Vegan, organic, farm-to-table, etc. are familiar terms for healthy eating. These days, it is a common trend to see restaurants and cafes adapting to healthier ways of serving food. This is a welcome change that we hope continues to permeate our lives.
The extreme commercialization of raw food materials has made us realize the importance of organic farming for a healthier lifestyle. We are well aware of the downside of eating adulterated foods, however, we still refuse to take any healthy initiative for our own betterment. We blame our circumstances and changed lifestyle and are averse to taking that extra effort for our well being and continue putting our health in jeopardy.
When we, as individual households find enough excuses not to do our bit, a recruitment company called Pasona in Japan is doing it all in their office premises. How would it feel to walk into an office lobby to find yourself surrounded by a rice paddy field? Well, don't be so surprised, this is exactly what you will see at Pasona. They have turned their nine-storey headquarter building into an urban farm-to-table office. It is heartening to know that while everyone is still hesitant to do a little for themselves, a company is taking such a big step for their employees.
The business house, when renovating an old nine-storey building into their new headquarters, came up with this fantastic concept of bringing together farming, health, and a positive environment under one roof. Materializing the idea, the lobby at the company entrance welcomes you with a scenic view of a rice paddy field giving you a heads up of about 280 types of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs being grown within the office spaces.
Once inside, you will find tomato wines suspended above conference tables, shrubs, and trees used as partitions for meeting spaces, bean sprouts grown under benches, crops & employees sharing the same space, and much more. In short, the office building atmosphere bursts with freshness and energy. The nine-storey office building has dedicated 1 Acre to green space that is taken care of by the employees themselves supported by a team of agricultural specialists.
The building uses both soil-based and hydroponic farming. Hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions via water without soil. It uses energy-efficient lighting and advanced irrigation techniques.
It is remarkable though to see employees of a company growing their own food in the office, which is to be later served in the office cafeteria. Although the office farm only covers a part of what employees eat, it sure does take care of the company's carbon footprints. When asked, more than 80% of the employees report feeling more energized and thus could perform better at their jobs. The fresh green atmosphere makes them feel positive, motivated, and ready for more.
This is the kind of initiative that will not only promote urban farming among common people but will also support the future sustainability of farmers.