On a sunny Saturday morning in early June, DexSys was buzzing with activity- though not the kind you might expect in a manufacturing facility. The robots were quiet, and yet employees arrived. In place of the usual safety glasses, each wore patterned garden gloves and carried armfuls of plants. The air hummed with pleasant conversation as each gardener planted, swapped tips, and talked of upcoming summer plans. By noon, the DexSys Garden was complete. The 12-bed raised garden, which also boasts fresh flowers and fragrant herbs, was designed and built entirely by the DexSys team. The week preceding planting had been filled with sweat, teamwork, and a lot of after-hours collaboration.
“It sounded like a great opportunity to learn something new. Plus gardening sounded like it would be fun.” says Mike Goodell of the Materials Department.
“I joined to have fun with the coworkers I already know and get a chance to spend time with ones I don’t know as well. I love the idea of having fresh, organic produce that I helped grow myself,” chimes in Lindsey Brandvold, also of Materials.
A few months prior, Ed Storrs of the Tooling Department planted the idea. “I’ve always had a garden, large or small. I like growing my own fruits and vegetables when I can. It’s very relaxing, rewarding and fun. When I came to Magna DexSys, I had to move to an apartment with no option of growing a garden. I saw that DexSys had a vast amount of open space and came up with the idea of using the land to start a garden. From there, it grew into a group project. Hopefully this garden will grow into an even larger project.”
“My idea is, why mow it if you can grow it?” says Ed Storrs.
One of the goals of our wellness initiative at DexSys is to provide employees with the tools and resources necessary to make informed health decisions for themselves and their families. We want to provide every opportunity to lead a happier, healthier life. Gardens represent a great tool. They promote an enhanced sense of ownership over one’s food and food choices. It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide more exposure and access to affordable produce. From the moment the idea took root, the DexSys Garden Project has changed the workplace conversation. People talk about their gardens. Employees share growing tips, experiences and recipes. Even those who did not plant a vegetable garden this year are able to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits. Employees can stop and smell the flowers or enjoy a peaceful lunch break among the greenery.
-Brigitte Baranek, Wellness Coordinator
For more information on the DexSys Garden Project, please contact Brigitte at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photos courtesy of Rebecca Gilbert, DexSys