There's nothing like a fresh sliced cantaloupe for a morning snack, or a tomato just picked off the vine to be put on a burger grilled out back. At ISE, these sweet and savory images are actually a reality. For 3 years now, the spaces between ornamental bushes have been taken up by various types of fresh produce. This year we have two types of melons (cantaloupe and honeydew) and three varieties of tomatoes!
How it Began
As an avid gardener myself, I'm not a fan of wasted space. At home we have been practicing edible landscaping for several years (yes, we have squash growing in our front yard). At ISE I noticed that there was plenty of room between the bushes, which makes for a perfect spot for melons to vine and a few pots for tomatoes. So one day I asked Hass if I could bring the idea to work, and he was on board!
Why it's so Great
The pots and cages for the tomatoes were donated by employees, as well as the plants themselves. When it comes to harvesting the tomatoes, there isn't much to harvest… several people just eat them straight from the plant. First come, first serve! For the melons I have been tempted to buy a Slice Right to make it more fun for others to participate in the cutting, but a big knife and cutting board work just as well. I found this method to be the easiest and quickest. Whenever I set out the cut melon, I send an email to the company (sorry phone people!), and watch them share in the bounty! It's a great reason to get up from your desk and partake in a healthy treat and some good conversation.
Why You Should Have One
It's fun, easy, and rewarding! It doesn't take much to get the garden started, and maintaining it is easy, especially if you start out small and if Mother Nature helps out with the watering.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning for your own work garden today!