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. 

The best match for a Blue Borage workplace edible garden is an environment that already endorses a healthy lifestyle: you're dedicated to sustainability, with a team who enjoys fresh air, exercise and good food. 

What is a workplace edible garden?

It's not an urban farm, and it's not a community garden. It's a well serviced, efficient and attractive asset for a workplace to supply staff with small quantities of food - herbs to pick as a garnish for lunch, salad greens, flowers to pick for a bouquet at reception, fresh mint and lemon balm for herbal teas.  There are attractive, well built structures for climbing or vining plants like cucumbers and tomatoes. 

There's a seasonal display of crops to pick at any time: mixed plantings 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, and can be expanded to suit the enthusiasm levels of your team. 

Raised beds are a bigger investment, but impressive, and allow for so much more food to be grown. Either way, growing food up off the ground is fabulous for workplaces where people probably don't want to kneel to tend the garden or harvest food. 

A gardening workshop at the Auckland Women's Centre in Grey Lynn. Katrina teaching how to grow from seed and make seed raising mix.

Why build a garden in our workplace?

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

  • On site composting of green waste and food scraps can reduce your waste management expenses. 
  • Empower your staff to learn practical skills. 
  • Grow food to eat and share. 
  • Beautification of your space. 
  • Purposeful use of space that is currently neglected or under utilised. 
  • Support bees with spray free 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. 
  • 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. 

How to get started with a Workplace Edible Garden?

There are so many options to choose from. Get a Blue Borage consultation at the beginning of the process, and you'll save yourself some expensive mistakes. 

Here's the Blue Borage method: 

  1. Book a consultation and we brainstorm together. 
  2. Assemble the garden beds: you may need to get a builder or landscaper for this step, but please make sure they know enough about composting to include that as an integral part of your system.
  3. Plant the garden beds: this is the fun bit - making soil, shopping for plants, growing food, enjoying the harvests. This can be a working bee style installation or a series of workshops where small steps are ticked off one by one. 
  4. Keep track of how things are growing, what people enjoy, and what plants suit your location. 
  5. Do a seasonal review of your processes and plan fresh plants for the next few months.

Interested in learning more?

The first step is to book a quick zoom call to chat about your situation.

Book a call here.

For the adventurous workplace: a farm-based team building experience in Waiuku

Come out to the countryside and give your team a day tending the land, hosted by Rory & Jennifer of Permakai in Waiuku. 

More information here

Ideas for innovative edible gardening solutions using biodynamic methods to make exquisite compost is what the world needs right now. To see the full range of online courses go to blueborage.teachable.com or get in touch by email at katrina@blueborage.co.nz


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