Support employee wellness: Start a garden

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Support employee wellness: Start a garden

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 3:25am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Community Garden Network is offering garden start-up services for any business that wants to establish a workplace food garden for their employees. The Green Thumbs at Work program provides employers and employees with technical assistance and planning support to ensure the garden will be successful in its first season and for years to come.

Now in its fifth year, Green Thumbs at Work gives employers an additional way to support employee morale and healthy behaviors. Though workplace gardens, employees can have increased access to fresh produce, and more opportunities for physical activity and stress reduction. Gardening at work benefits employees across industries and sectors, including manufacturing facilities, local restaurants and stores, town offices, healthcare centers, engineering firms and others.

Washington Electric Co-op (WEC), a 2015 Green Thumbs at Work participant, uses produce from their garden for shared lunches, at work tastings, and seminars on cooking and nutrition. For Susan Golden, Member Services Supervisor at WEC, gardening at work has sparked a new, healthy passion: “I’m eating healthier, I’m getting out and getting some exercise I wouldn’t normally get, and it has brought something very positive to my life.”

“I would recommend this for every business,” says Lorie Ballard, Front Office Assistant at Castleton Family Health, who helped to start a garden at her workplace last season. “It creates a team atmosphere. And everyone enjoys watching this grow and flourish.”

VCGN services include support to help each workplace determine the type and size of garden that best meets its needs, help groups set goals and determine strategies for engaging fellow employees, and answer technical gardening questions. Material costs for starting a garden are not included. Consulting packages are available, including support from gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi. The scope of services can be adapted to address the unique needs of each business. For pricing information and an online interest survey go to: http://vcgn.org/what-we-do/green-thumbs-at-work/. Contact Libby at libby@vcgn.org or call (802) 861-4769 with questions.

Source: VCGN 2.9.2018