Southampton Fresh Air Home Garden

Camille Glatt ’21, shares her summer project with the Southampton Fresh Air Home Garden. 

This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants.

Last summer, with funds provided by the CSGC, I was able to create a gardening program at the Southampton Fresh Air Home. The SFAH is a summer camp for underprivileged disabled children, a place of refuge for many children with disabilities. These campers can experience one on one care and entertaining activities that emulate a classic camp experience. In 2019, I hosted gardening classes, built ADA compliant garden beds, and with the produce grown in the gardens held cooking classes.

This summer, despite COVID-19, I wanted to build on the success of the garden program. As such, I have expanded the garden to include two new garden beds, both ADA compliant, that can hold plenty of fruits and vegetables. I have sent and delivered fresh produce to campers who reside on Long Island and in the 5 boroughs. I also sent “camp in a box” packages filled with seeds, baking supplies, and other fun projects for the campers to do at home. Despite the obvious hindrance to camp programming, I wanted to make the summer as fun as possible. On top of the packages and produce, I also have been recording gardening classes for the campers on YouTube so they can view the videos as part of their daily camp schedule.

My goal has been to make summer at home as enjoyable as possible and provide the campers with an opportunity to try out new projects. I am also planning for the fall when hopefully a few campers who live in the nearby areas can come up to the camp. I will continue with online gardening classes and if allowed perhaps host an in-person one towards the end of the summer. I also hope to extend this program year long. I look forward to the rest of the summer and new opportunities to build, expand, and fine-tune my ideas and programs at the Fresh Air Home.

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