Green is the New Orange . That’s the name of the Master Gardener project that Charlie Weiss and a couple of Master Gardeners in his 2020 training class designed. Charlie’s love of gardening, along with his successful career as a probation officer, informed his development of a program for an incarcerated population located near the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. The goal is to teach Horticulture 101 skills: seeding, compost, irrigation and weed management. In this process, he hopes to bring his students the joyful experiences of seeing seeds turn into beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables.
In addition, for the past 5 years, Charlie has been a volunteer at the Seatuck Environmental Association in Islip. There he’s been focused on environmental restoration projects. His goals have been to encourage the planting of sustainable gardens in tune with the local environmental conditions: rainfall, soil qualities and proximity to the sea. Charlie also advocates for the growing of vegetables at home to reduce food insecurity.
According to Charlie, his favorite part of the gardening process is planting that new row of vegetables or flowers. Besides, once finished growing he adds, “You get to eat the tasty product of your efforts and you can share with your friends.”