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 our inaugural 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. In 2022, we doubled our garden size and our harvest, thanks to our dedicated volunteers. 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. We look forward to continuing our success in 2023.
During our “off-growing season”, the Giving Garden team is active providing free educational programs on topics from composting to regenerative farming to soil enhancement. These programs are held at the East Lyme Community Center and, when the weather warms, at the Educational Tent at the Garden. Watch our Calendar for details.
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, and welcoming the community to educational and special events. We believe we can make a difference, one volunteer and one bushel basket at a time!