Welcome to Nonno’s Garden!

Nonno’s Garden is one of the newest programs offered by The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere. It’s a place to learn, share your gardening knowledge, and meet other garden lovers.

The garden was founded in April 2020 during the height of the pandemic to honor Vito Biancardi, father of Casa Belvedere Founder Gina Biancardi. Vito was an avid vegetable gardener. His tomato and squash seeds that were carefully collected and saved over the years were the foundation of the garden and were among the first to bear fruit.

The garden sits on the slope of a hill behind Casa Belvedere, facing New York Bay. It was built and is run completely by volunteers with help from the Foundation staff. It continues the traditions of farming and gardening that were practiced on the site since the turn of the century, when it was the home of Louis and Laura Stirn. Laura was an avid gardener and one of the founders of the Staten Island Garden Club.

Through the generosity of members Nick D’Amato, Nicholas D’Amato Jr, Vincent D’Amato, and Tom Corbett who contributed materials, equipment and labor, the raised bed garden was constructed to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs in the Italian kitchen garden tradition.

Our volunteers share their seeds, their gardening passion and most of all their time to grow heritage vegetables such as zucchini flowers, heirloom peppers and Italian beans that have been passed down through generations.

Since its founding, the garden has hosted educational programs for both the NYC Board of Education as well as local Girl Scout troops, allowing our experienced gardeners to share their passion with the younger generation.

Nonno’s Garden supports Casa Belvedere’s other programs through a partnership with The Belvedere Club, which buys the extra produce for their kitchen. Through this partnership, we have also been able to share our produce with and give financial support to a local Staten Island food pantry.

Vito’s passion for gardening, like his seeds, has been firmly planted in our soil at Casa Belvedere, and we hope you will see us in the garden when you visit!

To learn more about Nonno’s Garden and to join our dedicated
group of volunteers, click here.