Green Thumb, Greener Solutions: How Goodness Gardens Herb Farm is Revolutionizing Waste Management with the LFC biodigester

February 13, 2023

Goodness Gardens is a farm that provides premium fresh herbs to retail grocers and food service distributors. Goodness Gardens has rapidly expanded from its startup roots in 1980, and they now own and operate a 50 acre farm, a large office and production facility, and five large hydroponic greenhouses in Orange County, New York.

Drone shot of Goodness Gardens from Tara Wilsworth

The management team wanted to tackle the large amounts of green waste byproducts in an economical and sustainable manner. In 2019, they purchased an LFC-500 biodigester to handle the plant waste onsite.

From Seed to Greenhouse

Goodness Gardens initially began as a research project in the 1980s. The project goal was to test the potential of industrial hydroponic growing of specialty flora, namely herbs. After initial interest and success, Goodness Gardens has now grown into a multi-million dollar incorporated agricultural farm that encompasses a 50 acre farm, a large office and production facility, and five large hydroponic greenhouses.

They grow 26+ varieties of fresh herbs which include arugula, bay leaves, basil, cilantro, chives, marjoram, mint, lemongrass, and more.

They grow, harvest, grade, pack, and distribute fresh products to the marketplace.

Many of their products can be found in retail stores such as Target, Foodtown, Driscoll Foods, and Morton Williams Supermarkets.

Goodness Gardens has pledged to think and act green. All unused plastics and cardboards are recycled. All products that do not meet quality standards are collected, composted, and reused as high quality fertilizer. 

They aim to conduct all their business and farming practices in such a way to minimize any negative environmental impact. As such, Goodness Gardens highlighted waste reduction on their sustainability initiatives.

Flora Foresight 

Plant waste is a natural byproduct of agricultural operations. Goodness Gardens mostly utilizes a hydroponic grow system in which plants are grown without soil.

It would be counterproductive to create a large scale compost system. They also factored in the monetary and environmental impact. The costs of hauling away waste was even greater than if they would recycle the waste on site. Goodness Gardens would have to pay a third party to come pick up the green waste and the truck that hauled away the waste would burn fossil fuels in the process.

Hydroponic plants grown in Goodness Gardens by Tara Wilsworth

After researching and investigating various organic waste solutions, Goodness Gardens decided on the LFC-500 biodigester from Power Knot. This large size biodigester unit was most suitable for the large amounts of green plant waste produced by the farm. It also made sense for the Goodness Garden team when considering operational cost and efficiency.

After installing the unit, the staff no longer manually collects the plant waste. They now sweep it onto the floor in a pile and use a forklift to transfer it into the biodigester. This reduces risks of back pain and injury to employees.

“Rather than pay to get rid of waste, we decided that it made sense to take care of herb waste onsite,” said Brian Murphy, President of Goodness Gardens. “The LFC-500 biodigester has helped reduce labor and time at Goodness Gardens.”

The LFC biodigester has been instrumental in helping Goodness Gardens with their many sustainability initiatives. In 2020, the machine digested over 30,000 kg of green waste. Microorganisms in the machine digest the waste and turn it into water.

About Goodness Gardens

Goodness Gardens is the premium provider of fresh herbs, herb sauces and specialty culinary herb products to retail grocers and food service distributors. They grow, harvest, grade, pack, and distribute fresh products to the marketplace.

Industry: Distribution and Wholesale
Location: United States