Research supports the many benefits of gardening and participating in community gardens. Gardens at the workplace share those benefits as well as strategic opportunities for companies looking for inventive ways to meet their business goals.
Teambuilding and Leadership Development
- Corporate-owned gardens provide leadership opportunities that may not be available to employees in their regular job duties.
- Gardening enables employees to develop relationships with their coworkers outside of a business context.
- Shared garden spaces, in particular, decrease isolation through sharing of knowledge, ideas, seeds, tools, produce, culture, and recipes.
Employee Health and Wellness
- Gardening is great exercise.
- Gardeners tend to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their regular diet.
- On average, people spend 90% of their time indoors—gardening is one way to enjoy the outdoors.
- Spending time in nature and in the act of caring for living things provides multiple psychological health benefits: stress relief, mental stimulation, personal control, and motivation.
- In the U.S., fresh produce travels an average of over 1,500 miles from farm to plate, creating an excessive dependence on fossil fuels for food transportation. Locally-grown produce decreases the number of “food miles” and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Garden vegetables sequester carbon in the soil, with the potential to significantly reduce excess carbon in the atmosphere.
- In 2012, 49 million Americans (1 in 6) – including 15.9 million children and 4.8 million senior citizens - lived in food-insecure households. Corporate-owned gardens can combat hunger by donating fresh produce to food assistance organizations.
- Corporate-owned gardens can provide space for job training programs, childcare play areas, meetings and celebrations.
- Gardens add a unique aesthetic aspect to a business’s curb appeal.
- Employee gardeners who are educated about sustainable gardening practices can apply their skills and knowledge at home and in other community gardens.
- Cost Effective
Even a small garden space can yield significant results. Most of the investment will be in building the garden beds in the first year; the gardens will continue to provide benefits for years to come.