Growing Greener: A Walk In the Badger Gardens

The Badger Gardens, summer 2016

The Badger Gardens, summer 2016

Badger’s building and grounds are where our intentions for a healthier world take root. From the way we treat one another to the care we take in formulating, manufacturing and shipping products, and how we interact with the land beneath our feet, we strive to be mindful in walking our mission.

The land upon which Badger sits began as a sandpit, with sparse vegetation and little soil fertility. But with a lot of love (and compost!), what once was a barren site is now a thriving, verdant landscape with beautiful gardens that provide some of the organic produce that feeds Badger employees every day through our organic lunch program.

The Badger Gardens - top: 2010, bottom 2013

The Badger Gardens – top: 2010, bottom 2013

Fed in part by the organic compost we make with the food scraps we divert from our waste stream, the health and beauty of the soil and land is slowly coming to life. We use biodynamic principles and gardening techniques like Hugelkultur to restore and regenerate the land and feed employees an abundance of healthy, delicious, organic food. It’s easy to see that this transformation from sandpit to thriving biome is good for our local environment, nourish­ing plant and animal life, feeding Badgers and uplifting our spirits with vibrant beauty. On a broader scale, this transformation plays a bigger role: capturing carbon from our atmosphere and storing it deep within soil structure.

Here’s how it works: poor soil management (eg: tillage, mono-cropping, deforestation, erosion, etc.) results in the oxidation of soil carbon, which enters our atmo­sphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This contributes to the greenhouse effect, warming the earth and creating a positive feedback loop in which further warming is inevitable. On the other hand, caring for the land and working in harmony with soil encourages the growth of microbes and fungus which hold soil togeth­er, transforming mere minerals into a flourishing habi­tat. Plants grow on this fertile ground, drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and depositing it into the soil. Microbes in the soil decompose deposited matter, storing its components (much of which is carbon as earth beings are carbon-based life forms!) and storing it from the atmosphere as long as the soil remains intact and undisturbed.

poor-farming-and-land-management-practices

In truth, mindful care of our soil here at Badger can’t store enough carbon to single-handedly halt or reverse the effects of human-induced climate change. However, we believe that by walking our mission and making sustainable choices in support of a healthier world, we can create ripples that will regenerate the world.

Want a taste of the Badger gardens? Try out this delicious recipe from Badger chef Pam:

Zucchini Lasagne

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3-4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise. @ 1/4″ thick
  • Extra mozzarella cheese for top
  • 4 cups Ricotta Cheese Filling

Ricotta Cheese Filling
Mix the following ingredients together in a bowl season to taste:

  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2t. Each Basil, garlic, oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Oil a 9 x 13” pan with olive oil.
  • Cover bottom of pan with 1 1/2- 2 cups sauce.
  • Put down a layer of zucchini strips overlapping each other.
  • Cover with 2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Put down another layer of zucchini and another layer of ricotta cheese filling.
  • Put on last layer of zucchini. Cover with 2 cups of sauce.  More or less depending on your taste.
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella.
  • Bake 45 minutes-1 hour at 400 degrees.

Notes: Zucchini will release water.  If you have the time allow to cool and the liquid will be reabsorbed. Feel free to add extra veggies and/or meat between layers.

Jess Baum
About

Jess Baum works in Marketing and is on the Sustainability Committee. She came to Badger after earning a Professional Science Masters in Environmental Education, for which she co-created an Environmental Management System for Badger. She is a Certified Herbalist and loves to spend time in the woods foraging. When she’s not at Badger, Jess enjoys jewelry making, baking, soil, salamanders, and spending time with her 2 adorable cats.

Jess’ favorite Badger products: Unscented Face Cleansing Oil, Damascus Rose Body Oil, and Poetic Pomegranate Cocoa Butter Lip Balm.

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Posted in Environmental Initiatives, Environmental responsibility, Walk a Healthy Trail

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