Help us protect the natural beauty and neighborhood culture we love for generations to come!
We in Hampton Bays are deeply fortunate that our hamlet possesses a rich ecosystem, cedar shingled homes, and local businesses. These features create our sense of place and identity.
The slow erosion of these subtle gifts by increased population density has come at a price: the pollution of our water, the death of trees, the loss of biodiversity, and the rise of tick-borne diseases. As community members, we know we are part of the problem, and feel frustration at the slow pace of change. Part of the solution, the Ecological Culture Initiative, launches simple local projects that result in secure, incremental change.
You are what you eat, and the best way to know the quality of what you are eating is to base your consumption habits on where you live. ECI hosts four dinners a year based on the ancient calendar that guided our foodways: the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, as well as Summer and Winter Solstices. We work with neighborhood food purveyors and culinary experts to provide healthy meals that are organic, sourced locally, and primarily vegan, because our own health is directly related to the health of our ecosystem. Learn More →
Join our next Dinner! Our next Organic Farm-to-Table Dinner will celebrate the Spring Equinox, on March 20th, 2019 🍽 Stay tuned for more info! 🥗
The Good Ground Heritage Garden at St. Joseph Villa provides community members with the opportunity to learn hands-on organic gardening skills. The delicious, vitamin-rich, fresh herbs and vegetables are harvested from the garden and donated to local food pantries in Hampton Bays. Organic, heirloom variety seeds are collected from the garden, processed, and made available to the public for free through the Good Ground Seed Library.
Located in a vintage card catalog in the reference section of the Hampton Bays Public Library, our seed library enables community members to procure organic vegetable 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. Learn More →
🌱 Volunteers Needed! The Good Ground Seed Library is in need of volunteers to help with seed processing (harvesting seeds from collected flowers and pods), seed sorting, restocking the catalog with organized seed packets, and keeping the seed library neat & tidy. Learn More →
An outdoor farmers market on the grounds of St. Mary’s Church, every Saturday, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Locally produced, fresh foods will be available from local farmers, fishers, and food producers to sell directly to the customer. Patrons will also be educated with practical ways to maintain the connection with the sources of their food.
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.
ECI has set up new Honey Bee beehives in Hampton Bays. The hives will be used as an educational tool in conjunction with adjacent pollinator and vegetable gardens. The increased use of pesticides and fungicides has caused a sharp nationwide decline in bee populations and other pollinators. Beekeepers lost 44% of their honeybees between 2015-2016 - the highest decline in bee populations ever recorded. We plan to help rebuild that population one hive at a time.
FILM SCREENINGS & COMMUNITY events
A healthy culture requires a healthy dialogue. Our goal in presenting an ongoing educational series is to engage the community with discussions about the issues that affect our quality of life. At ECI events, the audience learns about our Initiatives, and becomes informed about how to evolve our neighborhood in the most ecologically enlightened way possible. Learn More →
We engage enthusiastic and energetic individuals interested in learning permaculture techniques and small scale, bio-intensive, organic farming practice. Duties include Vegetable Production: soil, compost and garden bed preparation, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting, as well as weekly beehive inspections and management. Our farm market outreach program allows interns and staff members to serve as vendors in the ECI booth at Hampton Bays Farmers’ Market. Learn More →