Continuing on the subject of company gardens, this was an article in the NY Times about the subject. If the author of the article and the companies involved were more aware of the benefits of sub-irrigated planter systems (SIPs) this would be an entirely different article.
The article isn't necessarily negative about company gardens but it has a skeptical tone. There would be no skepticism if the gardens were all SIP gardens. If they were all SIP gardens, they could all be certified organic from day one, producing twice as much while using 80-90% less water. The gardens would also be much easier to maintain even by those who are physically limited.
The excerpt about the Google garden is a good clue that the NY Times writer simply doesn't get it. Incidentally, it would be nice to credit the name of the company as EarthBox instead of "earth box".
The Google garden among other thing is an educational garden. For one thing, the plants are labeled to indicate their region of origin. The garden has no need to be filled with "actual gardeners". The sub-irrigated planters require very little maintenance. Google employees have better things to do than pull a hoe.
For some employees, beanpoles quickly become just another part of the office scenery. On a visit last fall, the special self-watering “earth box” container garden on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., was filled with fewer actual gardeners than with workers hurrying through on their way back to their desks, cafeteria trays filled with free food balanced on their laptops.
HERE at the world headquarters of PepsiCo, the masterminds behind $60 billion worth of Mountain Dew, Cheetos and Rice-A-Roni roam polished hallways.
But a five-minute walk away is the organic corporate vegetable garden, where spreadsheets and performance reviews give way to basil starts and black peppermint plants. Employees can sneak out for a quick lunchtime weeding session and cart home the harvest.
As companies have less to spend on raises, health benefits and passes to the water park, a fashionable new perk is emerging: all the carrots and zucchini employees can grow.