Maria Fogarty’s backyard used to be a place to play with her children, but over the last few months Fogarty has slowly transformed it into a miniature farm.

When the pandemic hit, Fogarty was laid off from her administrative assistant job. So with extra time on her hands, she put her green thumb to work. 

“This is my normal every day routine now,” Fogarty said while tending to her plants and animals.

The Howard Beach resident bought hens to lay eggs, and began growing herbs and vegetables. She told NY1 she’s doing it all to help her neighbors impacted by the coronavirus.

“We noticed that there was a lack of supplies for everybody at the supermarkets, so we thought that, you know, if our neighbors needed eggs we’d be the ones to offer that to them,” said Fogarty.

Typically, a dozen farm fresh eggs costs $6, but she gives them away for free. 

Fogarty delivers the eggs and produce to their doorsteps, limiting her neighbors’ risk of being exposed to the virus while shopping. 

“We have two stores nearby, but it was just a hassle and they were very nervous and scared. Because they are elderly, it is a risk,” said Fogarty. “So they were just nervous about going anywhere.”

Eventually, Fogarty would like to move her whole operation upstate, permanently. 

In fact, she dreams of running a true farm one day. For now, though, she’ll keep helping her neighbors. 

“[It’s] just something to brighten their mood, give them a little bit of hope that this will be over soon,” said Fogarty, adding, “We’re here to help them if they need anything.”

For getting her hands dirty to help her Queens neighbors in need, Maria Fogarty is our New Yorker of the Week.