In an effort to promote healthy lifestyles and eating habits, Heartland staff has constructed two elevated garden beds at our headquarters. According to Heartland Benefits Administrator Theresa Schaefer, the garden beds, which contain various vegetables and herbs, offer more benefits to employees than just fresh produce.

“Gardening is an easy and enjoyable way to spend time in the fresh air and sunshine getting moderate exercise,” said Schaefer. “It has been clinically proven to alleviate stress, produces good-tasting, healthy food and encourages healthy living. Even better, gardening is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.”

According to Carbonrally.com, for every pound of produce grown in a garden, about two pounds of carbon are saved from entering the atmosphere. That is because most produce sold in stores must be shipped, often thousands of miles, and requires many gallons of fuel.

Schaefer says corporate gardens are growing in popularity, serving as a timely and sustainable wellness strategy.

“Corporate gardens are a creative way to improve employee morale and health,” Schaefer said. “They provide opportunities for team-building experiences or a relaxing lunch-break activity. Gardening can also help better control health care costs by increasing nutritional awareness and promoting smart eating habits.”

Heartland’s garden includes tomatoes, onions, peppers, radishes, carrots, basil, cilantro and jalapenos. Visit our photo gallery to see more photos of the construction.