Monday, May 20, 2013

Breaking Ground in the Alaffia Garden Project!

Breaking Ground in the Alaffia Garden Project!

Springtime is in full swing, and people everywhere are diving into all things garden.
Botany has long been an integral part of life for Alaffia Founders Rose and Olowo-n’djo. The home garden at their sustainable farm provides not only food for their family, but also key ingredients for some of Alaffia’s favorite products.
Calendula growing in Rose's home garden, Spring 2012.

Last year’s move to a larger facility brought with it a new opportunity for the Alaffia crew. With a desire for Alaffia employees to share in the bounty of healthy, fresh produce; Rose and Olowo-n’djo secured access to a large, empty lot across the street for a company garden. A 150’ x 90’ portion of the garden will be used to grow produce for Alaffia families and will be maintained by Alaffia employees during paid time. The other half is the Alaffia herb garden and will provide ingredients for Alaffia products.

In early May the garden plan was announced, the ground was tilled, and gardening teams and shifts were assembled.

On Friday, May 17 we shut down our facility operations at noon and headed out to dig in! 

Rose discusses plans with Alaffia Garden Team Leaders

Time to go play in the dirt!

Olowo-n'djo welcomes employees to their new garden.
Rose distributes tools for the day.
Olowo-n'djo breaking ground, Togo style!

Lots of planning to execute.

Teams taking thier plots.

Sarah's Team

Enrique's Team

Jayme's Team

Congratulations to Jayme (2nd from left) who just closed on a house and can't wait to start her own garden! 

Jay's Team

Sheryl's Team

Sheryl, a natural Green Thumb and our Purchasing Inventory & Logistics Coordinator, said: “This is a great activity for teambuilding with Alaffia’s employees. I really appreciate the opportunity to get out in the sun and share in the Fall harvest!”

Steven, our new HR Director, promises he’s not going to use that thing on anyone, really - he was only kidding… (This was only his 2nd day on the job.)

When asked what he thought about the gardening project he said:

 "A. Never, ever choose the heaviest tool.

B. I can’t wait to show my HR buddies in New York what REAL HR people do! I’ve never seen such a labor-intensive employee activity before…But, no complaints here!"

Quite the contrary were the general remarks throughout the day. We can see why communities used to come together to plant their crops. It's hard work, made quick and fun!

The Barefoot Gardener

Jerry – an integral part of most any plans at Alaffia HQ.


Sylvia & Indigo - 2 peas in a pod.

Did these two really dig in? Indigo attests “I really DID work. My forehead even got warm!” 

Ready to grow!


A perfect day for planting. The rain held up until the very last minute.

Thank you Rose & Olowo-n’djo, for the Alaffia Garden!
We are very grateful for this unique and wonderful opportunity and look forward to the camaraderie, memories, and produce the Alaffia Garden will yield this growing season!

Stay tuned in coming months for more on the Alaffia Garden Project… 


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