Common Ground project to provide fresh produce to those in need

Rev. Roger Joslin

In recent weeks, those taking note of the American flag truck on County Route 48 that marks the location of Treiber Farms in Southold have likely also seen, just yards away, the Rev. Roger Joslin working with volunteers to create a new garden.

They’re involved in the Common Ground project, building a garden meant to provide locals in need with fresh fruits and vegetables they might not otherwise be able to enjoy.

“There’s many people who can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables and nutritious food, kind of getting by on staples,” said the Rev. Joslin, who became vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Greenport and Church of the Redeemer in Mattituck a year ago. 

The 50-by-100-foot garden plot was donated by Treiber Farms, to which the Rev. Joslin was referred after taking his idea to the Episcopal Ministries of Long Island. That organization is also offering financial support, including funds to purchase a large refrigerator so food from the garden can be stored in the kitchen at Holy Trinity. 

The Rev. Joslin was at the garden Tuesday afternoon spreading out more than 50 yards of organic compost donated by Southold Town, which was delivered that day free of charge by Latham Sand & Gravel. 

In addition to the Treiber family and church members, the project has been supported by local Scout troops and other volunteers who took part in winter sowing and preparing seedlings for planting. The garden will include lots of greens planted in raised beds, such as bok choy, broccoli and various lettuces, as well as peppers and tomatoes later in the season. 

“We’re the kind of church that doesn’t like to isolate ourselves,” the Rev. Joslin said. “We really like to be a part of the larger community.” 

The garden is the kind of volunteer opportunity that offers different roles for a wide range of people, he added. Those who pitch in do not have belong to either Episcopal church, he said, and if someone can’t physically work in the garden, they can still help by distributing what it produces. 

“It’s a community effort,” he said. 

Anyone interested in volunteering can email [email protected] or call 631-298-4277. 

[email protected]

Photo caption: Rev. Roger Joslin works to create the new garden. (Kelly Zegers photo)