Port Washington Children’s Center gets a little greener

Port Washington Children’s Center gets a little greener
Children at the Port Washington Children's Center planted lettuce with the Port Washington's Plant a Row for the Hungry. (Photo by Jessica Parks)

The Port Washington Children’s Center got a little greener last Thursday as well as adding yellow, red, blue and purple when children planted lettuce for the spring in their custom-painted planters.

Plant a Row for the Hungry Port Washington has hosted two gardening events at the children’s center each year for the past five years, one for the spring and another for summer vegetables.

The Port Washington chapter of the national organization of Plant a Row for the Hungry encourages community gardening and gathers surplus vegetables to donate to families in need.

The students said they were all looking forward to seeing their lettuce grow, but there were mixed answers on whether they were also excited to eat their vegetables.

Each of the five classrooms that participated in the event was able to plant their own planter and each child was allocated a portion of the planter to paint in any way that they would like.

“Each kid did sketches and then they did their own painting,” Marvin Makofsky, the chief vegetable executive of Port Washington’s chapter of Plant a Row for the Hungry, said. “They plant in their own [planter] and through the season they are going to own it.”

Plant a Row volunteers taught students about the plants themselves and the various aspects of tending to a thriving garden.

One of the students, Clara, already had some expertise in gardening. She said her dad made three garden beds at her home and they have a patch at the community garden.

Makofsky said that last year the garden looked like the world’s biggest salad.

“Last spring was cool and wet,” he said. “It looked like a forest of lettuce.”

Makofsky said he wants to educate people all over the Town of North Hempstead and beyond.

“I am going to be developing a one- or two-page plan for everybody with the paint, with the colors, the primer, the brands,” he said. “Everything they need to get started.”

Makofsky started the Port Washington chapter about eight years ago with the dual purpose of helping local families in need while showcasing the work of local artists.

He said since the inception of the program the group has provided more than 19,000 pounds of nutritious, home-grown food to struggling families.

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