About The Garden

Garden History

The East Lyme Giving Garden (ELGG) was founded by a group of local volunteers in early 2020 and began with 20 raised beds at the historic Samuel Smith House. In 2021, the Garden received 501©3 status and expanded to a four-acre field owned by the Flanders Baptist and Community Church. We are grateful for the church’s support for our mission.

During the 2021 season, community volunteers ranging in age from 8 to 80 helped to cultivate and harvest eight rows (110’ long) of organically grown vegetables, and over 4,000 pounds of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bush/pole beans, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini. Our harvest is delivered to the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut which uses its distribution channels to provide the produce to shoreline soup kitchens, food banks, and directly to families in need.

As our resources and volunteer numbers grow, we will continue to expand the garden and the impact we can have on food insecurity in our community. We look forward to welcoming more groups to participate in the garden, from school children to volunteer organizations. As we continue to grow, our future plans include developing educational initiatives in the field of organic and regenerative gardening practices.

2022 Board of Directors and Officers

President – Lisa Picarazzi
Vice President – John Holtz
Treasurer – Mark Malchiodi
Secretary – Denise Dinsmore
Director of Garden – Liz Farley
Assistant Director of Garden – Sally Uden
Director of Operations – Bruce Cohen
Assistant Director of Operations – Mark Malchiodi
Director of Education – John Holtz
Director of Grants – Dan Storms

“Partnering with East Lyme Giving Garden brings incredible value to our Food Center in New London with their fresh, local, high-quality vegetables. The produce that ELGG provides makes its way from their garden, to our Food Center and then the real impact happens;  21 towns, to 63 agencies, to 15,000 individuals. Stop and think about that incredible impact we achieve between just our two organizations!  1 in 4 children in NL County are currently food insecure and together we’re genuinely making a difference.”

- Scott Umbel, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Southeastern Connecticut