Gabrielsen Farms is taking proactive strides to embrace green techniques.
Carl Gabrielsen, owner of Gabrielsen Farms, LLC, has invited Congressman Tim Bishop, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski and members of the Peconic Land Trust to his greenhouse on West Lane in Riverhead on Wednesday for a look at the operation's green technology, according to his brother, Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen.
'It's cutting edge," Gabrielsen said.
The event will take place on Wednesday at noon.
Gabrielsen, his brother said, is converting his greenhouse operation, one of the largest on Long Island, with over 200,000 square feet of greenhouses, to solar energy.
The event will feature a tour of the facility; including the integrated pest management where the "beneficial" bugs are released, which attack and kill the "bad" insects.
Members of the Suffolk County Planning Commission are also slated to attend; Gabrielsen is a member of the Commission. Gabrielsen said he was in Washington recently and decided to invite the elected officials for the tour.
Gabrielsen said there a number of reasons for going green. "There's a dual purpose. One, economics," Gabrielsen said. "And also, there are environmental benefits. Fertiizers are expensive. I don't want to waste money on fertilizers that will go into the ground -- and environmentally, it's a good thing."
The operation also recycles wastewater and features integrated pest management techniques that put an end for the need to use traditional pesticides -- all with an eye toward going green.
Gabrielsen, a member of the board of Riverhead's Industrial Development Agency, has said that he understands the need to adjust to changing times while preserving Riverhead's rich agricultural heritage.
To that end, his "growing green" facility utllizes the integrated pest management system, which Gabrielsen said has reduced pesticide usage by 95 percent over the past five years.
He has also initiated a program which recycles water and curtails his energy consumption in half by installing energy saving curtains, high efficiency heaters and smart computers.
Gabrielsen said he fosters these efforts by recruiting high school students to work collaboratively on data collection as part of the integrated pest management program.
Inviting elected officials to view his techniques, Gabrielsen's goal is to foster green and sustainable operations at other farming operations.
Gabrielsen is also a member of the Long Island Farm Bureau and the Ohio Florist Association.