Our Business is Growing…. vegetables

NEWT Garden

Letting our garden grow

If you walk around our office right now, chances are anywhere you look there is something growing. Tomato plants, beans, lettuce, onions, peppers are hogging window space in every available office, hallway or meeting room.

The reason for this is we’re in the middle of the 2nd annual Great Fibernetics Grow Op, a competition we started last year that yielded unusual results. Here’s the rundown of what went on 12 months back:

Dawn Gamble, executive assistant to the CEO, had this idea.

The  movie, Jack, the Giant Slayer had just come out, so she thought, “why not have a company-wide bean growing contest for April?”

“The Fun Bunch”, the social committee went along, so on April 1st, they went shopping for supplies, sent out a mass email inviting teams of two to drop by at noon to pick up their little pots, dirt and a handful of beans.

Now, usually when there is one of these kind of competition deals, the usual suspects show up. You know, all the employees who always take part in everything.

This time, for reasons no one can figure out, dozens showed up. It was a virtual bean stampede. “The Fun Bunch” quickly started to run out of supplies and had to start cutting the portions for those at the back of the line. People were getting pretty anxious near the end, hoping upon hope that they wouldn’t miss out. I wouldn’t say it got as far as pushing and shoving, but there was some serious leaning in going on.

In the end, every team who wanted to take part managed to get in the game – but just barely.

That’s when things started to get a little weird.

Company wide, folks were going online to figure out the best germination techniques. You could see people hunched over the computers, making sure no one else could tell what site they were on, because you know, just in case.

People hit the stores, buying stuff like fertilizer and mini-green houses. One maniac called up a commercial flower grower looking for the best growing tips (although I must admit, they were very helpful).

Things settled down for a couple of days, with beans pressed between wet paper towels or soaking jars on desks all over the place, but when they started to sprout, all hell broke loose.

People were running all over showing off their beans sprouts like it was some kind of miracle.

Then someone said that they heard that breathing on them helped with growth.

Every few hours people were panting over their plants.

A few more days and then it was time for planting. Every flat surface that is at or near a window that gets sun is now covered with bean plants! They’re everywhere.

First thing every morning everyone skips grabbing coffee. Instead it’s time to check out their “babies”.

And breathe on them.

Greg Young manning the rototiller

Greg Young manning the rototiller

This year there are even more folks involved and our office is looking distinctly Royal Botanical-ish presently, and we’re taking it one step further by building our own vegetable gardens to plant our “babies,” and reap the benefits all summer long.

This afternoon the beds are going in, along with the compost and dirt. Then we’re rigging up a rain barrel irrigation system to keep everything watered.

Great things come from small ideas. Dawn thought it would be fun to grow some beans in competition. One year later Fiberentics is on track to creating our own sustainable garden to help feed us all.

Thanks Dawn. Keep ’em coming.

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About Gavin McDougald

Gavin McDougald has been working on and around the Internet since 1995. One of the original developers of The Sports Networks website, TSN.ca, he ended up as its Editor-in-Chief. An award winning writer, Gavin's work has been published on numerous sites like CBC.ca and NHL.com, as well as in papers such as the LA Times and Globe & Mail. Moving from online sports to Internet marketing in 2003, he's worked in a variety of industries including console gaming, online publishing, and now in telecommunications with Fibernetics. His focus is on the social media channels for both the Worldline and NEWT brands, blogging and corporate communications. Gavin has a BSc in Geology and a BA in Fine Arts from McMaster University.

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