Company gardens breathe new life into wellness

Here’s an innovative way to get employees moving — and eating healthier.
Tear up a chunk of that well-manicured lawn it costs your company so much to have landscaped, bring in some planting soil and let your employees create their own garden.
It’s a trend that’s growing in popularity — among both businesses and employees.
The Star Tribune, which covers the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, recently reported company gardens are springing up all over the Twin Cities.
In fact, the garden started by Minneapolis PR firm Haberman & Associates was recently named one of the top benefits ideas of the year by Human Resources Executive magazine.
Grow, eat, give
What attracts employees to workplace gardens? They:

  • give workers who live in apartments an opportunity to garden that they don’t get at home
  • promote healthy eating and wellness
  • help workers save money on grocery bills
  • provide employees with another opportunity to exercise while at work — many prefer pulling weeds to lunchtime walking groups
  • promote teamwork — at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s headquarters in Eagan, MN, different departments take responsibility for separate parts of the garden, and
  • promote philanthropic efforts — several companies in the Twin Cities region donate their crops to local shelters.

Making it work

The key to getting a garden off the ground (so to speak): accessibility. Company gardens need to be nearby — preferably on company property (but some businesses actually have employees go to nearby farms).
Now, let’s say you’re in a business park with no real chunk of dirt to call your own. Here’s an idea for you: Meet with the other companies in the area and see if they’d like in on the garden. Then just decide on the plot of shared land that’s best suited for growing.