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Employees ‘vegging out’ at the office

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A growing number of Americans are going back to the land, growing vegetable gardens in backyards, schoolyards and even traffic circles.

So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that employees are spending their lunch hours and breaks digging in employee gardens.

Example: At Lundberg Family Farms, at least 20 workers dig in the eight raised beds that cover about one-third of an acre.

They plant seeds and plants donated by employees, weed, harvest fruits and vegetables, and, at the end of a growing season, prepare the garden beds for the next round of planting. One of the employees, who is an experienced gardener, coordinates the initiative.

Summertime crops include peppers, strawberries, green beans, melons, squash, eggplant and tomatoes, says vice president Tim Schultz. In the winter, employees grew snow peas, onions, lettuce, carrots and potatoes.

The 20 to 25 employees who volunteer in the garden have “first claim on the fruits of their labor,” he says.

Interested in starting your own workplace garden? Schultz suggests beginning with a pilot project, so you can determine what worked, as well as the level of interest.

— Adapted from “Garden Helps Employees Enjoy the Fruits of Their Labor,” HR.BLR.com.

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