was founded with a mission: to protect the genetic integrity and heritage of Long Island native plant populations and thus biodiversity from a landscape to genetic level, by establishing commercial sources of genetically appropriate local (ecotypic) plant materials for use in nurseries, landscaping, and habitat restoration activities. I quickly learned that native plants would help sustain native birds, insects and wildlife. Who wouldn’t want to plant natively?
Polly Weigand, executive director and founder of LINPI, and a soil district technician for Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, (follow them on Facebook) visited with my husband Chris and me, to review the landscaping plan for our property. She recommended edible plants like black cherries, raspberries, huckleberries, blueberries, Shinnecock beach plums, apples, pears, and northern bayberries. Weigand suggested nonedible flowers like black-eyed susans, butterfly weeds, New England asters and narrow leaved mountain mints to attract pollinators—most importantly bees—that contribute to a sustainable ecosystem.
Our home has an edible rooftop garden with one lonely budding fig tree, cultivated from my father’s tree in East Quogue, that awaits sweet and savory companionship. Soon, heirloom tomato varieties from Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms will grace our garden. Gaylor’s mission is to preserve biodiversity by seed saving and maintaining a seed bank with well over 6,000 varieties. I bet, Invincible Summer Farms and Long Island Native Plant Initiative collaborate on an edible native seed bank; seems like a natural fit to me.
Visit out east foodie for the full blog post.