Back in 2016 at Oracle’s campus in Redwood Shores, CA, folks from Oracle’s grounds crew were growing a variety of herbs that would go on to be used by the Bon Appétit team in dishes for employees in the onsite café. Their passion for plants piqued the interest of other folks at the company, and after a tour of corporate campus farms in the area, Oracle decided to make an investment into gardens of its own.
These were the humble beginnings of Oracle’s now expansive Victory Gardens program, spans three gardens on as many campuses, with a fourth garden at Redwood Shores under construction. The mission of the gardens is to promote urban agriculture, more sustainable campuses, and to offer super-fresh produce grown onsite to employees. Everything that is harvested goes to Bon Appétit’s chefs at Oracle. The gardens are overseen by a company called Farmscape, which handles all of the day-to-day operations and collaborates closely with the Bon Appétiters and interested Oracle employees.
In 2017, more than 2,500 pounds of fruits, vegetables and herbs were harvested as well as an abundance of flowers, providing both an aesthetic benefit and nourishment for pollinators. A substantial employee community has arisen around the gardens, too, including a Garden Club that helps organize and participates in botanical workshops and a variety of classes including herb drying, hydration in the garden, aromatherapy, and garden yoga. With a large garden currently under construction at Oracle’s Redwood Shores campus, the Farmscape team estimates a harvest of over 6,500 lbs of produce next year, which will go into meals at the onsite cafe and to hunger-fighting food banks in the area.