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The Workplace Edible Garden: What, Why & How

Have you heard about the Blue Borage 'workplace edible gardens' and wondered they are? 

Here's an explanation of how I work with workplaces of all sizes. I particularly love being in an environment that already endorses a healthy lifestyle: healers, advocates of mindfulness, people on a path of improving our relationship to the earth, workplaces dedicated to sustainability, and teams who enjoy fresh air, exercise and good food. 

What is it?

An edible garden contains food, but with the foodscaping approach the emphasis is on growing food in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Climbing structures will be well built and attractive - even artistic. There's a seasonal display of crops to pick at any time. Mixed planting of herbs, flowers and vegetables gives a variety of colour and purpose while also attracting bees and other pollinators. 

The scale can be varied: a few planter boxes is a good starting point, raised beds are fabulous for people gardening in work clothing, who may not have gumboots and overalls handy. It is a simple process to decide on the appropriate method to suit your budget.

Auckland Women's Centre garden in Winter with raised beds.

Why build a garden in our workplace?

Here are a few reasons to explore installing an edible garden at your workplace: 

  • Beautification of your space. 
  • Purposeful use of space that is currently neglected or underutilised. 
  • Support the bee population with flowers. 
  • Employee wellbeing is improved with closer connection to nature, even in a small garden. 
  • Demonstrate your commitment to sustainable business practices: walk your talk. 
  • On site composting of green waste and food scraps can reduce your waste management expenses. 
  • Empower your staff to learn practical skills. 
  • Grow flowers for the office or reception area. 
  • Improve the soil health of your land: be better kaitiaki. 
  • Provide young people (staff and clients) with hope for the future through positive action. 
  • Grow food to eat and share. 
A gardening workshop at the Auckland Women's Centre in Grey Lynn. Katrina teaching how to grow from seed and make seed raising mix.

How do we begin?

There are so many options to choose from, that the consultation process is the hardest bit. Once you have a plan, it then becomes a matter of engaging your team and having fun. 

Here's the Blue Borage method: 

  1. Decide what you want: book a consultation and we brainstorm together. 
  2. Commit: once you have decided your budget, we set up a work schedule and get started. 
  3. Implement: this is the fun bit - making soil, building a garden, growing plants, working with your staff to grow the kind of garden you all want to enjoy. This can be a working bee style installation, or a series of workshops where small steps are ticked off one by one. 
  4. Document: keep track of how things are growing, what people enjoy, and what plants suit your location. 
  5. Reflect: periodically review your processes and plan for the following season.

Interested in learning more?

The first step is to book a quick zoom call to chat about your setting - this first conversation is free of charge.

Book a call here.

On that call we can book a consultation for me to come and see your site, get some photos, take measurements, and create a plan for options to explore. The cost of the consultation will depend on travel time and scope - a home based business in Titirangi will be less than a corporate setting in Henderson. 



 

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