Life at work. Sowing, digging, harvesting … Gardening among colleagues in the workplace allows for the exchange and even the resolution of conflicts.
"One evening, friends told me about their plan to create a kitchen garden at their workplace. This was exactly what we wanted to do as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility approach. I talked to my management and we started. " A maintenance technician from Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie in the underground storage of natural gas, Tommy Fourmeaux is delighted with the initiative taken by the site he is working on in Gournay-sur-Aronde (Oise).
To launch the project, its management appealed to Coralie Breuvart, founder of the company "Coralie's kitchen garden". She came to present the project to the 50 employees of the site, who were enthusiastic. "We only intervene if the collaborators are really starting"says the 35-year-old, who started her business just two years ago, after a career change in urban agriculture and permaculture. "The vegetable garden is a teaching tool to rediscover the nature, the seasons, the natural cycle of plants and to create links. We are in the "doing together", She says.
In Nanterre, the first indoor urban vegetable garden in France
Funded by Storengy, the vegetable workshop started at the end of June 2018. Initially, the employees prepared bins and set up the site, with the maintenance staff of the green spaces. "On our side, we brought the plants, and it was gone for a gardening season, because of a workshop every 15 days on the hour of the lunch with a ten employees with each meeting", says Coralie Breuvart.
"We even made our own lemon verbena herbal tea"
The young woman intervenes alone or, as needed, with an insertion gardener or a specialist in composting or waste recycling. The employees have planted sage, parsley, celery, beets, carrots, arugula, tomatoes or verbena. "We even made our own lemon verbena tea with the image of the company", prides Tommy Fourmeaux.
This type of activity is developing in France and a growing number of companies are embarking on the niche, like Cultures d'entreprise, in Nantes, where we will sow in Normandy. To hear the employees involved, the benefit is obvious. "This gardening activity is very transversal. It creates links, allows to get to know each other better between colleagues from different departments. It facilitates exchanges and even solves problems. It's more than just a vegetable garden! " says Tommy Fourmeaux again.
Gardening: peppers and peppers, close cousins
Harvests were up to the work accomplished, all employees of the site were able to enjoy. "As a result of Coralie's interventions, colleagues started a vegetable garden at home, says Tommy Fourmeaux. And the project continues as we signed for a second season, with the extension of the vegetable garden and the creation of an outdoor meeting room. "
At this moment, the vegetable garden is wintering, the bins have been mulched … but everything is ready for the arrival of spring.