Carrots from the office? Why not?
Please take a close look at the title. As you can see, we didn’t write ”in the office”, but we actually wrote “from the office.” We did that on purpose as we wanted to emphasise the originality of that unique idea. Workplaces which used to be dehumanised and looked very much the same, being, as a result, tiring to work in are becoming much more friendly thanks to micro and mini allotments producing organic food.
It all started with a trend called “urban farming” which meant utilising tiny bits of free space in the city and transforming them into small herbaria, vegetable gardens or mini fruit orchards.
In every single one of us there has always been this strong need to live in a place surrounded by green areas (although nowadays in big cities there are fewer and fewer of these). And then, in many of us there is this subconscious, genetically conditioned attachment to agriculture. These two qualities have been greatly affected by the disillusionment with conventionally grown food products as well as a growing awareness among people.
And so urban gardens started emerging. They were not the familiar employees’ garden plots known to us for dozens of years or private vegetable stands located in the suburbs. In the contemporary urban farming the social aspect plays the key role. Gardens are not only places where fruit or vegetables can be obtained from by the residents who just care about saving money. The role of those gardens is to integrate local communities around a commonly shared concept of creating and maintaining ”good environment.” The gardens have also become a way of life.
Another step to take was to adapt the idea of joint ecological farming in a workplace. No wonder – we spend 1/3 of our life at work and that can be quite strenuous for our bodies. Office farming is to create a positive atmosphere, promote effective regeneration and, obviously, provide healthy food.
A perfect example of that will be an office building of Pasona - a Japanese recruitment company. It’s pretty impressive to see this large building with so many green spaces, which are integrated into its external and internal architecture in a variety of ways. One can say that this office building has become an ultra modern farm making use of the most advanced farming technologies. And this is not only about the shrubs, fruit trees or vegetables grown on the roof or balconies of the building. The green spaces have taken up to 1/5 of the whole usable area of the building. And since this is Japan it’s not surprising that there is a special computer system installed to monitor and maintain the right humidity, temperature or light.
The office garden reciprocates the care and attention by delivering fantastic products right into the office canteen. It also produces lots of good air. The greenery incorporated into the elevation of the building and covering its roof significantly contributes to a satisfactory energy balance. The plants are taken care of by the office employees, who treat their gardening duties as a way to rest from a typical office job.
The idea of office farming has already started being thoroughly analysed. Researchers point to the positive impact of green spaces on the mental well-being of intensely working specialists. Studies show that an office farm/garden can stimulate physical activity, which in turn will improve the physical condition. Fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial influence upon the diet of those who eat meals in a company canteen, reducing the risk of civilisation diseases. Concluding, there are enormous advantages resulting from office farming..
That’s why, office farming has become one of the latest trends, bringing tangible results not only in exotic Japan, but also in the offices of such giants like Google, Hewlett-Packard or SAS.
Learn more about urban farming and office farming from: