There was an unused space on our property between our building and our neighbour’s fence that was once used as a dog-run. The space is about 10 feet wide by 40 feet long and this year we decided to turn that space into a staff garden. A number of employees showed interest in building and maintaining the garden so we ordered seeds, built 4’x4′ wooden raised beds, and planned the plots. When the weather warmed up, we planted, watered, weeded, and waiting.
Our efforts have been rewarded with a lush green paradise. The sunshine and rain has helped our plants bloom and we will start harvesting vegetables soon.
There are so many benefits to having a garden on-site:
- gardening is an excellent low-impact way to boost physical activity – especially for those of us in the office, sitting at a desk for most of the day.
- accessible organic local produce
- garden promotes relaxation and stress relief – reducing cortisol levels and improving mood
- feeling connected with nature can improve our mental well-being – this can also help us to take a mental break for better concentration and problem-solving
- encourages staff to take breaks outside which produces many health benefits
- fosters community involvement within the organization and team-building
- beautifying and revitalizing an unused “dead” space
Think about where you work. Are there spaces that could be converted into flower beds or raised planters? Maybe you work in a small space but could accommodate herbs and plants growing in containers and pots. The next steps for us will be adding in some seating for extended breaks or where staff can eat their lunch. We provide water and sunscreen to all staff so we can all stay safe in the sun. We are really enjoying our summer now!