Fifteen 4’x8′ raised garden beds were put up for adoption this spring by Mack’s Human Resources Department, and all are now brimming with flowers and fresh veggies. Brainchild of President Jeff Somple, the Mack Community Garden has infused new life into a recreation area once used by employees.
“The idea was to provide a fun way to get a little exercise and balance out our diets with some healthy, homegrown produce,” says Somple. “We also enhanced the area to provide a relaxing venue where employees could congregate on breaks or after work.”
In addition to the gardens, Mack has reinvigorated the volleyball court (inter-plant competitions are expected soon!) and added a driving range for golfers, picnic tables, and barbecue grills.
The bountiful gardens were given a head start by HR Director Kevin Dailey, who prepared a rich custom blend of top soil and compost. A local nursery provided planting tips and discounted plants and seeds, and Mack rounded out the effort with cedar beds, gardening tools, fencing and easy water access. Harvest tips are also in the offing, with any surplus crops going to local food shelves.
Sharing a zeal for gardening are employees from several different functional areas at Mack, including finance, purchasing, IT, manufacturing and sales. Beyond the obvious benefits, an unforeseen payoff has been the comradery it has fostered among dissimilar departments. “We have shared responsibilities, like watering and looking out for each other’s gardens when someone is away,” says Debbie Hoyt, billing specialist. “It has been great fun, plus we’ve all learned a lot. I would definitely participate again next year.”
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