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Beth Baier from North Merrick, and Amy Long, who teaches Brain and Body Yoga Classes at the church, chatted with Kristin Talbot about some of the produce. (Photo: TIM BAKER/HERALD)

Produce for all at the Garden at St. Francis


By Jordan Vallone

The Garden at St. Francis had its first farm stand of the season on Sunday, providing fresh produce, honey and eggs to shoppers and congregation members who wandered in. A community-oriented, volunteer-based garden, there was plenty of available produce to go around.

The garden focuses on sustainability — no pesticides are used, and it is fertilized with compost. Bees from its honeybee hive pollinate the plant life, and produce the garden’s honey, which is sold at the stands.

The garden is run by Kristin Talbot, who grew up in Wantagh. Since last farm season, Talbot has strived to make the garden a safe space for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or physical ability. Weekly volunteer hours at the garden take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Leftover produce on a week-to-week basis is donated to local pantries, including the Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard. Seniors and veterans can also obtain produce through several programs. Veteran services agencies provide Fresh Connect Coupons, and senior centers offer Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons for produce.

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