In nearly any gardening situation, we have the opportunity to mentor — and to be mentored. Growing food organically is a life-long learning curve. Newbie gardeners sometimes feel shy about asking questions, but this is the way to learn. Master gardeners understand that there are always more innovations and ideas that will help us rethink and reshape our gardens.
At West Coast Seeds, we are very proud of our staff mentoring program. Raised garden beds were offered to all staff as both a hands-on teaching tool and a way to break up the day and relax for a moment. Our senior staff has decades of gardening knowledge to share with their colleagues. Our trial gardens and farm beds offer further resources and learning opportunities. And these spaces will be made open to the public to look and learn.
As we have talked about in these Twenty-one Days of Green leading up to Earth Day, school gardens, school programs, and CSA programs are all excellent learning spaces. Community gardens, garden clubs, and Seedy Saturday events also allow people to come together and share.
Some of the staff with garden beds at WCS include:
All these people come to gardening with different skill sets and experience, but in an atmosphere of learning. Says Ashley:
With this being my first year working for West Coast Seeds, I have become increasingly aware of the benefits of growing your own food and flowers, as well as the many benefits to raised bed gardening. I was super excited to hear that we were going to have raised beds available to us to use to grow whatever we wanted and I couldn’t wait to get planting. Because we have decided to construct several raised garden beds at home this year to grow our fruits and vegetables, I decided to grow flowers in my bed here at West Coast Seeds. I tried to pick some different flowers that I have either never heard of or never tried to grow, and then I decided to narrow my assortment down to flower that attract pollinators and/or are great for cut flowers. I am sharing my raised bed with one of my coworkers since she too already has gardens at home, so we are both looking forward to helping each other out and seeing how our bed turns out. With summer hopefully right around the corner, I am very much looking forward to having a nice peaceful spot to go putter around on my lunch break or before my commute home, and what better way to relax after a long day than to go and tend to some flowers nestled among over 20 raised garden beds filled with all of my coworkers fruits, vegetables and flowers!
This year I am planting Watermelon and Butternut Squash (my favorite) because I don’t have enough space for these items in my garden at home. I will also include some sunflowers to help with pollination and a place for the vines to grow.
Growing at work is awesome. I live in a condo so it is a great opportunity to grow in a raised bed. I get so excited checking on my radishes and carrots and seeing them grow. Gardening is really so rewarding and of course, I love eating fresh veggies.
We wanted our bed to be filled with fun little snacks to have a garden party. Lettuce turnip the beet!
As Earth Day fast approaches, please join with us and Commit to Grow some food this year. Share your food as you share your knowledge, and cultivate a new generation of growers.