How does your tech campus garden grow?

Silicon Valley Business Journal, October 2017

There’s an oasis of greenery sprouting out of PayPal’s headquarters in San Jose.

This island in a sea of concrete and glass is a garden created by PayPal employees with the help of StartOrganic, a vegetable garden service that began in 2011 with the mission of teaching as many people as possible how to successfully grow organic food.

StartOrganic first worked to show Silicon Valley residents how to grow organic food in their home gardens, then branched out to the corporate world after taking eBay as a client a few years later. 

It is now also educating employees at LinkedIn, Symantec and Evernote, teaching max-capacity classes while finding ways to create full-time gardens on corporate campuses. StartOrganic bills its services as a benefit for employee wellness, providing a means to reduce stress and improve eating habits.

The eBay garden — now the PayPal garden after the two companies split in 2015 — can be called one of StartOrganic’s early success stories. It started as a small patch and has since grown to 38 raised garden beds with 50-plus employees growing different varieties of tomatoes, squash, herbs and sunflowers. It has become a part of the campus culture.