Herald staffers volunteer at Island Harvest farm

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Six members of the Herald Community Newspapers staff spent the morning of June 27 volunteering to work the land at a two-acre organic farm in Brentwood run by Island Harvest, a nonprofit that feeds tens of thousands of food-insecure Long Islanders.

The Island Harvest farm sits on a 28-acre parcel owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph, with multiple small plots that are leased to organic farmers. Billy Turano, of Bellmore, manages Island Harvest’s plot.

Last year, the Island Harvest farm produced 6,000 pounds of fresh produce, according to Bonny Morlak, who is volunteering for a month at the farm as part of a program run by World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, another nonprofit organization.

Among the Herald staffers participating in the volunteer effort were Stuart Richner, the Heralds publisher; Scott Brinton, executive editor; Bridget Downes, editor of the Baldwin Herald; Nadya Nataly, editor of the Freeport Herald; Melissa Koenig, senior writer for the Lynbrook-East Rockaway and Valley Stream Heralds; and Briana Bonfiglio, reporter for the Oceanside-Island Park and Rockville Centre Heralds.

The Herald volunteers spread compost on two long rows of tomato plants and raked in pine chips on bare sections of earth to prevent weeds from growing.

For more on Island Harvest, go to www.islandharvest.org.

For more on World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, go to wwoof.net or www.wwoofusa.org.