These Joburg offices now have farms inside them — and workers get to harvest lunch

Timothy Rangongo | Business Insider SA | 27/07/2018

  • Office farms are gaining traction in SA, with more businesses signing up for veggie gardens.
  • One service provider of commercial gardens has installed over 250 business gardens.
  • These edible gardens are not only aesthetically pleasing but are saving some establishments money, and reducing employees’ stress by exposing them to nature.

Some South African office workers are picking their own herbs and vegetables for lunch, without ever leaving the office.

An organic salad can be quickly put together from lettuce, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and bell peppers for instance, and topped with lemon juice — all picked from ‘office farms’ as the installations are colloquially known.

Edible business gardens are also taking over office rooftops, balconies and walls.

Urban Harvest, a company that sets up and maintains edible gardens, says it has already created 250 such gardens, and has many more potential customers thinking about urban farms.

“A business is seen as more cutting edge and credible if it includes green practices or characteristics, such as offsetting its carbon footprint, in its work,” says MD of Urban Harvest, Ben Getz.

Obtaining a favourable green-star rating is also an incentive to install an edible garden, Urban manager Timothy Kachiri tells Business Insider South Africa.