Gaiam Employees Plant an Organic Kitchen Garden at Our Colorado HQ

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | July 8th, 2009 | 13 Comments
topic: Gaiam Happenings, Giving Back, Green Living

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“Our garden has gotten people so fired up,” says Kate Weaver, a lead volunteer in a team of Gaiam employees who’s bringing a new organic garden to life at our Boulder, Colo., headquarters. “I’ve never seen so much heart go into anything.”

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On Earth Day this year, more than 20 of us gathered around the plot of land behind our main building and broke ground on our first-ever Gaiam garden. What once was a field of weeds has been transformed into a tranquil circular plot of gorgeous food crops. At lunchtime these days, garden volunteers are often spotted beelining it from the Gaiam cafe out to the garden to pick some veggies for dinner, pull a few weeds, or apply a little TLC.

What makes our garden green?

We use organic gardening methods.

  • We grow most of our plants from biodynamic and organic seeds.
  • We use compost and manure to fertililize the soil.
  • Instead of synthetic chemical pesticides, we use marigolds and other flowers as natural pesticides.

“So far we haven’t had much trouble at all with bugs,” says garden volunteer Everett Sizemore.

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In the photo at top you can see how the circular shape and arcs of our logo influenced the design of our garden. (We’re leaning on the best photographer on our staff to go up on the roof and take an aerial shot … ) Our Gaiam logo is based on the Flower of Life, an ancient symbol of the connection between the Earth and all forms of life. We all believe in the message behind this concept, and the shape creates an inviting sense of balance in the garden.

We’re already eating our veggies!

We harvested lettuce and radishes in late June. “The radishes have all been very sweet and not too spicy — just the way I like them,” says Everett.

“I just had the lettuce with some Annie’s Sesame/Shitake dressing,” adds Kate. “Nothing else was needed!”

We’re waiting anxiously to pluck ripe treasures from all of our six groups of plants:

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Kate’s got a good grip on our first radishes

Herbs: basil, parsley, lavender, cilantro, chives, dill, thyme and sage
Leaves:
lettuce, rhubarb and chard
Roots:
carrots, beets and radishes
The Three Sisters:
peas, corn and beans
Nightshades and crucifers:
tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower
Others
including raspberries, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and ornamental flowers

Right now we’re still picking the buds and flowers from the tomato and pepper plants, so they can concentrate their energy on growing.

Also growing in our garden: community

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Garden volunteer Janay Hughes says the garden has helped people connect from all different departments at Gaiam and gives us a feeling of accomplishment. “It’s a great way to get people involved in more than just their day-to-day work,” she points out.

“Some of us are experienced gardeners, and others are completely new to it,” adds Travis Stevens, one of our garden project managers. “But we’ve all contributed ideas and different ways to garden.”

Four or five volunteers focus on each plant group, working together to keep each section healthy and productive. For those of us at Gaiam who don’t have our own gardens at home, the Gaiam community garden also gives us the opportunity to experiment with planting and collaborate with other gardeners.

Upcoming garden projects include securing our garden benches to the ground, expanding the drip irrigation system, setting up cages for tomato plants, and creating more structured paths into the garden. Watch for updates in the Gaiam blog!

Photos by Jackson Carson, Ben Bowes and Janay Hughes.

Comments

  1. So exciting! Congratulations on your garden. I am currently operating a communal garden in my back yard, and it has been a very rewarding experience. There is nothing like eating food moments after it has been harvested. May this be an inspiration to companies and communities everywhere. Namaste.

    Marty Tribble | July 15th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. Wonderful.
    I just wanted to post a correction to your list behind the “three sisters”. They are corn, beans, and squash. (rather than peas).
    I hope your project inspires many!

    rose | July 16th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. [...] pit the top two finalists against each other in an epic head-to-head composting battle in our organic Gaiam Garden to find out which composter is the most efficient and boasts the best [...]

  4. Marty: I completely agree. I’ve also been stunned at how MUCH a garden can produce! I’d always been under the impression that it would take a tremendous amount of space to make an edible garden worthwhile, but we’ve got nearly more vegetables than we know what to do with. Life–and the earth–is incredible.

    Rose: Ah. Thank you!

    Siona | July 29th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  5. [...] fence doubles as a grapevine trellis, and herbs thrive in a xeriscaped, edible front-yard garden fertilized with mulch they make in homemade composting bins. Surprisingly, raspberries have grown [...]

  6. Awesome! “Be the change..”

    Lisa | August 5th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  7. [...] The remaining finalists will go head-to-head in our Compost-Off, a real-world testing of their features and ability to compost. We’ll capture all of the composting action on video as we put them to the test in the Gaiam Garden. [...]

  8. [...] is the Gaiam Garden Queen. She takes care of our vegetables, especially the corn, squash and [...]

  9. [...] and get a peek at, you guessed it, our yoga studio — plus our our solar power system, Gaiam Cafe, Gaiam Garden, filming studio, customer service center, mock retail store and more. Put a few friendly faces to [...]

  10. [...] have harvested and enjoyed a bounty of delicious organic fruits and veggies this summer from the Gaiam community garden at our headquarters in Boulder, [...]

  11. [...] for my fall vegetables. Also, after you check out the products on their site, take a look at their blog, which tells about the organic garden the planted at their headquarters, which they recently [...]

  12. Cool. I like this idea. It’s amazing. Keep it up.

    Gardeners Supply Girl | September 26th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  13. [...] fence doubles as a grapevine trellis, and herbs thrive in a xeriscaped, edible front-yard garden fertilized with mulch they make in homemade composting bins. Surprisingly, raspberries have grown [...]

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