How operators grow staff-run gardens

Here’s how operators get their staff to dig deeper in staff-run gardens.

students employees school garden

As foodservice directors add “farmer” to the fine print attached to their titles, a major part of their job has evolved to include training their team to keep up on-site gardens. Here’s what some operators have learned through starting their own programs—prepare to get a little dirty.

1. Preach trial and error

When it comes to gardens, it takes a lot of hits and misses before you can hit the ground running. At Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Fla., “It took us a good three to four months before we got it going,” says Bruce Ground, general manager for Delaware North. Flexibility was built into his training plan; his team experimented with black-eyed peas, okra and grape tomatoes to learn which plants worked with its plot. Now, his team is able to grow 800 heads of romaine each month of the growing season.

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