The 2017 harvest — about 6,700 plants in total — will be used to beautify schools, senior centers and other adopt-a-spots and community gardens throughout town.
The plants will be distributed on May 18.
The perennials started as seeds in early February, and were cared for with the help of master gardeners from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
Project Bloom is a cooperative effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension, Islip Town and Keep Islip Clean. Now in its 24th year, Islip Town just put out a notice that a few plots in the vegetable garden at Project Bloom are also still available for planting.
The greenhouse, veggie garden and pollinator garden are all just north of the former Knapp mansion on the town’s Brookwood Hall property at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip.
About a half dozen volunteers were on-hand last week when GreaterBayShore stopped by for a visit. They were busy moving plants around the greenhouse and organizing them by flower.
“They’re pulling orders,” explained Kathleen Cleary of East Northport, a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Project Bloom coordinator.
“So many people donate their time to be here,” Cleary said. “And it’s nice to be able to drive around the town and see all the beautiful plants, and knowing they came through the work of these volunteers.”
Bob Van Dyke, a Project Bloom volunteer, also with Keep Islip Green, said the greenhouse operations essentially shift to the outdoors after the plants are harvested.
“It just gets too hot in the greenhouse,” he said, “though there might be some die-hards in there.”
Project Bloom’s Silver Anniversary is next year.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Van Dyke continued. “It’s a good group of people, too.”
Top photo (L-R): Beverly Pearlman of Central Islip, Kevin Barry of Yaphank, Jeanette O’Leary of Oakdale and Joan Turano, also of Oakdale, working in the greenhouse Tuesday. (Credit: Michael White)