July 21, 2014
Dial Properties brings square-foot gardening to their workplace
With fresh fruits available in their office and scheduled wellness walks on Fridays, Dial Properties already has made healthy strides. With summer approaching, conversations with Partners for a Healthy City about implementing an additional policy to support local agriculture “planted the seed” to take things a step further.
This year, they’ve become onsite gardeners. At their corporate headquarters in Omaha’s Miracle Hills area, Dial employees are taking part in square-foot gardening and are enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors.
“An employee’s dad made a raised bed and a grid of one-foot squares to sit on top of the bed frame,” says Chelsie Weatherholt, wellness coordinator.
The partitions made it easy to put in many kinds of plants in a six-foot-by-three-foot space. Dial’s maintenance employees prepared the organic soil onsite — equal parts peat moss, vermiculite and compost — and soon the garden was ready to go.
The gardeners will harvest a variety of produce, including kale, beans, snap peas, butternut squash, bell peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, carrots, radishes and tomatoes. Dial also has two large planters where they’re growing onions and sweet potatoes. When anything is ready to pick, it’s brought inside and set out for employees to take.
An empty countertop tells the story: The food is usually gone by the end of the same day. And the workplace garden has inspired some employees to try planting at their own homes.
“We wanted to show our employees that wellness isn’t just about going to the grocery store and picking out the right foods,” Weatherholt says. “This is a way to show them how easy it can be to grow your own food. It also gets people outside and away from their desks.