FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794
Town’s Magnolia Gardens Residents Raise Chickens & Farm the Land
North Hempstead, NY – Passersby might think they have been transported to Iowa when they get a look at the chicken coop and raised garden beds overflowing with vegetables in the back of Magnolia Gardens in New Cassel, the affordable senior housing apartments located across the street from the “Yes We Can” Community Center. With the permission of the North Hempstead Housing Authority, a group of seniors who live at Magnolia Gardens have built a chicken coop, which is home to 16 egg-laying chickens. Residents expect to collect approximately two dozen eggs a week, which will be shared among the residents at a group meal in the community room.
The residents also cultivate numerous raised garden beds where they grow a wide variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, green beans, watermelon and corn. A representative from Cornell Cooperative Extension assisted the residents in constructing the garden beds and also conducted classes in how and what to plant and how to get the most out of a small garden.
“The residents of Magnolia Gardens have created their own ‘farm-to-table’ concept right here in their own backyard,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “There is such a warm feeling of community, as the residents work together on their small farm. The produce and eggs that are harvested nourish the bodies, minds and spirits of everyone involved.”
“I see the excitement and care in the eyes of the residents as they care for the chickens and tend to their gardens,” said Council Member Viviana Russell. “There is a sense of pride and accomplishment when they see the fruits of their labor, it just enhances the whole living experience here at Magnolia Gardens.”
A permit was necessary to build the chicken coop, which is required to be placed at least 50 feet from a neighbor’s property line, according to North Hempstead Town code. It is the only permitted coop in North Hempstead. The varieties of hens include Lavender, Buff and Blue Orpingtons, Buff Brahma, Blue Cochin, Dark Brahma, Partridge Cochin, New Hampshire Red, Rhode Island Red and a Black Frizzle Cochin Bantam.
Here North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, right, and Town Council Member Viviana Russell, left, get a close look at one of Magnolia Garden’s hens.
Here North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, left, and Town Council Member Viviana Russell, right, get to know the Magnolia Garden hens a little better.
Here North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Council Member Viviana Russell, Executive Director of the North Hempstead Housing Authority Sean Rainey, representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension and Magnolia Garden Residents show off a basket of eggs collected from the hen house. The group is standing in front of Mr. Hick’s Garden, named after a former Magnolia Garden resident who loved to garden.