Altair Garden Club 2014

Busy people often forget to take care of their health. Overwhelmed by daily responsibilities and activities, we tend to live a routine-like lifestyle, leaving little to no time left to eat healthy – let alone start and care for an organic garden! Here at Altair, we decided to build awareness for healthy eating by incorporating an organic vegetable and herb garden into our working environment this summer.

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I am a nurse practitioner in the Altair Health Clinic, responsible for treating in-house patients. My team and I engage with Altair employees on a number of creative health-related events and activities throughout the year. From Red Cross Blood Drives to morning stretches, we encourage and facilitate a healthy lifestyle for our busy employees. Toward that end, after gaining a strong endorsement from the executive team, we were thrilled to establish the Altair Garden Club and began planting this past May.

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To kick things off, Master Gardener Judy from Telly’s Greenhouse presented the basics of organic gardening to interested employees. Our talented and dedicated facilities professionals laid the groundwork for the garden by rototilling and remediating the soil, and the Garden Club took over from there! The Altair Garden Club is completely volunteer-run with a goal of promoting healthy, sustainable growing practices and mindful eating. It is also a great opportunity for those who have limited space in their own backyard to enjoy the gardening experience. It is our wish that fellow Altairians will be inspired and motivated by the garden, and start their own organic gardens at home, on their patios or with a raised bed for easy maintenance.

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A total of around 25 people are currently managing the garden, and employees are free to join at any time.  The plot is located at the far southeast corner of the Troy, Michigan World Headquarters property, where it gets plenty of sunshine and water. This summer, the garden boasts an abundance of greens, herbs, and vegetables, including various lettuces, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, radishes, beets, pumpkins, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, jalapeños, as well as a variety of herbs.

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Not only is the Altair Garden Club promoting a healthy lifestyle, it is also a way for employees to build community by meeting and interacting with people from different departments. Moreover, this fall we plan to donate our pumpkins to the local Judson Center, which offers supportive and innovative programs to help provide the best lives for children and their families.

Garden Club members. Di Liu (L) and Gauri Phadke (R).

Garden Club members. Di Liu (L) and Gauri Phadke (R).

Thank you to all for an outstanding inaugural summer of the Altair Garden!  We look forward to continuing this venerable tradition into the future.  Taking advantage of the bounty Nature has to offer, as well as our daily connection to the earth, is making all of us healthier, which is definitely something to get excited about.

Diane Towers
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Diane Towers

About Diane Towers

Diane Towers is a nursing professional at Altair with a total of 11 years in nursing and 6 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is skilled in patient teaching with a strong emphasis on patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment of many acute and chronic conditions. She holds a Master Degree in Nursing from the University of Michigan-Flint.