Giving garden getting started fact sheet - blue cross mn
The ultimate onsite volunteer project. Grow a garden.Get some exercise, fresh air and a little Zen by planting a corporategarden and donating produce to a local shelter or food shelf. Seeding an idea Get started now In 2007, a trio of employees at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota sought➜➜ Plan permission to dig up a section of lawn around the corporate headquarters,➜➜ Who, what, when, where and putting their green thumbs to use and starting a garden. But this was no how ordinary garden. These employees created a “Community Giving Garden” on➜➜ Determine location — Blue Cross’ property to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for a local shelter and Corporate lawn, planters, food shelf. raised beds The Community Giving Garden has been the catalyst for a network of more➜➜ Find a recipient — Food shelf, shelter, social service agency than 15 corporate giving gardens across the Twin Cities, demonstrating innovation in serving our community. Leveraging employee talent and support➜➜ Get corporate backing — Present plan to your leadership for access to healthy food, the giving garden is a great way to engage employees highlighting benefits to the while meeting community needs. company➜➜ Enlist support from Facilities Planting basics — Maintenance, watering, pest ➜➜ Volunteers, the garden’s most important ingredient. Start with a small, control, logistics dependable group and build. Your garden will grow in direct proportion to➜➜ Recruit employees — Volunteer volunteer involvement. council, wellness group, known ➜➜ Crops. Think ease of maintenance, volume of produce, location, weather and gardeners growing season. Involve your recipient organization in the planning. ➜➜ Water and irrigation plan. Use existing resources. ➜➜ Pests. Build a rabbit fence. Research organic pest control methods. ➜➜ Funding. Corporate support or donations from volunteers? What is the budget? ➜➜ Mentors. Check with your county’s Master Gardener Program or Agricultural Extension Service.
Sharing the bounty Our garden cropsA key to your corporate garden’s success is communications. Internally, you can Peasbuild an e-mail list or use a corporate database if available to share frequent Spinachgarden updates with gardeners, management and the broader employee base. KohlrabiFor external audiences, create a blog or website if it’s within your company Brussels Sproutspolicies. Keep the corporate communications department apprised of photoopportunities, garden milestones and produce deliveries to share with local Kalenews media. Rainbow Chard PotatoBuild a relationship with your receiving organization that goes beyond the Lettucegarden. Learn what they need in addition to vegetables. You’ll find that yourvolunteers will get involved in more than the garden. Also consider identifying Parsley/Basil/Rosemaryadditional organizations that could accept produce — your harvest may be Radishesgreater than you anticipated. Cucumber BeansGrowing benefits Eggplant➜➜ Encourage physical activity among employees Okra➜➜ Support healthy eating and wellness initiatives Cabbage➜➜ Connect with co-workers Onion➜➜ Reduce company’s carbon footprint Carrot Mixed Pepper➜➜ Connect in the community Green Pepper Tomato Walking Onion/Sage Adopting a crop includes the following: Oregano/Chives ➜➜ Planting the seeds Thyme/Oregano ➜➜ Thinning Dill/Cilantro ➜➜ Weeding Strawberry Patch ➜➜ Harvesting Beets • Pick Watermelon Pumpkin • Rinse Winter Squash • Bag for delivery Muskmelon/Cantaloupe Time commitment is 15-45 minutes a week for each row. Summer Squash Asparagus Raspberry Bushes Rhubarb A HEALTHIER TOMORROW STARTS TODAY. Visit givinggarden.blogspot.com, call (651) 662-0042 or e-mail Heart_of_Blue_Volunteer_Council@bluecrossmn.com with questions.Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.X18800 (6/12)