Tag Archive | "Bridge Gardens"

For the Love of Roses

Tags: , , , , , ,


web roses

By Emily J. Weitz

“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…” 

~Antoine de St. Exupery, The Little Prince

As the little prince knew too well, to love a rose takes effort, patience, and thought. Even when they have a wild look about them, with their thorns and brambles all tangled across a gate, roses require a great deal of care.

Rick Bogusch, who manages the grounds at Bridge Gardens, has nurtured the rose garden since he started there six years ago. Every winter, he tucks them in to beds of mulch 12 to 18 inches deep, and every spring, he prunes them delicately and watches them come back to life.

The Southampton Rose Society will present a lecture by Mr. Bogusch at Bridge Gardens on Saturday, September 13, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Many of the most striking specimens in the garden, Mr. Bogusch said, will still be in bloom.

The rose garden was installed by the property’s previous owners, Jim and Harry Kilpatrick, and Mr. Bogusch spent his first year at Bridge Gardens learning about the unique demands of these flowers. They were selected for the hardiness and their ability to endure the long winters, but still they need to be attended to. Last winter, which was particularly cold and long, Mr. Bogusch brought one of the rose plants inside and nursed it through the roughest patches, and now it has sprung back.

“Roses are very demanding,” said Mr. Bogusch. “They demand a lot of attention and resources and consistency of care. Time, energy, man hours, money: You really have to be willing to put that into them.”

Along with mulching and pruning, roses need to receive about 2 inches of water every week. Mr. Bogusch also fertilizes them regularly throughout the season to keep them vigorous.

Perhaps it is the effort that they require that makes roses so precious. Throughout history, they have been used in ceremonies and by royalty to mark special occasions. They are prized for their aesthetic value and their pungent fragrance. Mr. Bogusch says the rose garden, even though it is just one of several impressive gardens at Bridge Gardens, is a major draw for people.

“It’s a big attraction,” said Mr. Bogusch, “because everybody loves roses. When people find out there’s a rose garden here, they want to see it.”

The garden itself is round, with brick pathways throughout that separate the beds. The beds are organized by color, so that the rose garden resembles a giant color wheel. One bed spills with red roses. A path separates it from a pink bed, a yellow bed, and so on. There are eight beds in all.

Walking through the rose garden, one is taken not only by the aesthetic beauty, but the pungency of the air.

“Some of the roses in our garden are very fragrant,” said Mr. Bogusch. For example, there’s a white hybrid rose that blooms in the classic form called Pope John Paul II.

“That’s one of the most fragrant roses of all time,” he said.

Mr. Bogusch just planted Pope John Paul II this past spring, and already it is growing vigorously. Another plant, which is original to the garden, is called About Face.

“It’s large and strong and old,” said Mr. Bogusch. “And it’s so beautiful that you do an about-face when you walk by it.”

“You start to see blooms in late May, and June is the first peak,” said Mr. Bogusch. “Then there’s another peak in September.”

This year the roses have bloomed continually, which Mr. Bogusch attributes a temperate summer when the thermometer didn’t climb into the 90s.

“Our garden,” he explained, “has brick, and can get very hot and humid, which roses don’t like.”

Because of the relatively cool summer, this year’s stroll through the rose garden should be particularly rewarding.

To register for the lecture and tour, go to the Rose Society web site at southamptonrose.org or call (631) 740-4732. Bridge Gardens is located at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton.

From Farm to Bottle, “Hops and Brews” to Explore Long Island Alcohol

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Hops growing at Condzella Farms. Photo courtesy of John Condzella.

Hops growing at Condzella Farms. Photo courtesy of John Condzella.

By Tessa Raebeck

Long Islanders have been enjoying homegrown potatoes for generations, but rarely has the local harvest been in their vodka.

At “Hops and Brews” this Sunday, a farmer, a brewer and a spirit maker will discuss the various manifestations of the rapidly growing alcohol industry on Long Island. Panelists John Condzella of Condzella Farms in Wading River, Duffy Griffiths of Crooked Ladder Brewing Company in Riverhead and Rich Stabile of Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow will reflect on the collaboration between local producers and the strength of Long Island’s wide variety of goods.

Duffy Griffiths, head brewer at the Crooked Ladder Brewing Company. Photo courtesy of Crooked Ladder.

Duffy Griffiths, head brewer at the Crooked Ladder Brewing Company. Photo courtesy of Crooked Ladder.

The second installment of the “Conversations With…” lecture series presented by the Peconic Land Trust, “Long Island Grown: Food and Beverage Artisans at Work” will be moderated by Laura Donnelly, a resident of East Hampton, pastry chef, author and the food editor for The East Hampton Star.

“Some Long Island farmers are making really unique or non-traditional products as they strive to meet a growing demand for locally grown and produced items,” said Kathy Kennedy of the Peconic Land Trust, “We’re excited to be able to showcase some of them.”

“I am very excited to have a chance to moderate this panel,” said Ms. Donnelly. “I am a huge fan of craft brewers and love trying local beers and ales.”

With the recent—and fast—growth of craft beer on Long Island, small hops farming has become economically feasible, creating a symbiotic relationship between farmers and brewers. The hops farmer needs the craft breweries to survive and the craft breweries need the supply from their local farms.

Brewers working with wet hops must do so within 24 hours of the harvest, so finding a local source is crucial to a successful wet hop brew. John Condzella, a fourth generation farmer at Condzella Farms, recognized this demand, adding Condzella Hops to his family farm six years ago.

Rich Stabile of Long Island Spirits. Photo courtesy of Rich Stabile.

Rich Stabile of Long Island Spirits. Photo courtesy of Rich Stabile.

“I wanted to grow a unique crop, something that no other farm was doing,” explained Mr. Condzella. “During college I developed a love for craft beer; I know that was an important catalyst for my hops growing endeavors.”

Initially, Mr. Condzella was picking his hops by hand, enlisting the help of family, friends and local volunteers, until a Kickstarter campaign last spring enabled him to purchase a Wolf WHE 170 Hopfen Pflückmaschine, a German machine that picks them for him. In 2013 alone, Mr. Condzella harvested 800 pounds of hops.

“I think demand on Long Island is growing, the industry is very young. Most local brewers aren’t accustomed to using local whole cone hops. Mainstream hops pellets from around the world are their hops of choice,” Mr. Condzella said.

Hops grower John Condzella of Condzella Farms. Photo courtesy of John Condzella.

Hops grower John Condzella of Condzella Farms. Photo courtesy of John Condzella.

The demand is indeed growing: Some of that farm-to-growler beer will be available next year at the Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, which opened in July 2013.

Head Brewer Duffy Griffiths said the brewery will start using local hops in September, “when the fresh hops round comes out.” Condzella’s Hops is an option, although Crooked Ladder hasn’t yet chosen its supplier.

“It’s a matter of just using whole hops and supporting your local industry, rather than buying them from the Pacific Northwest or having them imported, so we try to keep everything local,” Mr. Griffiths said. “It helps out the area.”

Keeping everything local is at the core of Long Island Spirits. Founded in 2007, it is Long Island’s first craft distillery since the 1800s. The flagship product, LiV Vodka is made from Long Island potatoes, many of which are grown on the 5,000 acres of farmland surrounding the North Fork distillery.

Supplied by a variety of local farmers, the marcy russet potatoes arrive at Long Island Spirits in one-ton sacks. Three days a week, the distillery goes through roughly eight tons of potatoes. Every 25 pounds of potatoes makes about one liter of LiV Vodka.

The distillery also makes Rough Riders and Pine Barrens whisky and a collection of Sorbettas, liqueurs infused with fresh fruit.

“We’ll use local raspberries or local strawberries,” explained spirits maker Rich Stabile. “We’re using real fruit infused with the vodka that we grow on Long Island, made from Long Island potatoes.”

“We all know Long Island potatoes are the best,” said Ms. Donnelly. “Rich believes it is the sweet, buttery flavor of the potato that makes his LiV vodka so good. I have tried this vodka and it is excellent.”

“Long Island farmland is some of the best agricultural land in the world,” said Mr. Condzella, whose family farm started with dairy in the 1800s and evolved to a potato operation in the 1920s. “Our maritime climate, fertile soils and abundant sunshine are great for growing most crops, and hops are no exception.”

“Hops and Brews” is Sunday, April 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Bridge Gardens, 26 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. To reserve a seat, call Robin Harris at 283-3195, ext. 19, or email events@peconiclandtrust.org.

Rooting for Chocolate Truffles in a Bridgehampton Garden

Tags: , , , , ,


Making truffles at Bridge Gardens on Sunday, 2/9/14

By Stephen J. Kotz

With all due respect to America’s largest chocolate maker, a bowlful of Hershey’s Kisses placed on the table, however elegantly, after a special dinner with close friends probably isn’t going to make much of a splash.

But a plate, bearing a small, artfully arranged selection of homemade chocolate truffles, covered with a light dusting of cocoa powder or confectioner’s sugar, can go a long way toward helping one earn credibility as a talented chef.

Best of all, they are relatively easy to make, as the select few who signed up for a workshop to be led by garden manager Rick Bogusch at the Peconic Land Trust’s Bridge Gardens this Saturday, will find out.

Mr. Bogusch, a landscape architect by profession, but a cook by avocation, typically focuses on garden-to-table dishes when he offers a workshop. But, with a nod to the snow covered grounds outside the center’s kitchen, he points out with a laugh that mid-February is not the best of times to try to forage for garden delectables.

For this workshop, Mr. Bogusch, who allowed a reporter to sit in as he prepared a test batch ahead of time, was working from a recipe he had downloaded from the America’s Test Kitchens website, although he tends to use a stove, while the recipe calls for using a microwave. He was eager to try out the new recipe, he said, because it promised “to remove the dryness and graininess that you sometimes get with homemade truffles.”

Bittersweet chocolate and cream. There’s really not much more to it than that, other than a little corn syrup, a bit of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and some cocoa and confectioner’s sugar. Even so, Mr. Bogusch said, “I usually keep it much more simple.”

Mr. Bogusch said he prefers to use either Ghirardelli or Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, as he slowly melted two cups of the main ingredient in a double oven on his stovetop. He was quick to point out, as he checked on the heavy cream that he was warming on the stove, that since chocolate comes from the cacao tree, a workshop on chocolate truffles qualifies as one offering a “a plant-based dish,” although it seems unlikely that any of the participants would cry foul if it didn’t.

The cacao tree is a tropical plant native to the Americas, although most cocoa now comes from Africa, Mr. Bogusch said. The Latin name for the cacao tree is theobroma, which translates to “food of the gods,” he said. The name refers to the belief of South and Central American Indians that the tree had divine origins. In fact, he said, the Aztec emperor Montezuma served the Spanish conquistador Cortez a chocolate drink upon first meeting him because he mistakenly took him for a god.

Mr. Bogusch stirred corn syrup (it helps introduce a silkiness to the truffle, according to the recipe) and added vanilla extract to the warm cream before pouring the mixture over the melted chocolate and slowly stirring in the butter and pouring the mixture into a pan and allowing it to set. A bit of spice or liquor can also be added to the mixture, to give the truffle a special flavor, although this test run focused on simplicity.

It turns out that the Spanish liked the Aztecs’ chocolate almost as much as they liked their gold. They brought it back to Europe, where it soon caught on in all manner of drinks and foods. Chocolate was already well established as a favorite sweet when a Frenchman, N. Petruccelli, in 1895 made the first chocolate truffle, so named, because of its remarkable similarity to the prized fungus.

Although chocolate truffles soon became a hit across Europe, they took their sweet time, so to speak, crossing the Atlantic. Alice Medrich, who tasted them on a trip to France and began selling her own version from her store in Berkley, California, in 1973, is credited with first bringing them to this country.

While today, we like to think of chocolate, and especially something as rich as truffles as a decadent treat, as Mr. Bogusch rolled the ganache into balls and coated them with cocoa, he pointed out that chocolate, the bittersweet variety, at least, has medicinal qualities and has even been shown to help lower blood pressure.

Not that anyone is going to be that concerned.

The Chocolate Truffle Workshop will be held at Bridge Gardens on Mitchells Lane in Bridgehampton on Saturday, February 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, or to make a reservation email events@peconiclandtrust.org or call 283-3195.

Chocolate Truffles (courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen)

Ingredients

Ganache:

2 cups (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened

For the Coating:

1 cup Dutch processed cocoa

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

  1. For the ganache: Lightly coat 8-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Make parchment sling by folding two long sheets of parchment so that they are as wide as baking pan. Lay sheets of parchment in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra hanging over the edges of pan. Push parchment into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing flush to pan.
  2. Microwave chocolate in medium bowl at 50-percent power, stirring occasionally, until mostly melted and few small chocolate pieces remain, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside. Microwave cream in measuring cup until warm to touch, about 30 seconds. Stir corn syrup, vanilla, and salt into cream and  pour mixture over chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, set aside for 3 minutes, and then stir with wooden spoon to combine. Stir in butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated.
  3. Using rubber spatula, transfer ganache to prepared pan and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Cover pan and transfer to refrigerator; chill for at least 2 hours.
  4. For the coating: Sift cocoa and sugar through fine mesh strainer into large bowl. Sift again into large cake pan and set aside.
  5. Gripping overhanging parchment, lift ganache from pan. Cut ganache into 64 1-inch squares (8 rows by 8 rows). (If ganache cracks during slicing, let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes and then proceed.) Dust hands lightly with cocoa mixture to prevent ganache from sticking and roll each square into ball. Transfer balls to cake pan with cocoa mixture and roll to evenly coat. Lightly shake truffles in hand over pan to remove excess coating. Transfer coated truffles to airtight container and repeat until all ganache squares are rolled and coated. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. Let truffles sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking from the Outdoors

Tags: , ,


Rick Bogusch, Garden Manager at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, chops up fresh Rosemary along with Peppercorns, Cloves, Tumeric, Cinnamon, Coriander, Mustard, Fennel, Cardemom, Nutmeg and Ginger to make biscuits at Bridge Gardens on Monday, 2/25/13

Rick Bogusch, Garden Manager at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, chops up fresh Rosemary along with Peppercorns, Cloves, Tumeric, Cinnamon, Coriander, Mustard, Fennel, Cardemom, Nutmeg and Ginger to make biscuits at Bridge Gardens on Monday, 2/25/13

By Emily J. Weitz

Few places inspire a chef quite like an herb garden, with its pungent aromas promising to bring freshness to any dish. At Bridge Gardens, a Peconic Land Trust property in Bridgehampton, the kitchen is always in use, and the gardens brim with seasonal flavors. Rick Bogusch, the garden manager, has embraced that garden-to-table connection, and you can taste it.

This week, Bogusch will kick off a series of conversations with experts on a range of topics relating to the gardens. The first conversation will take place this Sunday, March 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Community House, with subsequent lectures given at Bridge Gardens. This Sunday’s discussion will focus on cooking with herbs, and Bogusch will share wisdom from both the gardens and the kitchen, as well as recipes and tips.

“One of our main areas of concentration in our programs is growing things in the garden and harvesting them and using them,” says Bogusch. “We want to be an outdoor classroom, a model of sustainability for the community.”

Garden-to-table cooking is a simple way that people can harness their own power and become more sustainable, Bogusch believes.

“By growing your own food, you’re reducing the distance that food travels from miles to yards,” he says. “That reduces your carbon footprint. And the more individuals that do that, the better.”

In his talk, Bogusch will focus on the two basic families of herbs that are grown at Bridge Gardens, which encompass a surprising diversity of species.

“We’ll talk about the mint family and the parsley family,” says Bogusch.

Examples of the mint family include mint, basil, thyme, lavender, and marjoram. In the parsley family are parsley, dill, cumin, caraway, and cilantro.

“Some of these herbs we grow in pots, and many are planted in the earth in our herb and vegetable gardens,” he says. “Many, like basil, are annuals, so in early spring we’ll put out two dozen basil plants of different varieties. We create a pleasing array.”

The herb garden at Bridge Gardens is mostly just for display and enjoyment, and the herbs they use for cooking are grown in the vegetable garden in rows.

“Walking into the herb garden,” says Bogusch, “you are overwhelmed by the sense of smell, the colors, and the textures. The herb garden is full of bees and other insects, so the sound is also powerful.”

Bogusch struggles to choose a favorite herb that he uses in his cooking.

“This time of year, I’m eating a lot of dried herbs, like sage and rosemary,” he says. “But in the summertime, in a Caprese salad, fresh basil is a key ingredient.”

He cooks lots of pesto with the wide variety of basil, and also uses herbs and spices that come from Asia for sauces, powders and dips. Some of these herbs are also touted for their medicinal value.

“Fennel tea is a digestive aid,” he says, “and parsley is a diarrhetic. These plants have been used since Egyptian times. Coriander seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb, and cultivated caraway seeds have been found from Neolithic times. They were the basis of modern medicine, and the search for herbs and spices is the reason we’re here. It’s how the New World was discovered.”

All of the conversations in the series will relate to reducing the carbon footprint, covering issues from storm water management to sustainable turf management to green living in and around the home. But this is arguably one of the most enjoyable ways to protect the planet, because it tastes so good.

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Dip from the Garden

2 cups green, hulled pumpkin seeds

1 cup finely chopped red onion

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. chopped oregano

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3-4 tbs. lemon juice

½ cup chicken stock

Sea salt to taste

 

In a heavy skillet, heat the pumpkin seeds over medium heat until they begin to pop and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir so they don’t burn.

Cool and place in food processor, process to a fine meal. Pour the meal into a large bowl and add onion, garlic, oregano, cilantro, and peppers, stirring well.

Add lemon juice gradually, to taste, then add chicken stock, thinning dip to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with jicama chips.

 

Plants and Herbs for a Summer Day

Tags: ,


web herbs

By Francesca Normile

Sitting underneath a shady canopy of old, wisteria arbor leaves, Rick Bogusch, garden manager of Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, looked out across the south side of the gardens, checking in on one of his two assistants, Matt Brown. Brown, in a pink shirt, red shorts, and a large straw hat, was tending to the herb gardens.

Bridge Gardens, founded in 1988 by Harry Neyens and Jim Kilpatric, was donated in 2008 to non-profit Peconic Land Trust. The Trust was established to “ensure the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage,” according to their website. Bogusch, who worked alongside Neyens and Kilpatric before they left the Gardens, was formerly an employee of The Trust and took the position of garden manager in 2008. He has held that position for three summers now, working with two assistants and living in the Bridge Gardens house, which he says “brings the outdoors indoors with all of its windows.”

 “I always say, five acres in Bridgehampton ain’t bad,” responded Bogusch when asked about living in the Gardens. “It really is wonderful year round.”

Finding it difficult to say which part of the Gardens was his favorite, Bogusch contemplated the question for a moment, leaning back in his white plastic chair.

“I think I like the herb garden best at this point,” he decided. “The plants in there tell so many different stories. They bring in science and history, almost all aspects of human culture, with them.”

A tour, “The Herb Garden in Spring and early Summer” will be offered at the Gardens on Saturday, June 19.

From the tall Angelica in the medicinal bed (the seeds of which are used for calming stomach disorders and the stems of which used to be candied for a treat) to the California Poppy (a beautiful, yellow flower that was used by California Indians as a toothache remedy), the multi-faceted history of these herbs become very apparent. Particularly interesting, said Bogusch, was the inconspicuous-looking Woad, a textile herb, which was the only source of blue dye for centuries (anteceding the discovery of indigo) and was what the druids had used to dye their bodies blue.

“Many herbs have more than one use,” he said.

An example he gave was St. John’s Wart, an herb used both in textiles as a dye and medicinally, to combat depression. Each plant, from its roots to its petals to its seeds, held a wealth of information. And that information is what the tours at Bridge Gardens are about.

Each tour is about one hour long, filled with stories of history, science, and culture as told through the beautiful wealth of flowers, shrubs (including some topiaries that were installed years back by Neyens, and which Bogusch says  “add a touch of whimsy to, and have become an important part of, the garden”), herbs, bamboo, and other plants that fill Bridge Gardens.

“Our ultimate goal here is to not only have a beautiful garden, but one that is also an educational resource for the public. Showing them the best plants to grow in the garden, how to combine them, how to create gardens that are relatively low maintenance,” said Bogusch.

His advice for local gardeners was that most herbs are very easy to grow.  In terms of working in the herb garden at Bridge Gardens, Bogusch said, “there are parts of maintaining it that are very different from what I was used to doing. You have to let the plants do what they want and sort of grow together like a weed patch. Usually I am very controlling in my designs, but this requires a gentle hand.”

Some specific herbs that Bogusch suggested local gardeners grow included his “favorite basil, Mrs. Burns’ Famous Lemon Basil, which has the best, very sweet, lemon flavor of basil, and African Blue Basil, which is kind of a Thai basil with a clove scent to it.” Each require a bit of space, however, the former expanding to about 2-by-3 feet and the latter to about 3-by-3 feet; so don’t pack them in too close together.

To experience Bridge Gardens for yourself, you can visit on Saturdays and Sundays for a tour or, if it is just the herb garden that has peaked your interest, attend “The Herb Garden in Spring and Early Summer” on June 19 titled at 10 a.m. For $20 per person you can learn a three-dimensional approach to planning and planting your own herb garden and begin cultivating a history, like the one at Bridge Gardens, in your own backyard.

East End Digest – November 20

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Pierson Takes The Challenge

(Left to right) Pierson academic advisor Frank Atkinson-Barnes, with students Andrew Mitchell, Amanda Holder, “The Challenge” host Scott Feldman, students Zachary Fischman, Celia Gianis and Devan Stachecki during a break while filming Cablevision’s “The Challenge,” which will air at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 16 on News 12.

All-star student scholars from Pierson High School will challenge Cold Spring Harbor High School in the first round of the 12th season of Cablevision’s “The Challenge,” an academic quiz show designed to test students’ knowledge in a Jeopardy-style format. Hosted by News 12 Long Island anchor Scott Feldman, the show can be viewed on Sunday November 12 or anytime via video on demand (VOD) through News 12 Interactive, located on iO TV channel 612.

In its 12th season, “The Challenge” includes students from the Bronx and Brooklyn, Long Island, the Westchester/Hudson Valley region, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 900 students representing 184 tri-state area high schools are participating this season.

As this season of “The Challenge” progresses, schools will vie each week to continue on in the competition, which ultimately results in the best teams from each region facing off against each other next spring. Regional champions will then compete for the ultimate title, Tri-State Challenge Champion. The winning team in each region will receive $2,500 and go on to compete for $10,000 in the Tri-State Championship. Each student participating in the championship match will receive $500.

Southampton Town: Completing An LWRP

Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot announced today that the Town of Southampton has been named the recipient of a $100,000 New York State grant to finance a number of plans to stimulate community projects relating to economic, environmental, and recreational improvements.

As part of that process, town staff will prepare a Harbor Management Plan and Intermunicipal Waterbody Management Plan, while consultants integrate them into a full Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).

“Whether it has been fishermen seeking abundance, beachgoers looking for an unspoiled ribbon of paradise, or someone looking to build a dream house, the waterfront has been the center of our economic and cultural life,” said Kabot. New York’s waterfronts extend more than 5,000 miles, including the Town of Southampton’s 320 miles of bay and ocean coastline.

According to the office of New York State Governor David Paterson, the grant will be part of a $23.3 million funding package from the State Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. In total, it will include funding for 88 undertakings across New York State, and cover a variety of planning, design, and construction projects. The grants are awarded on a 50-50 matching basis, and administered by the Department of State’s Division of Coastal Resources.

To date, 76 local governments in New York have completed Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs designed to protect and enhance these valuable resources, added Governor Paterson. Working with the state, they will “plan and develop projects that provide public waterfront access, protect and develop coastal resources, and improve quality of life,” he concluded.

Bridgehampton: Wrap a Box of Kindness

Today, Thursday, November 13, the Bridgehampton Parent Teacher Organization will hold its first annual “Wrap a Box of Kindness” event. This event is in conjunction with Operation Christmas Child’s campaign where shoeboxes are filled with items for children.  Items range from pencils, pads, small toys and novelty items to washcloths and toothbrushes. Children and adults are encouraged to come together to donate items, money and time. Participants are also urged to bring a shoebox already decorated and stuffed to the Bridgehampton School for drop off if they are unable to attend. The PTO is asking that liquids not be included in the boxes.

As a part of the event, this year an estimated eight million shoeboxes will be hand-delivered to children in over 100 countries. The kids-helping-kids project has collected more than 61 million shoebox gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in 130 countries since 1993. Every United States President since Ronald Reagan has packed an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.

Community and schools members alike are invited to the school for the event at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium.

Peconic Land Trust: Bridge Gardens Donated

John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust, announced the donation of Bridge Gardens, a five-acre garden on Mitchell’s Lane in Bridgehampton, by founders Jim Kilpatric and Harry Neyens. Kilpatric and Neyens founded Bridge Gardens over 20 years ago, and the donation represents a generous gift by them to the Trust as well as to residents and visitors of the East End.

“We believe the stewardship of the Peconic Land Trust will significantly guide Bridge Gardens into the future,” Kilpatric said.

“Gardens are living creations and must undergo change over time; to survive, they must change,” Neyens added.

In accepting the donation Halsey said, “Bridge Gardens is truly a wonderful sanctuary here on the East End, and we are very honored that Jim and Harry have put their trust in us to steward this property. We intend to keep Jim and Harry engaged with us as the garden evolves and we work to expand public access to this hidden treasure. We expect to introduce more educational programming related to gardening and conservation in general. Bridge Gardens is a refuge for people to meet and experience the handiwork that Jim and Harry have created over the years.”

The garden, which has been open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through September, will reopen again in the spring under the auspices of the trust. The trust has appointed Rick Bogusch, master gardener and landscape architect, as Garden Manager.  He will be responsible for managing and maintaining the garden and residence/education center. Prior to joining the trust, Bogusch held landscape design and gardening positions with Rockland Farm in Canaan, The Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, and Cornell University where he also received his Masters in Landscape Architecture. 

Bogusch will work with members of the trust staff to coordinate educational programs and tours at the Gardens, as well as special events and related fundraising activities. An advisory committee has also been established – including members of the trust board, staff, garden experts and local residents – to work with Bogusch on future evolution of the garden.

Bridge Gardens was established in 1988 by Neyens and Kilpatric, who designed and installed the gardens over the ensuing 10 years. In 1997, Bridge Gardens Trust was created as a charitable corporation to maintain and preserve the gardens.

Bridge Gardens will be open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through September. Days, hours and other information regarding visiting the Gardens will be announced in early spring, including membership options.

Southampton Hospital: Diabetes Awareness

Southampton, Hospital will present a free panel discussion “Diabetes: Awareness and Treatment” with a seven person panel of experts in the field that including George Keckeisen, MD, Medical Director of the hospital’s wound care center, Alan Goldenberg, MD, endocrinologist; Joshua Feiner, MD, endocrinologist, Judy O’Connell, Nurse Practioner (NP), certified diabetes educator, Pat Vonatski, registered dietician and certified diabetes educator and Peggy Kraus, MA registered clinical exercise physiologist.

Diabetes affects over 24 million children and adults in the United States, contributes to the deaths of over 220,000 Americans each year and costs our nation more than $174 billion annually. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although genetics and environmental factors such as diet, obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. 

This comprehensive program is designed for people who already have diabetes, those whose family history puts them at risk and those who have a diabetic spouse, partner, relative or friend. It is free and open to the public and will take place on Thursday, November 20 at 5 p.m. in Parrish Memorial Hall, corner of Lewis Street and Herrick Road. In addition, Southampton Hospital offers expert counseling services with a board certified diabetes nurse educator and diabetes support group that meets every month.

The program will provide an in-depth view of diabetes prevention, management and treatment in an informative, interactive panel discussion. Dr. Keckeisen will report on the huge success the hospital’s Center for Advanced Wound Healing, the only location on the East End offering the latest innovations for healing chronic wounds that frequently afflicts diabetics; much of this success is accomplished by using the Center’s state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers which infuse chronic wounds with oxygen for faster, better results.  Patients, who have suffered from wounds for months, even years, are routinely restored to health in less time ever thought possible. Dr. Goldenberg, who is board certified in endocrinology and diabetes, along with his new partner, Dr. Joshua Feiner, also an endocrinologist, will review and evaluate the latest advances in medications to control diabetes.  Ms. O’Connell, creator and director of the hospital’s program, “Diabetes: Basics and Beyond” will discuss steps to avoid prevent diabetes as well as comprehensive treatment plans for those with diabetes.  Ms. Vonatski will outline nutritional plans for maximum health, both as a prevention and treatment. Ms. Kraus will make recommendations for glucose monitoring and exercise for diabetics. The panel will conclude with a question-and-answer session, there will be a raffle and giveaways for those attending.

This free program is very popular and space fill up quickly. Call 726-8700, extension 8 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to register or email dcraven@southamptonhospital.org.