Composting is a Win-Win at Forman School - CulinArt Group

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Composting is a Win-Win at Forman School

LITCHFIELD, CONN., May 10, 2021—The composting program at Forman School does more than divert kitchen waste for use as fertilizer at a local farm. In exchange for supplying the compost, Forman partners with Chanticleer Acres, a nearby provider of garden kits and compost, to educate students via tours of the farm, lectures, and pop-up tastings on campus.

Chanticleer provides CulinArt dining services at Forman with bins into which students and kitchen workers deposit compostable scraps and leftovers, then picks them up once a week after the compost has spent some time being “processed” by chickens. “The chickens are the first to receive the waste,” explains Denee Danner, dir. of dining services for CulinArt. “They help to break down and mix the nitrogen-rich green matter. Simultaneously they add their manure to the compost and get their meal in the process!”

The farm employs windrow composting, which assembles compost in long rows with periodic turning, and then sells it on the open market. Deliveries from Forman to the farm began in late April. “I estimate that we will deliver 50 to 100 pounds per week of kitchen scraps in alignment with the Waste Not program,” says Danner. “Chef Darby Fitzgerald will be providing tastings with whatever fruit or vegetable is in season, and the farm will simultaneously educate the students and provide tours when possible.”

For example, a guest speaker from the farm visited the school in late April to explain the composting process, and students got to sample “some delicious earth vegan wraps,” Danner says.

Support for the composting program at the school is widespread. “The Head of School and his wife are thrilled because they have wanted to compost at Forman for years,” Danner adds. A student who leads a school sustainability group was the catalyst for the program, approaching Danner, who will attend all group meetings, with the idea to begin composting kitchen and tray scraps. And a staff member, Max Exstein, with special needs has been designated as the lead on the composting program. “I wanted to empower Max to have his own program here,” she adds, “so he does all recycling on campus and gets compost ready for Facilities to pick up.”

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  • May 10, 2021
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“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“Thanks so much for a great week of food here at SCH to start off 2021. Everything has been fantastic. The kids were loving the Chinese food and boxes today. The Moo Shu Pork was amazing. Great work!”

“I will say lunch was pretty awesome today.”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“Greetings from Washington International School! We have been so happy to have CulinArt with us this year!  The students are raving about the food!”

“Just came back to campus after a year of pandemic [and] just want to say that I can really tell the effort that both dining halls and all of the other locations are really putting in to make us students still feel like there is more than enough food available, good food, fresh food, healthy food. I don't think students are aware that there is such a food shortage/worker shortage and that what goes on behind the scenes must be a logistical nightmare. But I recognize it at least :) the staff was been so friendly and kind, even in the very rare occasion when something took longer than expected I could tell they were trying their absolute hardest to provide it fast and with great quality. Great job to all of them, this one student greatly appreciates the effort you all do. -Student, Stony Brook University”

“I'm so grateful for your support, creativity, flexibility, and professionalism. I know this was a complicated event--made more complicated by some last-minute changes--and I deeply appreciate all the work you put in to make it happen. I've heard so many compliments about the food and the service. A really heartfelt THANK YOU for everything you did to make the event a marvelous success.”

“Thank you so very much for the AMAZING dinner you provided for the President, Dean and Jim & Marilyn Simons. They really enjoyed it!! It was perfectly thought out and delicious. Your expertise and impeccable presentation and taste were truly appreciated!”

“We were totally impressed by the presentation and care in which these new team members were brought into the CulinArt family. So happy we made the decision to choose CulinArt Group.”

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