OLD LYME — If you were a contestant on “Chopped” or “Iron Chef”, what would you do with a basket of coffee grounds, banana peels, egg shells and other kitchen castoffs?
When the Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden (LOLFSG) threw this daunting challenge to its microbial chefs, they responded by cooking up a dish of sumptuous compost.
In early March 2023, residents of the Library Lane neighborhood were invited to drop their household plant-based food waste at the home of Jim Ward, who is also the LOLFSG president. Since that time, approximately a dozen families have donated more than 350 pounds of cooking scraps. All the delectable tidbits are transported to the LOLFSG for incorporation into the garden’s compost system, where they are mixed with leaf litter and feasted upon by bacteria.
Unlike a TV cooking show, it will take months rather than minutes to create the final product.
Yet, a few short weeks from the inception of the project, the household organic matter has begun its transformation into luscious compost that will serve as a natural fertilizer for LOLFSG garden beds.
All produce from the garden, a fully volunteer organization, is donated to local food pantries.
In an effort to expand food waste recycling, the LOLFSG has installed a food waste collection bin onsite. The container is located outside the main gate of the garden, which is situated behind the field house at Town Woods Park. Residents are encouraged to drop any plant-based food waste such as any part of fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and stale bread. No meat or dairy products please!
The collection bin is one of two repurposed trash containers donated by the Town of Old Lyme.
The second is not yet being utilized for food waste recycling, but is available. If you are interested in spearheading food waste collection in your neighborhood, please contact Jim Ward at [email protected].