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Lecture Descriptions:

Speaker presentation descriptions: Waste Not Want Not (find out more) – April 12, 2014

Title of PresentationThe Comeback Kids:  Breathing New Life Into Hicks and Cutler Halls

Time of Presentation: 8:45am – 9:45am

Presenter:  Lucie Searle, Real Estate Developer, Providence, RI and Vice President of the Board of Trustees, Providence Preservation Society.

Description of Presentation: Hicks Hall, originally the “Horticulture” building and Cutler Hall, the “Agronomy” building, date back to 1914, the early founding years of today’s Farmingdale State College.  These turn-of-the century classically styled buildings, now vacant and in disrepair, represent an unusual opportunity to celebrate Farmingdale’s roots and to provide extremely attractive 21st century facilities by a thoughtful restoration and re-purposing of these two stately structures. Using a number of examples of completed projects, Ms. Searle will explain the process, effort and costs associated with re-using old buildings. She will also suggest some “next steps” that might be undertaken to jumpstart the rehabilitation of  Hicks and Cutler.

Title of presentation: Design for Water: From Watersheds to Bioswales

Time of presentation:  Saturday April 12: 10:15am- 11:15am

Presenter: Halina Steiner, Creative Director, dlandstudio: architecture and landscape architecture, Brooklyn, NY

Description of presentation:

WNWNPosterWater, once abundant and cheap, is poised to become the new oil as the entire world faces the reality of a decreasing supply of clean water. If we are to avert a devastating shortage, we must look at alternate water sources in the planning of new developments and management of existing densely populated regions such as the greater New York area. In her presentation Halina Steiner, MLA, will discuss the collaborative work her firm is involved in to improve water quality. Specific examples of stormwater management across scales, from watershed to localized capture will be detailed and projects shown will include Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, Alley Pond Environmental Center, HOLD System: Bronx River, and HOLD System: Flushing Creek.

Title of presentation: From Forest to Table: Repurposing Long Island’s Woods

Time of presentation:  Saturday April 12: 1:30pm -2:30pm

Presenter: Richard Arnedos, Landscape Architect, Horticulturist II,  Nassau County Department of Public Works, Adjunct Professor, Farmingdale State College Department of Urban Horticulture and Design.

Description of presentation:

Super storm Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on Long Island’s entire landscape. Many forest communities were severely damaged and countless private landowners, town, county and state government agencies still face monumental tasks cleaning up downed trees and debris and assessing the overall health of the forest. With every challenge comes an opportunity to think anew. In this presentation landscape architect Richard Arnedos will discuss the work his agency is doing to manage storm damaged county parklands and offer insights as to how many of Long Island’s diverse species of trees lend themselves to making products beyond firewood and wood chips. Rich will show examples of how to harvest and mill wood and design and create useful structures and furniture.


Title of presentation: Grow More with Less: Sustainable Garden Methods

Time of presentation:  Saturday April 12: 2:45pm -3:45pm

Presenter: Vincent Simeone

Description of presentation: This talk will demystify the what, how, and why of sustainable gardening. Topics include why we should plant for the long-term, how to make the best plant selections possible, how to manage invasive species, how to make the most of your lawn (regardless of its size), the importance of integrated pest management in fighting insects and pests, how to conserve water with proper irrigation, installing rain barrels and cisterns, and more. Grow More with Less is your complete step-by-step personal roadmap for sustainable gardening.


Our Next Event: April 13, 2013 — Products From the Garden

The Sustainable Garden

Products from the Garden

Please join us On Saturday April 13, 2013 at Farmingdale State College, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY for our Third Annual Educational Field Day, from 8am to 5pm.

Schedule of Events: (location – Greenhouse Complex)

  • 8:00 – 8:30am:  Opening Remarks. Michael Veracka, MLA, Assistant Professor and Chairman, Department of Ornamental Horticulture, Farmingdale State College.
  • 8:30 – 9:30am:  Keynote Speaker Travis Beck will discuss “Hidden Ecosystem Services: Products from the Garden.”  Mr. Beck is a landscape architect as well as head gardener for the New York Botanical Garden, and is the author of Principles of Ecological Landscape Design.
  • 9:30 – 10:30am:  “Creating Landscapes Full of Food and Beauty.”  Dr. Ethan Roland of Apple Seed Permaculture ( in Stone Ridge, NY will give a talk on Permaculture, a design system based upon sustainability.
  • 10:30 – 10:45am: Morning Break.
  • 10:45 – 11:45am:  “Selecting and Saving Local Seeds” by Ken Greene, founder and owner of Hudson Valley Seed Library of Accord, NY (
  •  11:45am – 12:30pm: Farmingdale State College’s Horticulture Department will present “Sustainable Projects from the Classroom;” Projects include Rain Garden Designs by Jennifer Cappello-Ruggiero, Emily Tinalli and Tom Harty; Rainwater Harvesting by Ryan Connor; Composting Systems by Aryenth Mejia; concurrently, there will be a Garden Tour guided by Dr. Richard Iverson, curator of the Teaching Gardens.
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm:  Lunch and Music – Farmingdale State College Horticultural student Spencer Bushey’s musical group, Spencer and the Elders, will provide a musical performance during the lunch hour.
  • 1:30 – 2:30pm:  “Building with Bamboo,” a construction seminar with David Flanagan, garden artisan, and founder of The Bamboo Fencer of Jamaica Plain, MA.
  • 2:30 – 2:45pm: Afternoon Break – winners of plant auction to be announced.
  • 2:45 – 3:45pm:  “Home Grape Growing,” by Alice Wise, a Viticulturist from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, NY.
  • 3:45 – 4:45pm: – “Making Your Own Compost Tea Brewer,” by Stephen D’Amato of D’Amato Landscaping of Northport, NY.

Products From the Garden — the 3rd Annual Sustainable Garden Field Day: Saturday April 13, 2013

Please save the date and don’t miss the Third Annual Sustainable Garden Educational Field Day, to be held on Saturday April 13, 2013, from 8:30am – 4:30pm at Farmingdale State College’s Department of Ornamental Horticulture’s Teaching Gardens.

SUSTAINABLE Kiosk This year’s theme, Products From the Garden, will investigate landscape design strategies and horticultural practices that yield a multitude of useful products ranging from garden structures, shelter, energy and food. Regional experts will speak about and demonstrate how to transform your property into a productive yet beautiful landscape. For more information contact Michael Veracka, chairman of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture at (631) 420-2392.


Honey: Products from Our Garden!

Sustainable Garden honey

In 2011 Farmingdale Horticulture student Joan Mahoney became our Sustainable Garden beekeeper, donating two hives to boot! 

With her nurturing care and expertise she extracted nearly 100 pounds of honey in 2012. With the help of the FSC Visual Communications Department, who designed a nifty logo, honey was loaded into jars and sold, and we launched our first product from the garden. Come to our Educational Field Day on April 13, 2013 and see how you can pre-order honey from this year’s garden, as well as learn all about other garden products we will be offering this year!

Garden Event at Farmingdale State College: Home Grown Food: Planning and Planting the Abundant Landscape

On Friday April 20, Farmingdale State College’s Department of Ornamental Horticulture will host “Home Grown Food: Planning and Planting the Abundant Landscape.” It will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Teaching Gardens and Greenhouse at the college. The public is invited, and the $5.00 admission will benefit the Sustainable Garden at the Department of Ornamental Horticulture.


The event will help anyone interested in learning how to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. It will also feature interactive workshops, garden tours, plants for sale, and local food.

Renowned speakers include the following:

  • Other speakers on a wide variety of topics central to the themes of the one-half acre garden

This event coincides with Farmingdale State College’s Centennial and celebrates the remarkable resiliency of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture, a founding program of the college. The training of students to grow and incorporate food-bearing plants within ornamental landscapes is a tradition dating back to the early days of the State Institute of Applied Agriculture at Farmingdale and remains relevant today on Long Island where a growing segment of citizens desire to grow and/or support locally produced food.

Tentative Schedule: subject to change

8:30 am: Opening Remarks: “Why a Sustainable Garden at Farmingdale State College?” A Short History of Food Production within the Department of Ornamental Horticulture.”

9:00 am: “Luscious Landscaping with Fruits” – Lee Reich PhD. Lee Reich, PhD is an avid farmdener (more than a garden, less than a farm) who turned from plant and soil research with the USDA and Cornell University to writing, lecturing, and consulting. He is the author of six books, including the newly released Grow Fruit Naturally and writes regularly for Associated Press and publications such as Fine Gardening and Horticulture.

10:00 am: “The Grower’s Calendar: Timing Your Harvest” – Caroline Fanning and Daniel Holmes. Caroline and Daniel, native Long Islanders, are a husband and wife team that launched Restoration Farm, a seven acre farm at Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 2007.

11:00 am: “Hunting for Wild Foods” – “Wildman” Steve Brill. Mr. Brill is an author, tour guide and wild food expert who has been collecting wild foods in New York City parks since 1982.

12:00 pm: Lunch break, garden tours, touring time within vendor display area, book signing with Lee Reich and Steve Brill.

1:00 pm: “Wild Foraging Tour” – “Wildman Steve Brill.

2:00 pm “Pruning Fruit Trees”Lee Reich. See bio above.

3:00 pm: “Compost Tea and Compost Making” – Stephen D’Amato. Mr D’Amato is the principal of D’Amato Landscaping, Inc, Northport, NY.

3:30pm: “Backyard Bee Keeping” – Joan Mahoney. Joan, a student in the department of Ornamental Horticulture, works for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, is a backyard beekeeper and manages the hive within the Sustainable Garden.

4:00 pm: “Backyard Chickens” – Jennifer Murray. Ms. Murray is proprietor of Turtleback Farms, a sustainable farm operation on a 22 acre historic farm nestled along the Nissequogue River abutting over 30 acres of preserved woodlands in Smithtown NY.

All Activities take place at The Teaching Gardens, conveniently located adjacent to the Smith Street/Rt. 110 entrance on the Farmingdale State College campus.

For more information call: Michael Veracka (631) 420-2113 or email

Lecture descriptions:

“Luscious Landscaping with Fruits” – Lee Reich. What could be more pleasant than picking luscious fruits from a plant that you also admire for its beauty? Meet some of the best trees, shrubs, and vines for this purpose, plants that require little maintenance yet provide stunning flowers in spring, color in autumn, and neat form in winter. For landscaping, the ideal is a plant that also is low maintenance, being pest-resistant and requiring little or no pruning. Learn how to grow shadbush, gumi, actinidia, medlar, and other ornamental, fruiting plants, and how to use them to beautify your yard.”

“The Grower’s Calendar: Timing Your Harvest” – Caroline Fanning and Daniel Holmes. Knowing when to plant is important for any grower. Whether you’re a farmer growing for market or a backyard gardener growing for home consumption, there are many factors to consider when timing your harvest. This workshop will address these considerations—target season, days to maturity, succession plantings, weed and disease pressure—and highlight the planting calendar currently used at Restoration Farm, a five-acre CSA in Old Bethpage.

“Hunting for Wild Foods” – “Wildman” Steve Brill. This talk will uncover the vast world of wild greens, herbs and roots that can be collected and eaten. Upon the completion of his talk Steve will serve a wild harvested salad, then lead participants on a foraging tour through our garden and campus grounds.

“Pruning Fruit Trees” – Lee Reich. A slide lecture about pleaching, pollarding, and creating standards and espaliers. These four pruning techniques make a bold statement in the landscape and have a practical side as well. We will cover the ornamental and practical uses of these techniques, the steps involved in creating them, and the plants appropriate for such techniques.

“Compost Tea and Compost Making” — Stephen D’Amato. Ecological landcare is gaining popularity among homeowners and landscape practitioners alike, and is a growing sector of the green industry. In this hands-on workshop Steve will show how incorporating sustainable practices can promote intelligent plant management, enhanced biological activity in your soils and help reduce or eliminate your need for chemical fertilizers and inputs.

“Backyard Bee Keeping” – Joan Mahoney. Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination. Honeybees account for 80% of all insect pollination. Without such pollination, we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables. Joan will detail the process of beekeeping, and all that goes into cultivating a successful hive.

“Backyard Chickens” – Jennifer Murray. This workshop is for those who wish to introduce chickens into your farm operation or wish to keep chickens in your yard. Jennifer will demonstrate the dual roles chickens can play: how laying hens increase opportunities in the market garden or provide food for your table, forage for insect pests post-harvest, and improve soils – decreasing weed growth and increasing soil vitality, plus fertilizing the soil with their manure.

For more information contact Michael Veracka, MLA, Department Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Ornamental Horticulture, Farmingdale State College,

(631) 420-2113. For more information about The Sustainable Garden go to Further information about Farmingdale State College’s Department of Ornamental Horticulture is available at