Out of the Office

This workplace garden in Richmond, British Columbia, offers employees the chance to get outside and play in the dirt.

For decades, I have experienced immense gratification in transforming barren places into fertile gardens.The company I founded, Nature’s Path, with its humble beginnings in 1967, is now a third-generation enterprise offering breakfast foods and snacks made from certified-organic ingredients. The business is based on an “always organic” commitment and a triple bottom line: social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial viability. As Nature’s Path grew, the number of employees, known as team members, increased into the hundreds. Perhaps it’s our urban culture, but the connection between healthy soil, sun and rain, and good food isn’t always obvious to people. So I encourage team members to learn firsthand how healthy food comes from living soil. Six years ago, we built a garden for the staff on company property. Located at the back of our head office, it measures about 2,400 square feet. Participation is open to the approximately 100 people who work here. To build it, we brought in a backhoe to remove a bramble and weed patch, installed a culvert, covered a ditch, and installed raised beds filled with fertile soil, compost, and manure—all organic, of course.

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