A Glossary of Growing at Stony Brook University Hospital

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“Please don’t call it dirt,” says the farmer. “It’s soil!”

Iman Marghoob, the Community Gardens Coordinator for the Department of Family Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital, is one of the dedicated farmers at The Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm right on the hospital building. You might think a farmer or dietician would be too focused on growing food to worry about semantics, but three years of laboring under the sun to grow great produce has made Marghoob very conscious of the power of the word.

“We spend so much time amending the soil and developing it that it isn’t just dirt,” she says.

You’ll read more about the farm and how it is helping future dieticians and students of sustainability, while also improving the diets of hospital patients in Edible Long Island’s first digital edition coming soon.

But in the meantime, don’t call the rooftop farm a garden either (as did a certain Edible Long Island writer – or am I a reporter? – on a recent visit).

“This really is a farm. When people say garden it makes you think of a place for ornamentals or flowers,” says Marghoob, who also holds a degree in Landscape Design from Farmingdale State College. “We grow food, so it’s a farm.”

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but covering this wonderful story with these wonderful people was a good reminder for this writer/reporter/journalist to call a spade a spade, a farm a farm, and soil soil.

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