Current Initiatives

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ORGANIC GARDENING Certificate program

An in-depth class series featuring all the basic skills and knowledge needed to develop a bio-intensive vegetable garden from the ground up. Topics will include permaculture design and application, soil analysis and amendments, compost preparation, plant propagation, rain harvesting and irrigation, organic pest and disease management, edible natives, pollinators, seed saving, and winterization.

The program is divided into four distinct units of eight classes each. Students who complete the series of 32 classes will be rewarded with a certificate in organic gardening, presented by the Ecological Culture Initiative. Course literature and materials are included with registration.

Join the Program!



A Seed Library in the Hampton Bays Public Library! Community members are able to procure organic vegetable and eventually native plant seeds for free as a public benefit. Establishing a seed library is an important step to develop a network of community based seed savers who create locally adapted plant varieties, increase biodiversity, and mitigate the loss of plant gene integrity due to the genetic engineering of commercially produced seeds and plants.

Envelopes containing seeds provide plant variety names and directions on germination, growing and harvesting. Anyone from the community is welcome to take a small amount of seeds to grow in their home garden or community garden and is encouraged to save seeds of their own to donate to the Seed Library for others to take. Information on seed saving and organic gardening classes are also available. There is no fee for seed library usage, but an opportunity to donate funds toward the continuation of the program is provided.



A small building, garden and information center modeling residential construction, agro-ecology and landscape design practice endorsed by ECI.

The “shack” and parcel surrounding it will be an outdoor teaching lab for ecology, permaculture and regenerative design. Outfitted with a roof based rainwater collection system, the shack site will feature a rain barrel, rain garden, edible native plant-scape, colonial herb garden and cottage garden, as well as examples of contemporary organic gardening technique. 

Working in tandem with the community and school gardens the Eco-shack will provide a fundraising location via the sale of organic produce and locally handcrafted artifacts.  ECI staff members, college interns, local youth, and interested community members will work together to install and maintain the gardens.


The Good ground Center For Field Ecology & Regenerative Design

The Ecological Culture Initiative is working to create a multi-acre, permaculture education center and organic food forest located in the Southampton Town Hamlet most suited to the development of ecological tourism. The center’s mission will be to serve as a model for an alternative to the destructive land use practices and growth-based development damaging the health of our aquifer, soil, and waterways.

By demonstrating how to grow food on site, organically, using methods of ecological design supported by a network of local non-profits, we will create a sense of place, based in the historical culture that denotes Hampton Bays as an environment worth visiting. The techniques of regenerative design, resource conservation, and waste reduction will form the central ethos of the community of Good Ground Center.

Participants will be immersed in an energy-conscious, off-the- grid, hands-on experience. The focus is on healthy food systems, structures built from local materials, water collected from rainfall, and energy collected from the sun.  We will grow edible plants sourced from the local indigenous culture, teach the science of medicinal botany and study ecology-based solutions to challenges that face future generations.



Food Security Stewardship

  • Aquaculture Education
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • Edible Schoolyards
  • Farmers Markets
  • Food Forests on Municipal Grounds
  • Seed Banking
  • Slow Food Events

Creating a Sense of Place

  • Aesthetic Standards
  • Conservation Easement Assistance
  • Historic District Advocacy
  • Landmark Advocacy
  • Property Stewardship
  • Vernacular Material

Ecological Education

  • Agro-Ecology
  • Cultural Ecology
  • Ecological Aesthetics
  • Ecological Art
  • Ecological Design
  • Eco-literacy
  • Field Ecology
  • Permaculture Design
  • Pollinator, Drought Resistant, and Native Plantscapes
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Waterway & Aquifer Protection
  • Wildlife Husbandry

Heritage Economic Revitalization

  • Art, Craft, Culinary, and Musical Festival Development
  • Historic and Environmental Design Consultation
  • Reclaimed Material Distribution
  • Small Farm Support
  • Traditional Craft Workshops (Boat Building, Duck Carving, etc.)


  • Low-Impact Design Initiative (Passive Solar, Bio-swales, etc.)
  • Outdoor Recreation (Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Sailing, Surfing, etc.)
  • Eco-Culture Adventure Course